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Beginnings: five heroic fantasy adventure novels

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When her island home is invaded by enemy soldiers, her family captured, and the town enslaved, Taylina must find a way to fight back and free her people. But their enemies have powerful warships, sorcerers, and dragons. Her simple people are no match. Her only hope is to venture onto the forbidden half of the island and seek the one individual powerful enough to battle the When her island home is invaded by enemy soldiers, her family captured, and the town enslaved, Taylina must find a way to fight back and free her people. But their enemies have powerful warships, sorcerers, and dragons. Her simple people are no match. Her only hope is to venture onto the forbidden half of the island and seek the one individual powerful enough to battle their enemies, a dragon known for eating humans rather than helping them. Find out what happens to Taylina and meet the dragon who thinks he’s a god in Dragon Rider, a prequel to Lindsay’s USA Today bestselling Dragon Blood series. In addition to Dragon Rider, Beginnings features four previously published fantasy adventure novels, all with new introductions from the author: Encrypted The Emperor’s Edge Balanced on the Blade’s Edge Warrior Mage


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When her island home is invaded by enemy soldiers, her family captured, and the town enslaved, Taylina must find a way to fight back and free her people. But their enemies have powerful warships, sorcerers, and dragons. Her simple people are no match. Her only hope is to venture onto the forbidden half of the island and seek the one individual powerful enough to battle the When her island home is invaded by enemy soldiers, her family captured, and the town enslaved, Taylina must find a way to fight back and free her people. But their enemies have powerful warships, sorcerers, and dragons. Her simple people are no match. Her only hope is to venture onto the forbidden half of the island and seek the one individual powerful enough to battle their enemies, a dragon known for eating humans rather than helping them. Find out what happens to Taylina and meet the dragon who thinks he’s a god in Dragon Rider, a prequel to Lindsay’s USA Today bestselling Dragon Blood series. In addition to Dragon Rider, Beginnings features four previously published fantasy adventure novels, all with new introductions from the author: Encrypted The Emperor’s Edge Balanced on the Blade’s Edge Warrior Mage

