The Daegmon War series by author Matthew Dickerson is a tale of high fantasy set in an unspecified time of the distant past — in the age of legends. It is the time from which our most beloved myths and legends sprang. All of the action which takes place in the three books that make up our on-going tale occurs on the island kingdom of Gondisle, a peaceful land which is thrown into turmoil due to the return of the Daegmons.
What is a Daegmon? Well, the best way to describe these creatures is to say that they are somehow related to the dragons of yore. But a main difference is while most dragons were individualistic creatures who worked for their own good, pillaging and hoarding treasure, the Daegmon were more of a collective held in check by the will and power of a Daegmon Lord.
As we begin our first book, The Gifted, in a centuries-old war, the Daegmons have arisen to wreak destruction on the land once again. One of our primary characters, Elynna a fisher woman whose village has been destroyed, sets out for the fortress of the Citadel to plead assistance from the king and his army in vanquishing this ancient foe. Without giving away too many spoiler alerts, let’s just say her request for help does not go well.
Elynna gathers together a ragtag group of followers to seek out the Daegmons and kill them before they can rain down devastation on the entire land. Some of the group have seemingly supernatural powers or rather call them gifts which can help them with their quest, or can they? Flying from one dangerous situation to the next, the group fights the Daegmons while adding members to their group along the way.
In book two, The Betrayed, we find our heroes scattered into two groups, each trying to battle their foe through different means. Elynna leads one group or rather they are being pursued by a group of soldiers from the Citadel who are bent on their destruction. The other group now lead by Thimeon, Elynna’s faithful companion has been taken prisoner and cast into the dungeons beneath the Citadel. As they work at their escape they search the catacombs of the palace to seek out a treasure trove of books and weapons that will help them in their quest. This, the second part of our tale skillfully weaves back and forth between the adventures of the two groups showing their triumphs and tragedies as they continue on their perilous adventures.
In book three, Illengond, our heroes are put to perhaps their greatest challenge — to reunite and destroy the Daegmon Lord and its minions. Our two groups each being pursued by separate armies from the Citadel as they make their way to the holy mountain of Illengond, the home of All-Maker. They are not sure of why they need to get to their destination but they know somehow that this is what they must do if they are to finally fulfill their quest. Will they be able to accomplish their mission and even more importantly at what cost to those involved.
Matthew Dickerson has written a spellbinding tale of mystery and wonder which holds one’s interest from beginning to end. If I am being drawn into a tale in a unique way, the world around me fades and I almost become part of what I am reading. I’ve had similar experiences reading such authors as George MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Lawhead and Jeffrey Overstreet. I am glad to say that I can add the name Matthew Dickerson to that esteemed list.
You can read about Dickerson’s own experience in writing The Daegmon War series here.