Sons of Dragons is a military science fiction novel that follows Private Kyle Evans on his first combat mission. Loaded into dropships with the rest of Echo Company, Evans and his fellow soldiers are expecting to leap through hyperspace aboard the carrier Rosalie to help keep the peace on an urbanized planet. Instead, they find themselves in orbit around an unknown planet in an unrecognizable part of the galaxy.
The mistake is realized only after the dropships are away, and the Rosalie comes under attack from an unknown ship. The Commander recalls the dropships, but is forced to jump away before the final three can return.
Stranded, the troopers have little choice but to land on the planet and scout around, and hope the Rosalie brings back reinforcements. The soldiers establish an outpost, and eventually run into the native population. After some initial unpleasantness an alliance is formed, with the soldiers benefiting from the specific knowledge of the locals, and they from the advanced technology of their visitors.
The new alliance is soon tested by a hostile force known as the Horde, along with the chilling possibility that the fearsome raiders are being controlled by a malevolent alien force.
Sons of Dragons is a fast-paced novel with plenty of action to drive the story. Author Landowski puts his military experience to good use and tactical details are represented with the highest authenticity. Readers who appreciate such detail will be pleased, and those less familiar with military tactics shouldn’t be overwhelmed as the narrative remains straightforward throughout.
The story is told almost entirely from the perspective of Kyle Evans. He is a believable and likable protagonist and Landowski is at ease in his mind. However, he is the only main character, and occasionally I found myself wishing for a broader perspective. For a narrative in the third person, limiting the perspective to just one person was conspicuous to me, and perhaps a first-person perspective would have been a better choice. Still, the author offers snippets of thought directly from Kyle’s mind, which overcomes the issue for the most part.
I also found it conspicuous that there are no female characters other than the brief mention of native women. This makes sense for the infantry company, of course, but I would have enjoyed a female dropship crewmember or a female local who was actually integral to the plot.
Overall, Sons of Dragons is an enjoyable story and very engrossing. I read it in five hours and did not want to put it down. The story ends on a cliffhanger, and I definitely plan on buying the sequel when it comes out. 4/5 stars.