Title: The Dragon’s Banker
Author: Scott Warren
Publication date: September 25, 2019
Summary: After losing much of Lord Brackwaldt’s fortune, Sailor Kelstern, of Kelstern Merchant Banking, is stuck taking on risky ventures as the Royal Mint starts to roll out paper currency to replace the gold and silver, the currency of dragons. When Sailor is hired by a dragon to ensure he remains the wealthiest being with the new money at the end of two years’ time, he has no choice but to work his hardest, create a company practically from scratch, and make sure it flourishes. Unfortunately, someone is working hard against him. And the time is quickly ticking down.
I loved this book. It’s a different sort of fantasy, one where the epic battles, magic, and grand adventures has been replaced by a hardworking banker fighting a financial battle in paper money and platinum. There’s a heavy does of financial chatter as Sailor makes deals, acquires businesses, and tries to turn all his ventures into successes. I have to admit it was a little over my head once in a while, but it was still easy to get the gist of all of his dealings.
The main character is Sailor Kelstern and the story is told from his perspective and his voice. That was key to the story being such a good one. Sailor lives and breaths finance. He is every bit the banker. His narrative is liberally peppered with business talk as he describes the world in terms of which country provides which goods and which country they’re shipped to. In his eyes, the world revolves around the movement of goods and where the money is. While it was a little difficult for me to understand and figure out at times, I loved reading about how he saw his world, which also magnified his character. Sailor may be a banker, but he had a beautiful streak of kindness and really valued people.
The only thing that really bothered me was how something was always going wrong for Sailor. In the end, it made complete sense, and I couldn’t help by admire the brilliance of the dragon and his children, but, while reading, it felt like it was a little too much. It got to the point where I would sigh and ask what it was this time. Very little ever seemed to go right for him, making me wish something would go well at some point, just to add a bit of surprise. Unfortunately, Lord Brackwaldt didn’t make it easy for Sailor, either. Bitter about his loss of fortune, he helped keep things interesting, and I seriously wanted Sailor to somehow get the best of him.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. The world was engaging, the characters were interesting, and the plot was novel. When the author requested a review, he described it as being a slice of life kind of story. I’m so pleased that that was true. I enjoyed following Sailor’s life. I hadn’t thought the nitty gritty of a banker’s life could be interesting, but this absolutely was.
This book also comes with a novelette called Forego Quest. It’s about a young man who is the Chosen One, but wants nothing to do with his destiny. It’s a fun, amusing story that put a great twist on common tropes in fantasy. I loved it as much as I loved The Dragon’s Banker.
How many cups of tea will you need?
5 cups will do nicely
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Thank you to the author, Scott Warren, for a free advance e-copy. All opinions expressed are my own.