The first book in fantasy series the Dragon Seed.

Publication year: 2019
Format: ebook
Page count at GoodReads: 194

Benzel is a nine-year old boy who lives in the village of Heatherbloom with his family. When his pet rabbit runs away, Benzel chases it and then hears when the berserkers attacks the village. He hides, like his parents have taught him. His mother also told him that he should go to the neighboring village if something happens. Obediently, he walks to his aunt in the next village but the berserkers have destroyed it, too. The only one left alive is a toddler, a little girl, and together they travel to the next village where another aunt lives. There, they finally find sanctuary.

One berserker boy notices Benzel but leaves him alone because Benzel reminds the boy of his brother. Benzel doesn’t notice the boy or know that the boy saved his life.

12 years later Benzel and the girl, whom he named Snip, live with his uncle and aunt. However, Benzel wants revenge: he wants to kill all berserkers. When a wandering dragonslayer finds the body of a local merchant, Benzel takes his chance and goes with the dragonslayer to trade in the nearby port city in the hopes of finding information abut the berserkers. The only one who is able to tell him something is an alchemist. The alchemist summons… someone or something. And that presence makes an offer to Benzel. It will help Benzel murder all berserkers if Benzel will sacrifice his first-born child to it and return the worship of gods among the Northlanders. Young Benzel doesn’t want any children and so he agrees to the bargain. However, before he can go and search for the berserkers, he has other duties which will take some years.

In this culture dragons are considered animals but very dangerous. They’re big and their bite has poison which can’t be cured. That’s why dragonslayers patrol the villages and when one of them dies, another must be appointed and the training and selection takes time.

The berserkers are humans. They sail to villages killing everyone, raping the women and taking everything they can. However, they have become rarer in recent years.

The book also has a subplot set in another country which isn’t resolved here.

This is a story about life spent, or perhaps even wasted, on revenge. Benzel wants to kill every berserker alive but he can’t find them. Yet, his anger and hate doesn’t let him rest or give up on that goal. He abandons the sister he found and his other family for years to chase the berserkers. The story follows him from a child to middle-age but concentrates on a few specific events. In that way, the structure is a bit different than most fantasy books, which I found refreshing. However, sometimes we just hear about events that happened to him but don’t know the specifics. Also, revenge is a very common motive in heroic characters in fantasy but here the writer questions the validity of revenge which I also found very refreshing.