30 review for Beginnings: five heroic fantasy adventure novels

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hildegard

    Excellent collection If you haven't read any of Lindsay Buroker's books this collection is a great place too start. Don't let yourself be deterred by the fact that all the books are series starters - non of them have cliffhanger endings. If, like me, you have already read all of them, there is one previously unpublished story set in the past of the "Dragonblood" universe that, to me, made it worth buying this collection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I've already really enjoyed Encrypted, The Emperor's Edge, and Balanced on the Blade's Edge. My 3-in-1 review of The Dragon Blood Collection, Books 1-3 is here, though I read the others before I started posting reviews regularly. I did give them all 4 stars, and Forgotten Ages (the omnibus) a full 5. N.b., Ms. Buroker warns in her collection intro that Warrior Mage, unlike the rest, is NOT self-contained, so I'm not sure when I'll get to it. Right now, I just plan to read the "new" (2017) Bhrava I've already really enjoyed Encrypted, The Emperor's Edge, and Balanced on the Blade's Edge. My 3-in-1 review of The Dragon Blood Collection, Books 1-3 is here, though I read the others before I started posting reviews regularly. I did give them all 4 stars, and Forgotten Ages (the omnibus) a full 5. N.b., Ms. Buroker warns in her collection intro that Warrior Mage, unlike the rest, is NOT self-contained, so I'm not sure when I'll get to it. Right now, I just plan to read the "new" (2017) Bhrava Saruth 41K-word Dragon Blood prequel (call it a long novella or short novel), Dragon Rider, which is exclusive to this set, and not currently Goodreads-listed separately. ================= Update: I finished Dragon Rider, which occupies just 10% of the set, since the others are good-sized novels. It's a lot of fun, with dragon fighting dragon, some interesting uses of magic, and a likable, admirable, but realistically imperfect human lead, bemused by the cheerful and completely immodest self-proclaimed "dragon god". Taylina's brotherly friend and colleague Raff is likable, too, though a bit miffed when Bhrava Saruth chooses magicless, lame woodworker Taylina, with her clever (or "crazy") ideas, and determination to act, over his own magical gifts, even if he is just a toolmaker, not a powerful sorcerer. Yes, that's marginally a spoiler, but it was pretty clear where the story was heading. The story doesn't take place quite as early in Bhrava Saruth's life as I'd expected — he already knows that he loves pastries and belly-rubs, for example, so we don't get to see those "firsts" (I'm speculating that they involved a child, and a furry form), just his first choosing of a "high priestess" and new ambition to gather worshippers. I'm not going to say much about the action-plot specifics, which revolve around the first Cofah invasion of Iskandoth (later called Iskandia) as experienced on Taylina & Raff's home island, including a daring rescue undertaken against all odds. An ill-tempered local dragon is also involved, as well as the arrogant Cofah dragon/rider teams. I had only one major complaint: there's a lot of telepathic speech in the story, and it's all left in plain text, not even italicized! You wouldn't expect regular quotation marks, which would make it look like normal (vocal) speech, but I personally prefer when an author uses italics AND some kind of alternate quotation marks, such as « or :: or something, to avoid confusion in pages full of back-and-forth dialogue. The editing was otherwise good, but that one irritation would be enough to knock off a half star, if I were rating it on its own. (I'm not going to put any rating for the whole set until I've read the whole set!) I haven't checked how soulblade Jaxi's mental communication in BotBE is handled, but I hope it's better. I think LB's books usually use simple italics. ================= I had intended to stop at the end of Dragon Rider for now, but ... I read the new introduction to Encrypted, which comes next, and it reminded me how much I liked that story. As the author says, it can be hard to find smart, geeky (and I'll add, non-teenaged) heroes — who actually use their smarts to advance the plot — in magical fantasy. I suspect I'll be reading at least one more book, after all! ================= 2nd update: Encrypted earned a 4+ again on this re-read. Yes, it's trope-y (a clutzy yet dead-eye heroine, for instance), but the falling-for-the-enemy romance is shown thoughtfully, and the science-fiction-tinged plot is suspenseful and exciting — though I must warn you that not all the casualies are mere "redshirts". The PoV is limited-3rd-person, all from Tikaya's perspective, allowing the man whom for many pages she knows only as Rias to keep his secrets, yet both of them become thoroughly likable and sympathetic characters. To me, given my interest in languages and logic puzzles, cryptolinguist Tikaya started out with points in her favor. The difficult but urgent task of figuring out the ancient symbols was generally handled in a not-beyond-suspension-of-disbelief way. Engineering and strategy whiz Rias is appealingly enthusiastic upon finding someone who actually wants to hear him go on about math. For fans of the Emperor's Edge series, set twenty years later in the same world, I'll give a not-very-revealing spoiler and mention that this book unexpectedly gives us a look at imperial assassin Sicarius as an already-deadly and stoic teenager. There are other things worthy of discussion — like how the definition of a hero depends on who's saying it, and the way Turgonians dislike and avoid "magic" and "wizards" (and stubbornly lump incredibly advanced technology in with it), while the Kyattese (and Nurians) have "practitioners" who study the "mental sciences" — yet this is basically an entertaining fantasy adventure-romance to simply read for fun. Oh, when I copied this review over from Beginnings onto Encrypted, the single title (where I had only posted a star-rating before), I noticed that during my first read I'd highlighted a handful of minor typos and such. Only one missing word ("No noticed" s/b "No one noticed") and one iffy wording ("second doubts") remain, as far as I saw in the re-read, so the text has apparently been cleaned up for the collection. The fact that I can still see the flawed old text accompanying my notes means that the single-volume version has NOT been fixed, doesn't it? That seems an odd choice/ oversight. Or maybe I just missed some things this time??

