book review · welsh week

Review: Dreamwalker (Ballad of Sir Benfro #1)

J D Oswald - Dreamwalker

The dragons of Glwad are dying. Persecuted for over two millennia, they’re a shrunken echo of the proud creatures they once were. And yet in new life springs hope: Benfro, son of Morgwm the Green, the first male kitling in a thousand years. Long ago dragons wrought a terrible wrong to the land, and now is the time for redemption.

Every young boy in the Twin Kingdoms dreams of being chosen for one of the great orders, and Errol Ramsbottom is no different. He longs to be a Warrior Priest of the High Ffrydd, riding to glorious victory in battle. But you should be careful what you wish for; it might just come to pass.

For almost a century there has been an uneasy truce between the Twin Kingdoms and the godless Llanwennogs to the north, but as King Diseverin descends ever further into drunken madness, his ruthless daughter Beulah takes up the reins of power. A time of war looks set to descend upon Gwlad, and it will surely draw everyone, man and dragon both, into its cruel game.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Firstly, look at that awesome cover. I really love it. Plus it has a dragon! And we all know dragons are really awesome.

Anyway, this is a book about dragons and humans and dragons and humans not being friends. It’s also a book which has a lot of Welsh references. For example, you know the way lots of fantasy books have made up terms? This one used Welsh words, and I loved that aspect of things. It did make it very entertaining though when I knew exactly what the older, wiser characters were on about and the other characters didn’t.

I guess that doesn’t really help explain the book though. Dreamwalker tells the story of two fourteen year olds – a dragon and a human born on the same day. Their fates are intertwined and they both begin to discover the mysteries of Gwlad. Meanwhile, Princess Beulah is trying to take the throne so that she and the warrior priests can kill dragons again. Beulah, by the way, is easy to imagine. She is literally Morgana Pendragon (apart from the killing dragons thing.)


Generally, I had pretty mixed feelings about this book. I did enjoy the story and rather liked the characters, but I did find it very slow. Honestly, not all that much actually happened in this book. What did happen was good and exciting, but nothing was happening a lot of the time. Also, this book jumps through time so much. A few months or a year will suddenly have passed and so I found it hard to keep track of when everything was actually happening.

There were things I liked though. The characters, especially Benfro and Errol, were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed reading about them developing and learning about magic (because magic). I actually liked Beulah a lot too, even if she was the villain (but that might be because I love Morgana so much.) The world building was also good and very interesting, although that might be because I personally loved the Welsh side of things.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and even if it did have some weak points, it was still worth the read.

Random question: If you were a dragon, what colour would you be?


5 thoughts on “Review: Dreamwalker (Ballad of Sir Benfro #1)

    1. Switching colours is such a good idea! I’m definitely stealing that. 🙂 I’m in agreement with you on the colours as well, those would all look really pretty!

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