You’d be forgiven for thinking Drakenfeld was going to be some generic sword and sorcery epic, what with the fact that ‘Draken’ sounds a bit like ‘dragon’. It’s to Mike Charan Newton’s credit that it’s absolutely nothing of the sort. It’s also to his credit that it’s a pretty good read.
Drakenfeld is inspired by ancient Rome, which is a source as rich as any for ideas. It concerns Officer Lucan Drakenfeld, who works for an all-powerful society known as the Sun Chamber, who have enforced the laws of the land for a couple of centuries.
They’re like some publicly known llluminati, who oversee the dealings of the world in Drakenfeld. Lucan returns to his home city of Tryum after his father dies, and ends up becoming involved in a murder mystery, the victim being the sister of the King.
The city is in a far worse state than he remembers it, fraught with beggars and underworld elements, setting the scene perfectly for an investigation that isn’t quite hard boiled, but is perilous and filled with ne’er-do-wells nonetheless. His findings lead to pretty severe ramifications for more than the just the city.
Drakenfeld is told from a first-person perspective, so the reader gets a pretty clear insight into the way the world works, and Newton paints a pretty vivid description of Tryum and the nefarious characters therein.
For a novel told from first person it feels slightly tame compared to other mysteries, but it’s a richly written, always engaging work, with well-developed characters and a nice mystery to get stuck into. It’s the first in a new series too (aren’t they always), so there’s scope for more Drakenfeld in the future. He could be like an olde fantasy worlde Columbo. Just one more thing…