Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dragonfly Reviewed

Distracted as I've been this week by my own personal grading apocalypse (I'm a college professor), I've neglected to point readers to this Black Gate review of Dragonfly by Fletcher Vredenburgh of Swords & Sorcery fame.
Dragonfly is the first of a planned tetralogy. In this day of calculated, mass-marketed, trend-following books, here is a self-published adventure, practically handcrafted, with cover, map, and interior art all done by Ordoñez himself. It tells of a young prince let loose in a world of steam engines, complacent aristocrats, and tunnel-dwelling workers, and a social order on the verge of being overthrown. Ordoñez' style hearkens back to the likes of A. E. van Vogt and Jack Vance, as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs. Heck, as you can see from the cover, Dragonfly would look right at home on a shelf full of volumes from the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. [...]
Every chapter, nearly every page, is filled with such wondrous images. Ordoñez may mock himself by naming his publishing company Hythloday (talker of nonsense) House, but if nonsense, it's of a sort that will draw me back again and again. There's a degree of creativity and depth of thoughtfulness present here that is absent in most run-of-the-mill fantasy. 
If you have any taste for fantasy that doesn't simply mimic the fashions of the day you will find Dragonfly worth your attention. Fantasy gives the writer license to create things that do not just look like our world in fancy dress or with pointed ears. Ordoñez has embraced the opportunity to create a thrilling, mysterious adventure that stands out from the packs of grimdark books and Tolkien-clones. 
You should read it.
As an aside, let me say I'm glad someone got my little Hythloday joke. Raphael Hythloday is of course the narrator of More's Utopia, possibly named for the angel Raphael in the Book of Tobit, an interesting deuterocanonical text that inspires some of my demonology.

So, anyway, have you bought my book yet? If so, I thank you on behalf of my muse, and sincerely hope you enjoy it. If not, why not?


  1. No, I have not bought your book yet, despite the excellent reviews - because it is not available as an ebook, and I buy only ebooks. :/

    1. You twisted my arm -- ebook version coming soon. Stay tuned.

    2. I admit my intent was to gently twist your arm a bit. Looking forward to the ebook! And I want to add, not because the TPB does not look beautiful - it does - but I simply no longer read from paper.