The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell – Review

Cover- The Dragons of Dorcastle

Published: December 2, 2014

Publisher: Audible Studios

ISBN: 9781491540336

Rating: 3.0/5.0


For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything that humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of the world behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other’s Guild are frauds. But when their caravan is destroyed, they begin to discover how much has been kept from them.

As they survive danger after danger, Alain discovers what Mari doesn’t know—that she was long ago prophesized as the only one who can save their world. When Mari reawakens emotions he had been taught to deny, Alain realizes he must sacrifice everything to save her. Mari, fighting her own feelings, discovers that only together can she and Alain hope to stay alive and overcome the Dragons of Dorcastle.


The Dragons of Dorcastle is an Audible exclusive story narrated by MacLeod Andrews. After seeing the roughly 4.5 star average rating on Audible I decided to give it a chance, just to see what the fuss was about. I’m not sure why everyone liked it so much… it was good, but not awesome. The whole guild feud between the mages and mechanics was interesting but ended up being a little over done by the end.

The story itself centers entirely on Mari, a mechanic, and Alain, a mage who are forced to work together after their caravan is attacked. Rather than build a story where the environment is described as richly as the characters, this story is almost entirely character-centric. The cities and environs are described as minimally as possible and in my mind are very nearly interchangeable, aside from a few key points where the story actively makes use of certain locations. Much of the plot is either internal conflict in the mind of the characters, directly between Mari and Alain, or between them and their respective guilds. Surprisingly, though the guilds are mentioned frequently throughout, we don’t really get an incredible amount of detail about them. The guilds take on contracts and members travel all around the world to fulfill them, they indoctrinate their members from very young ages, and they hold themselves to be above ‘commons’ or non-guild members. Above all else, they are enemies of the opposing guild and believe them to be frauds of the most deplorable sort, making use of trickery to fool those who hire them.

I am unsure of whether I will continue with the series. Though I found Mari and Alain’s relationship to be cute and the plot took an interesting turn, I just wasn’t sold on it. I felt that certain themes were so obviously repetitive and could have been made more subtle. It just wasn’t awesome and personally, I don’t think it deserves the 4.5 star rating on Audible.


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