The Rage: 8 out of 10
Byers introduces us to the world of dragons in a gripping way. The series is obviously for fans of fairly geeky fantasy. I am a bit of a geek and it was almost too much for me. Book one starts off the action with a great battles between men and dragons on small and large scales. The heroes of this story, a band of dragon hunters, are an exciting and entertaining band of characters. The main character struggles with a burning hatred of dragons, and of his own mangled body, the result of a dragon attack as a child. The off-kelter banter between two of the characters always leaves you laughing. The band chances upon a mysterious woman who seeks their help in discovering what has caused the dragons to start going crazy.
The Rite: 8 out of 10
The second book remains fairly strong as the band begins investigating The Rage with a host of others, hoping to find a cure before rampaging dragons and an evil lich wizard destroy everything. You are introduced to more characters on both sides of the war. The tale is gripping and exciting, you can't wait to see how they save the world as they chase down slim leads and trails. Unfortunately, the second book is where one of the series' major issues starts to become clear. As I said before, the main character has a mangled body. As a child half of his body had been bitten off by a dragon and replaced with iron limbs by a wizard. As a result, he has some issues and thinks of himself as a freak. It was understandable in the first book, but the longer the story goes without him making any improvement, despite the band of close friends and the love of a beautiful woman, the more ridiculous it seems. It starts to get on your nerves.
The Ruin: 7 out of 10
The conclusion is great as they seek the source of the rage and foil the evil wizard's scheme. The height of the story is the epic battle between two hordes of dragons. The author is great at writing large battle scenes throughout the series. You will be happy to see how it all comes together at the end, and how close to destruction they all come. However, the third book has some problems that really take away from the story. I didn't realize this until halfway through the book, but while the author is great at large battles, when it comes to a battle between the companions and a single dragon, he is utterly lacking in creativity. I was reading a battle near the end, and for a moment I seriously wondered if I had gotten my books mixed up and was reading the very first battle again. Yes, experienced dragon hunters would have a trusted routine, but they never deviate from it. The battles quickly get old and predictable. On top of that, the main character's body issues don't get better, if anything they get worse. I swear, he has more melodramatic body image issues than the most annoying teenage drama queen. By the end I was ready to slap him and the author.
Overall, I would recommend this series to fans of magic and dragons, but with some strong warnings about some of the issues so they know what to expect.