Child of the Dragon Prophecy, by Effie Joe Stock: Review
A future foreseen. A past forgotten. The savior child of the Dragon Prophecy is born. Find the full blurb here!
Being part of the launch team for Child of the Dragon Prophecy (little disclaimer for ya) was both exciting and inspiring—rather like this book! When I finally got my hands on a copy, I was blown away by the attention to detail that had clearly gone into the special edition hardcover. The physical book—from the cover to interior formatting—is a work of art, perhaps foreshadowing the intricate world that Effie Joe Stock builds between the covers.
Worldbuilding is definitely a core strength of this debut fantasy novel. Threads of interwoven history make the world feel truly ancient, and combining that with the multiple languages and cultures creates a setting that feels too old and too vast to understand in just one book. Stock achieves that teasing effect that comes with strong worldbuilding—by opening the door to her world just a crack, she reveals how much more is waiting to be explored in future books.
The backstory is a huge part of the plot and easily my favourite section. It's rich and mysterious and effectively sets up Stock's protagonist as a character to watch. Choosing to unspool her story chronologically—with the backstory at the beginning, and the present story following—makes for an interesting opening, but it also means that the present-day story barely gets rolling before the book is over. There are some stellar periphery characters that really steal the show and bring extra layers of intrigue to the plot. Also, one of the most beautiful aspects of this book is its emphasis on the adoptive family relationships that shape Stephania in positive ways. I'm a sucker for the adoptive family trope, and Stock does it well!
Content Notes: Stephania seems to know that she can be pretty seductive when she wants to be (it is repeatedly established that she is exceptionally attractive basically from birth, which doesn't do her character any favours, per se). Some suspicious and cruel townsfolk call her a demon.
In conclusion, Child of the Dragon Prophecy is a strong, intense, and vivid debut that promises a strong, intense, and vivid second installment as Stock takes us deeper into this fantasy world.
Check out the video version of this review on my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j84_AxUZw4