The Dragon Waiting

John M. Ford
The Dragon Waiting Cover

The Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History


This is an alternate history fantasy of the rise of Richard III of England, complete with wizards, vampires, and a dragon. The setting is a medieval Europe where Rome has fallen, Christianity hasn't become dominant, and the Byzantine empire is on the march to conquer western Europe. It's complex in its style and detail. It seemed like many vignettes rather than one overriding plot. There are four main characters and a myriad of others, including several Richards. All of this made it difficult for me to appreciate. I often found myself lost, trying to figure out where the arc was going, and often where it came from. I read in several reviews that this book takes a lot of effort, and I think it probably requires several readings to really understand and appreciate. It also requires some knowledge of history, not limited to the disappearance of the two young Princes in the Tower whose murders for which Richard was blamed. This book won the 1984 World Fantasy Award.

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