Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: On Wings of Thunder
AUTHOR: M.D. Grimm
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 144 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2016
Trystan is an unchosen angel—shunned by society, bullied, and without a future. In a hidden well, Trystan discovers a carving of a dragon, who were once the commanders of demons and now believed extinct. But Trystan learns the carving doesn’t depict an ordinary dragon. Stories tell that millennia ago, the great dragon Asagoroth and his demon army nearly conquered the three realms but was killed by the five elders. The powerful angels combined their life forces to cast a spell, sacrificing their lives. But history is full of falsehoods. The five elders only managed to imprison the dragon, and Asagoroth had cast his own spell—one of releasement. It only needs the blood of an angel to liberate him from his cage…. Asagoroth, enemy of angels, conqueror of realms, is free. But even as the angels prepare for war, the great dragon surprises them with an ultimatum: hand over the angel who awakened him or face annihilation.
Labeled as a child as one of the unchosen, Trystan has lived his life merely existing from one day to the next with only the occasional visits from his sister to brighten an otherwise dull and unhappy existence. Constantly tormented and bullied, and with no friends, it isn’t surprising that when Trystan accidentally discovers a chamber hidden away under the center of the city, he wants to keep that knowledge for himself. After all, why should he share something so amazing with those who decided he was worthless? When Trystan unknowingly releases the demon general Asagoroth from his imprisonment, however, he sets in motion a series of events that could either lead to the angels’ destruction or something so much greater than either the angels or the demons could’ve ever imagined. And in the midst of all the turmoil, he may also find a love and a purpose that transcends being just another of the unchosen.
From the very beginning, this story had me hooked! You’re given enough context to understand the past events that led to the current situation and storyline before jumping right into Trystans’s story. I really liked how Trystan was an atypical angel, in part because of what society has labeled him as, but also because he has a spirit about him that was just really appealing. Asagoroth was also great, he was a bit of a contradiction with being such an ‘evil’ demon bent on destruction yet so careful and gentle with Trystan. I think both main characters brought out the best in the other and I really enjoyed them together.
The premise of the story was really interesting and even when things were more focused on just the main characters, I never felt as though things were dragging on. It was nice seeing the relationship progress and while I did wish that Trystan hadn’t spent so much time worrying that he’d never be enough for Asagoroth, I do really like how the author took care of that particular problem. Things weren’t all smooth sailing, however, and the skirmishes with other angels offered a nice break from the relationship focus. The resolution to the war between the angels and demons was certainly one I hadn’t seen before, which made it that much better, and led to an interesting take on the creation story that I enjoyed.
This was a low angst, really enjoyable read that combined a lot of my favorite things. This was also my first book by this author though I’m sure it won’t be my last! If you enjoy fantasy books, angels, demons, dragons or are just looking for a different kind of shifter story this could be something you’ll enjoy. 🙂