The Rage of Dragons
The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable war for almost 200 years. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every 2000 women has the power to call down dragons. One in every 100 men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.
Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war.
Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He's going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children and land. Only he doesn't get the chance.
Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He'll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him. (From Hatchette Book Group)
The Rage of Dragons is Evan Winter's first novel. Born in England to South American parents, he now lives in Markham, Ont.
The Rage of Dragons was on the Canada Reads 2020 longlist.
- Evan Winter's The Rage of Dragons series is African-inspired fantasy rooted in the real world
- With African epic The Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter wrote the book he'd want to read
- Six Canadian writers of black heritage to watch in 2020
- The CBC Books Writers to Watch 2020 list
From the book
Tsiory stared at the incomplete maps laid out on the command tent's only table. He tried to stand tall, wanting to project an image of strength for the military leaders with him, but he swayed slightly, a blade of grass in an imperceptible breeze. He needed rest and was unlikely to get it.
It'd been three days since he'd last gone to the ships to see Taifa. He didn't want to think he was punishing her. He told himself he had to be here, where the fighting was thickest. She wanted him to hold the beach and push into the territory beyond it, and that was what he was doing.
The last of the twenty-five hundred ships had arrived, and every woman, man, and child who was left of the Chosen was now on this hostile land. Most of the ships had been scavenged for resources, broken to pieces, so the Omehi could survive. There would be no retreat. Losing against the savages would mean the end of his people, and that Tsiory could not permit.
The last few days had been filled with fighting, but his soldiers had beaten back the natives. More than that, Tsiory had taken the beach, pushed into the tree line, and marched the bulk of his army deeper into the peninsula. He couldn't hold the ground he'd taken, but he'd given her time. He'd done as his queen had asked.
From The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter ©2019. Published by Hatchette Book Group
"In the story the main character is Tau. He is from the Omehi people and comes from an oppressed class in the story. From the get-go, the obstacles are stacked high against him. I wanted to explore the hidden obstacles that are placed in front of people that often go unrecognized by those affected by them and probably more to a greater degree those not affected by them. I wanted to have a story that examined the actual effects of that kind of pressure on a person.
I wanted the characters in The Rage of Dragons to represent and feel like me and my family, but in a way that I don't need to draw attention to it.- Evan Winter
"I wanted the characters in The Rage of Dragons to represent and feel like me and my family, but in a way that I don't need to draw attention to it. My family didn't exist for some greater plot point. My family just exists, we just are."