Last Dragon

I bought this book because Jeff VanderMeer had been enthusing about it. I don’t always agree with Jeff on books, but I do more often than not, and I can guarantee that if he recommends a book then it will be interesting even if I don’t like it. Last Dragon by JM McDermott, however, sees us completely in agreement. Firstly, I really like the book, and secondly it is one of those books that will have a lot of reviewers describing it as “difficult” if they are honest, and “pretentious” if they are not. The prose is a long way off from Hal Duncan, but it is ambitious, and the book has a complex narrative structure that makes a fairly straightforward fantasy plot a lot more interesting. Possibly even more impressive is the fact that the book comes not from the likes of Prime or Night Shade, but from Wizards of the Coast’s new Discoveries series. If I’m reading the acknowledgments correct then the very brave editor responsible is Phil Athans. I’m hoping I get to meet him and Mr. McDermott at a con somewhere this year.