Squire Derel by Rachel FordSquire Derel by Rachel Ford is the first book in Ford’s Knight Protector fantasy series.

Knights and Dragons and an age gap romance… oh my!

Squire Ana Derel comes from a wealthy family with a history of brave service to the North. And come dragon fire or parental expectations of childbearing, she intends to carry on that tradition. Excelling in her training, she is almost ready to become a Knight Protector.

However, when a routine border patrol with her KP and fellow Squire Phillip is ambushed by a dragon and its mysterious rider, everything changes. The Squires barely escape with their lives but their Knight Protector and mentor, was not so lucky. Scorched and devasted over the loss of their KP, they must now face the scrutiny of a tribunal where their every action is questioned and their future rests in the hands of military bureaucrats. But will an unlikely ally be able to turn the tides in their favour?

While the squires face their evaluation, an investigation is launched into the ambush. Lilia Callaghan is the Knight of the Shire and her family has a long history of protecting the borders. As brave as she is politically savvy, she and the others must ascertain the motive behind the attack. Tensions rise as they try to determine if this is the start of a war between the North and the South, or an individual act by a roque dragon rider.

The Characters

Ana Derel is a heck of a shot and pretty handy with a sword too. She is a valiant squire and well on her way to a successful career as a Knight Protector. Honourable, brave and kindhearted, she exhibits the best traits you would expect from a soon-to-be knight and is an easy character to like.

Lilia Callaghan is the Knight of the Shire. She is older, sharp, skilled and can handle herself on the battlefield as well as amongst politicians. She comes from a long line of Knight Protectors and is proud to carry on the tradition. She has suffered great loss so is emotionally unavailable when she first meets Ana. It takes a confession of desire and drunken overture by Ana for her to realize that she is attracted to the younger woman. I have a feeling there is much more romance to come between these two as the series progresses.

The Writing Style

Being the first book in the series, this story serves as more of an introduction to the world and characters and appears to set up the foundation for the action to come. It is not overly complex and is a fast and enjoyable read. The chapters alternate between Ana and Lilia’s point of view. There is a good combination of political intrigue and action and a budding age gap romance to boot.

The Pros

First things first. Dragons. I admit it, I simply cannot resist anything with dragons in it. But my love of fire breathing, flying beasts aside, I also really loved the way the book opened. The first few paragraphs hooked me faster than the MC at my last amateur karaoke night and I couldn’t wait to read on.

The Cons

There is an interesting combination of technology, medieval weaponry, and magical elements in the book that I don’t think was explored enough. This may be explained further on as the series progresses, however I would like to learn more about the elf magic and how all of these elements intertwine.

Something that was niggling at me throughout the story is the swapping of the terms wyvern and dragon when describing the beasts. I may be a stickler for details, but these are two different creatures.

The Conclusion

This is a quick and easy read with dashing knights and a fiery adventure that is a nice escape into another world. It ends on a real cliff hanger so you will definitely want to get your hands on the next book in the series to see what happens next.

Excerpt from Squire Derel by Rachel Ford

Heat. So much heat. That’s what I registered first, a blast of heat so intense I thought the skin might melt off my body.

Then the fear hit. I’d known fear before, but this was different. This was raw and blinding, a terror that froze the marrow in my bones.

The fire passed within inches of me, but when the wall of flame parted, I stared into a set of gleaming golden eyes. I could hear every thump of my heart, feel every breath in slow motion, as I stared into those eyes. Tendrils of smoke snaked up from the creature’s nostrils as it held my gaze.

What in the hell… I’d seen dragons before, of course, on feast days, when the knights would come out on parade. I’d seen them in the training yards. I’d gotten to watch the dragon riders practice flight once or twice.

But I’d never stood so close to one of these beasts, never come face-to-to-face with a wyvern. I’d never felt dragon fire so near.

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Knight Protector Series

Book 1: Squire Derel

Bits and Bobs

ASIN number: B0813XVRT6
Publisher: Indie author
Rachel Ford Online 

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Note: I received a free review copy of Squire Derel by Rachel Ford. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site.