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Dragon's Eye by James A. Hetley
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1215150,300 (3.76)8


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Showing 5 of 5
Fun. I think this is the first published novel by Hetley, but it doesn't show it, although at just a couple of places the pacing/dialogue breaks down a bit and could be improved. Having greatly enjoyed one of his other books I was keen to find out if his other writing reaches the same standard - it does!

This is urban fantasy from before the genre was invented. It's focused on one of two families living in an isolated community on the coast of Maine. Both are heavily patriarchal as the oldest son discovers when, upon the death of his father, he's invited to share the family secret by someone who it turns out is his Uncle, a man thought dead for many years. This leads him to hope that his father may too be alive. The secret involves diving into their flooded cellar to visit the Dragon's Eye kept beneath the waves.

Also within he community is the matriarchal witches' Family, a house that's been there for hundreds of years before even the first white settlers moved in. They've never really sided with one family or the other, content to guard their own secrets and power, looking after women and their tribal ancestors. However when one of the families starts involving foreign magicians they take sides to preserve the status quo.

Character driven it's just really nicely done. A good consideration of how different people are similar but not the same. Some nicely balanced magic, and thoroughly thought through world. We do switch between characters a bit and this gets a little clunky sometimes in the middle, however there is no cutting away to the bad guy revealing all his plots, which instead we get to experience through the characters' discoveries of them - the correct way to write it, and huge bonus marks to Hetley for achieving this. Other authors take note! Slightly disconcertingly though we also skip forward in short periods of time, which means that some actions only become apparent retrospectively. It takes a while to get used to this.

Generally great, I'm certainly going to read the sequel and investigate what other works he's written.
After re-read there's nothing more to add. I prefer single POV but this does just about work with the multiple characters. ( )
  reading_fox | May 27, 2015 |
I adore this book (ignore the cover on the paper edition) - as of now there's an ebook edition and at the moment it's 99 cents. I'm rereading and still loving it.
( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Found this in a used bookstore and thought the cover was gay--but the cover hero is NOT gay and the books' witch heroine, who is not the love-interest of the hero at all, is a lesbian. That sorted out pretty quickly, thank goodness.

The writing is good, the main characters (let's see, all 6 of them, plus assorted animal sidekicks) are interesting and likable, the villain has his own code of honor, but is still eeevil, and the setting is a very small coastal town in Maine. With pink granite. This book is set in modern America, but every one of the many main characters has magic. Whether they admit it or not. The author's use of history, putting the connection between the Welsh Morgan family, and the Haskell Woman (the heroine who is a witch as well as a Naskeag American Indian and an EMT) before Columbus, was fun. Enough, but not too much, time is given for everybody's emotional growth, too.

Still I/P so we'll see how it ends.

It ends well! Except for the villain. I would like to see the sequel. Hope it won't be too hard to find... ( )
  MarianH98 | Aug 1, 2010 |
Weird. Good writing, good characterization, interesting universe, but somehow it just doesn't catch me. None of the characters really interest me; the story is fine, but I was more interested in getting to the end than in seeing what happened. I don't know what it is, but it just doesn't work for me. I'll read the next, though. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Sep 10, 2009 |
Took me a while to get into the book. The beginning's a little slow, but once into the story it moves well and sparks your interest. A mixture of Welsh and American Indian folklore blends well. The author allows the characters to blend the mystic magic of both cultures and have the magic become a very useful tool in the modern times. The villain of the book uses a blend of ancient South American Incas and older magic. The main source of magic for the Morgan's is the Dragon's Eye. An orb that is not of earthly origin but has made a pact with the Morgan's to help them thru the centuries. The women characters seem more fleshed out than that of the men. ( )
  booknutzz | Nov 15, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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To Mom, who never got to see these stories, and to Dad, who never knew they would exist.
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Few things in Stonefort are exactly what they seem.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441013287, Paperback)

Two magical families live in the hardscrabble town of Stonefort, Maine: the shape shifting Morgans and the Haskell witches. But evil is coming to Stonefort. A drug lord and frighteningly powerful sorcerer covets the Morgans' alliance with the magical being known as the Dragon. Now 17-year-old Gary Morgan must claim his heritage and save his family. But first, he will have to master the power of the Dragon-and he'll need the help of the Haskell witches to do it. Somehow, the Haskells and the Morgans must overcome their differences before the sorcerer assumes the power of the Dragon and destroys them all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The island township of Stonefort, Maine, lies just about as far Down East as you can go without passing through Canadian customs. Through the centuries its inhabitants, descendants of native Naskeag Indians and Welsh refugees have lived an isolated existence. They include the Morgans, one-time pirates and now shadowy international criminals who live by two cardinal rules - protect the family and never foul your own nest. Kate Rowley, part-time town constable and odd-job specialist, is a high-school dropout who solves problems with her muscles and her fists. And Alice Haskell, EMT and emergency room nurse, doubles as the latest Haskell Witch, a Naskeag shaman with power over both whites and First People through her ties with the spirits of Stonefort's land and water. Now an outside power threatens the ancient balance - white and Indian alike, law and lawbreaker alike.… (more)

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