Adult Fiction, Blog Tours, Book Review, Fantasy

Blog Tour [Review]” The Old Dragon’s Head

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Title: The Old Dragon’s Head
Justin Newland
Matador Books

Publication Date: October 8 2018
Historical Fantasy


Thank you JeanBookNerd Tours and Matador Books for the opportunity to review and to be a part of this book tour!

Rating: 4 Stars


Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern borders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: the Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s Head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.

In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of Heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the dragon pearl.

It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts.When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon.

Bolin embarks on a journey of self-discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?


“A stand out novel that ticks all the boxes – murder, mystery, treason, glorious villains, reluctant heroes and more than a touch of the supernatural.” —Discovering Diamonds

“The author is an excellent storyteller.” British Fantasy Society. “History meets magic, culture meets supernatural… I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a twist.” —Books Beyond the Story

“This is an exceptionally well-written book which takes one back to the China of 1400.” —That’s Books and Entertainment

“I absolutely loved the mix of fantasy elements well-rooted in Chinese history.” —Jessica Belmont

“I enjoyed the different perspectives and the magical realism.” —Rosie Cawkwell

“This book was part murder mystery and part fantasy with some fabulous villains and heroes.” —Over the Rainbow

“This isn’t your typical coming of age story – it’s filled with tough choices, unexpected surprises, and a destiny that’s bigger than anyone can imagine.” —The Faerie Review

“This epic story has it all – adventure, mystery, villains, the supernatural, and at its heart a true coming of age journey.” —Books and Emma

“This is a book of historical fantasy, but in terms of the fantasy, it is subtle, and firmly rooted in cultural beliefs and superstitions within the time period covered in the book.” —Book Mad Jo

“This is not just a fantasy book, this is a fantasy with history, murder, mystery, legend, myth and of course the supernatural. There are villains and heroes and action and adventure.” —Bookmarks and Stages


If you want a fantasy story with a good pace, historical context woven in beautifully and characters that are well developed and super cool, well this is the story you want to read. Set in 1400 China- The Great Wall of China, The Old Dragon’s Head transcends the reader in an epic journey of self discovery, secrets and a looming war to prevent. The pacing of The Old Dragon’s Head was pretty solid. It starts a bit slow like many fantasy novels do to build up on the action. Once the context is establish, you are pulled into the action, the mystery and you are rooting for the main characters. Justin Newland masterfully writes the scenery, allowing the reader to put themselves aside Bolin and Lulli.

I enjoyed the character developed so much in this story. Bolin, a son of a fisherman is living a simple life – well as simple as he can. Bolin has strange visions, has one foot in the natural and super natural world and aching headaches he cant get rid. His headaches seem to worsen the closer he gets to the Old Dragon location. His journey deals a lot with self discovery and being uncomfortable with the visions he is trying to escape. With a Dragon Master gone for 20 years, Bolin may be the person that could fill that spot and summon old Lailong and save his home from a potential natural and supernatural attack. Luli, a single mom full of strength and bravery navigates the world knowing that the people around her see her and her son as outcasts. Luli also has a connection to the supernatural world of ghosts and uses her gift to connect those living with the undead. Through everything, Luli’s ability to fight and survive each day was something I appreciated immensely.

Overall, I would recommend this book to those who want to sink into a story and savor each turn, twists and action scene.

About the Author

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

Giveaway [Click pic below]

– 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by Justin Newland.
– 1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.


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