Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Old Dragon’s Head by Justin Newland! Thanks to Love Books Group for my stop on this tour. Check out my review and let me know what you think!
Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern borders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: the Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s Head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.
In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of Heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the dragon pearl.
It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts.When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon.
Bolin embarks on a journey of self-discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?
Reviews of the Novel, The Old Dragon’s Head:
I’ll admit, I picked this book up because it had a dragon on the cover. Sometimes, when you just grab a book because something about the cover or blurb grabs your attention, you can be pleasantly surprised. This happened for me with The Old Dragon’s Head! Justin Newland has done his research, because this novel, based in Chinese history, is richly atmospheric and impressively immersive.
I absolutely loved the mix of fantasy elements well-rooted in Chinese history. It’s a solid novel, with a rich culture, architecture, and style, which really helped make this feel real. As I was reading, I was wisked away into another land, and it was easy for me to forget I wasn’t really there and get lost in the story.
The characters were deep, well-rounded and realistic. I really enjoyed Bolin, our main character, and his coming of age story. The plot was paced really well, and I was connected to the story from beginning to end.
I definitely recommend checking The Old Dragon Head out! I’ll be looking for more from Justin Newland.
After a long career in I.T., Justin’s love of literature finally seduced him and, in 2006, he found his way to the creative keyboard to write his first novel.
Justin writes secret histories in which historical events and people are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.
His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of our times.
He is currently working on a novel set in East Prussia during the Enlightenment in the 18th Century which reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.
Justin does books signings and gives author talks in libraries in South West England. He has appeared at many Literary Festivals, including Bristol, Weston-super-mare and Exeter. He regularly gives interviews on BBC local radio and local FM radio stations.
Let me know what you think!