I found this book at my local library while browsing and decided to give it a shot.
It has a fast plot progression. Events move quickly to develop the conflict and move the story forward. Each scene is significant; little time is spent on comedy gimmicks or fan service. This makes it a quicker and more fun experience.
When I read on the back cover's premise that the two main guys were helping a princess look for a jewel, I thought it was going to be the series goal. Nope, she gets it quick and starts using it for functional magic to assist the main guys. The real plot is something else.
As far as I can tell, that plot could either be a revenge narrative or something with a grander scale. It's unclear as to what that could be. For a while, it even looked like the main cast could split because they don't have a common goal (i.e. conflict). It wavered for a while like the author didn't know what to do next.
At this point characterization is pretty standard: Kiryu is this tough Idiot Hero, Ryurei is a driven Mysterious Waif, the Big Bad is a jerk, etc. I like that. I'm not one to sardonically remark on a lack of stunning originality. Instead, I can appreciate an well-constructed archetype. I look forward to seeing the characters develop and respond to challenges in the following volumes.
The Big Bad sounds sinister and acts evil but he also has this comical crush on Ryurei. It's a funny bait and switch where it sounds like he wants her gem in the sense of an Artifact of Doom but it sounds more like he wants to use for a And Now You Must Marry Me sort of Evil Plan. That's not funny but the scene is played for laughs because the Big Bad is framed as this overly enthusiastic fan.
The art is skilled and appealing without being showy. I.e. Kiryu looks rugged and Ryurei elegant while being overly stylized as such.
Trickster Eric Novels gives Tenryu the Dragon Cycle volume 1 a B
Click here for the next book review (for fun): Tenryu the Dragon Cycle volume 2
Click here for the previous book review (a request): Phoenix Down
Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).