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    3.5 stars Dragon Rider This was my first Buroker story. This is supposed to be a standalone introduction for people who haven't read rest of the series (like me!) as well as a treat for fans, but I think you'd get a lot more out of it if you know how this fits into the greater whole. Encrypted Read the rest of the trilogy as soon as I finished this story. Philologist heroine and morally questionable engineer hero. Really enjoyed it. The Emperor’s Edge Another story that prompted me to immediately 3.5 stars Dragon Rider This was my first Buroker story. This is supposed to be a standalone introduction for people who haven't read rest of the series (like me!) as well as a treat for fans, but I think you'd get a lot more out of it if you know how this fits into the greater whole. Encrypted Read the rest of the trilogy as soon as I finished this story. Philologist heroine and morally questionable engineer hero. Really enjoyed it. The Emperor’s Edge Another story that prompted me to immediately start reading the rest in the series. Amaranthe is super cool. And Sicarius from Encrypted makes another appearance here. Balanced on the Blade’s Edge My second story in this world. Not my favorite. But it's also Buroker's first fantasy-romance novel, so maybe it was the romance aspect that didn't work for me. Warrior Mage The description of this one isn't pulling me in, so I'm putting off reading it until I'm in the right mood. Not counted in my rating for the collection.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Saidah Gilbert

    2nd reading: I only read the Dragon Rider story in preparation for my re-read of the Dragon Blood series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Mulhall

    Gave this a 4 star as all books were well written but they are all from different series of the author. Her note about this series was so long, I was beginning to think it was a bonus novel in of itself so I just jumped in. When pastry loving Dragons disappeared from book 2 I realised what Beginnings was. Like I said, 4 well written novels but where it falls down from a 5 star is the spoilers from first series novel to a sister series where outcomes are noted making any pursuit of the series spo Gave this a 4 star as all books were well written but they are all from different series of the author. Her note about this series was so long, I was beginning to think it was a bonus novel in of itself so I just jumped in. When pastry loving Dragons disappeared from book 2 I realised what Beginnings was. Like I said, 4 well written novels but where it falls down from a 5 star is the spoilers from first series novel to a sister series where outcomes are noted making any pursuit of the series spoilt. Other then that, an enjoyable read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jerry T Sada

    My New Favorite Author! If I could give a few more stars I would. LB develops a great world, with a well rounded deep history. Her characters act like real live people would, with real problems. I love the way she weaves romance through out each book. This series has books that start new series. I bought this series for the first book. But I fell in love with each and every book in this bundle. The best thing I have some new books to read now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda C Lake

    Interesting and Enjoyable Reading I really liked the story, it was really different than what I have been reading lately. I really enjoyed the characters in this story. I found it comical in some parts also. I thought the book was well written also. I didn't find any errors, so who ever is doing the proof reading is on the ball. That is important to me. I figure if your going to write a book it should be the best you can do. That was definately done with this one. Thank you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    susan green

    Great intro into a new world 5 books all starting different series in the same world. Linked by references to countries and characters but stand alone stories. All feature romance, action and adventure and magic. An enjoyable start to a new author without committing to an entire series of books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    This is a collection of 5 books, one of which I had already read, and only one which I wanted to read right now. Dragon Rider was a delightful read, albeit a short one. At some point I may decide to read the others if I decide to follow another series, but I will want to finish the Dragon Blood series before I do that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Breining

    Love her stories I have really enjoyed all Lindsay Buroker's stories. It was good to find all the beginnings, but now I've lost track of what to read next!very enjoyable story lines, characters and connections.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Bender

    Mind Bending The book was good. I liked the characters and fast pace of all the action. I look forward to reading the other books. I think anyone who likes magic and sixpence will like the books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Harry Swanson

    Great Way to Discover the Genius of Buroker These first books will surely get you hooked. What great fun and enjoyment you are about to experience! Buroker's wonderful!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    Very entertaining They are all beginnings but very good and will give you insight to new authors and the surprises they bring. I have found a couple that I can't wait to continue!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosala Marie Curtis

    Interesting plots, good characters, fun adventures, nice endings. Good moral lessons. Enjoyed storiies. Well written sTory lines

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Clark

    Good read once you get into it. Starts a little slow then picks up the pace. You want to know what happens next with Yanko a d his followers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cali

    Love the new short story. And of course, I enjoyed reading the first books of each series :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    stewart sheryl

    Lindsey butler is phrnnominal!!!!!!!!! Loved her stories they held you to the end you wanted morr!!!!! I would get books over and over looking forward to reading more!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    D.L. Kellett

