The planet Starlight is controlled by dragons. Because of the depletion in their atmosphere of an essential gas, pheterone, they must search for a way to survive. They know that a network of gas veins exists deep beneath the crust of their planet, but, being dragons, they are not skilled with ways to drill.
One dragon, Magnar, finds humans on another planet he calls Darksphere, captures several of them, and forces them to drill through Starlight’s crust in order to release the gas. A man escapes and returns to the planet of humans. He tells everyone about the missing people they call the Lost Ones and how they went through a portal to a dragon planet. Since the portal doesn’t always work, he is unable to prove his story, and nearly everyone thinks he is crazy or maybe he murdered the others.
A few believe his story and form a group called the Underground Gateway, which refers to the portal. Unfortunately, the escapee’s son is imprisoned and becomes inaccessible, so the Gateway has to try to piece together information as they secretly search for the portal. After many unsuccessful years, they are considered by most to be nothing more than crackpot conspiracy theorists.
One hundred years after the initial enslavement, Adrian Masters, a 24-year-old expert swordsman, sets out on a journey to find the portal to the dragon planet. He is accompanied by Marcelle, a sword maiden of amazing skill whose ideas about how the operation should be carried out conflict with his own. Adrian believes in using stealth and cunning to free the slaves, while Marcelle opts to take a more direct approach. This causes friction between these two warriors, though they respect each other’s skills highly.
When Adrian and Marcelle find the slaves, they learn that these longsuffering people have no memory of their origins, making them reluctant to believe the two would-be rescuers, especially since the dragons crush any opposition to their cruel tyranny. Undeterred by the overwhelming obstacles, the two warriors set out to free the slaves and face mortal danger at every turn. As they battle dragons, endure torture, and dispel superstition, they learn that an ultimate sacrifice is the only way they can bring liberty to the oppressed.
A Fun Fantasy Adventure| Posted March 27, 2014 Masters & Slayers is the first book in the Tales of Starlight series for adults by Bryan Davis. This series is the slightly more ramped up version of the Dragons of Starlight series, written for teens. My daughters had recently read the first of their series and were excited about the plot, so I dove into my corresponding book.
At first, it seemed I’d entered in the middle of a book, or like I was picking up where a previous one had left off. I was a little lost in the first few chapters, and had a hard time grabbing the characters. The rest of the book was worth the confusion, however. I followed the young hero and heroine from their world, an odd mix of modern and medieval, into the realm ruled by cruel dragons who’d enslaved humans generations ago. The two fight to free these captives, starting the series with exciting rescues and hints of a future relationship. They were assisted by various spirit beings, and a dragon who was difficult to judge, at times helping the heroes, and at times siding with his fellow dragons. Do these additional characters turn out to be helpers or hindrances to the cause?
I particularly enjoyed the similarities between the physical situations of the captives, and spiritual implications that apply in our own world today. Some slaves had given up their hope for salvation, choosing to accept their enslavement and live under the burden of their taskmasters. When the hero appeared, his way to freedom seemed too risky to some, too different from what they’d always known. At no part of the book, however, was there a preachy feel or direct mention of Christianity.
Several things made this book one I won’t be sharing with my early teen daughters. A few violent depictions of murder or maiming, including children, put this out of range for their bookshelf. Also, several explanations of the breeding rooms included a bit too much detail, although there was much left to the imagination. I would definitely recommend this to any adult friends who enjoy the fantasy genre.