    Worth reading I really recommend this author to anyone who enjoys humour and imagination. Lindsay Buroker has plenty of both and her plots are often surprising and we'll written.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ed McDowell

    5Great Books I enjoyed these books very much,some of the names were off but it's a good thing. Can't wait for more.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Not a very good writer, but the stories were okay.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megan Hites

    I have to say that Lindsay Buroker wrote two of my favorite series: The Dragon Blood Collection, and subsequently, a series set in the same universe many years later called Heritage of Power, the first of which is Dragon Storm. They are amazing! I can't even begin to describe the power those books have over me. They are filled with funny, likable, and quite quirky, characters; amazing dialogue and banter; fast-action scenes that keep you wanting more; great pacing; plot lines that are unpredicta I have to say that Lindsay Buroker wrote two of my favorite series: The Dragon Blood Collection, and subsequently, a series set in the same universe many years later called Heritage of Power, the first of which is Dragon Storm. They are amazing! I can't even begin to describe the power those books have over me. They are filled with funny, likable, and quite quirky, characters; amazing dialogue and banter; fast-action scenes that keep you wanting more; great pacing; plot lines that are unpredictable; endings that aren't cliffhangers but keep me wanting to read despite it; magic; magic; did I say magic?; and, yes, dragons! Wonderful, charismatic, god-like dragons (and a rather lovable one who truly thinks he is a god). I cannot recommend those series enough. I hadn't read any of her other series until this book was released. Now, obviously, I bought it for the prequel story for Dragon Blood (which was amazing). Little did I know that I could have received this for free from her fanclub on her website...but it was only a dollar, so I didn't mind paying for it. And let me tell you, it was one of the best dollars I've spent! I very quickly ate through the Forgotten Ages series, which has a nice ebook box set on Amazon available for a great price. It also introduced me to The Emperor's Edge series, set in the same world as the prior series I mentioned. It is interesting but lacks the appeal of magic - my Achilles' Heel. I had a harder time getting into this, even though I loved the predecessor series that didn't really feature anything magical (which, by the way, you don't have to read in order to pick up this series). I also have to admit that the fact the series contains 9 books, not including many short stories, has deterred me from trying to get into them. It didn't have that instant pull/connection I normally have from her novels. My major restraint is that I just don't have the funds to purchase a massive series like that at this moment in time. Although they are reasonably priced at around $5 per book (compared to authors who charge $10-15+), with a bundle for the first three, it's still unattainable for me. Knowing how much I adore her books, I'm sure I would ultimately like this series as well, just as I had gobbled up the Dragon Blood series despite its 8 books + short stories (although, I had started reading it a little more than halfway through its release, so it was less of a startup cost). I didn't read the Chains of Honor series yet, mostly because it's in the same universe as The Emperor's Edge. She is set to release the third book to the series in February, 2019. I am a patron on Patreon and will be getting an early edition, so I will probably snap up the second book and read the series then.I don't believe you are required to read the predecessor at all to enjoy it. Anyways, you should absolutely buy this book just to see if you'd like Lindsay Buroker (I do, she's great, can't you tell?). She also has a charming Facebook page, a website where you can see sneak peaks of future work (or sometimes get entirely free stories), and its where you can sign up for a newsletter to keep updated on upcoming plans/special offers (that doesn't spam your email). I can't recommend it enough! And, the best part, it's only 99 cents! (At the moment, if you sign up for her newsletter you get special bonus scenes for Heritage of Power and you get this novel for free, but I recommend buying it because she's amazing... and it's 99 cents.)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ramon Zen-Life

    Smart Idea and a good introduction to the authors books

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    "Dragon Rider," the debut story in this collection, is another Lindsay Buroker hit! Thanks to his new friend, Taylina, Bhrava Saruth decides he needs worshippers. After all, Bhrava Saruth is a golden dragon who insists he is a god! This is another fun tale to join the four previously published ones in this collection. A steal at any price!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul Devall

    Five in one. Only one for my Goodreads reading challenge.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Herb Hicklin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie L. Claggett

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lope Nieves

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Moore

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Taylor

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