Tag Archives: Dragons

Review of Wild Sky, by Zaya Feli

I received an ARC copy of Wild Sky, by Zaya Feli, through A Novel Take.

Description from Goodreads:

Tauran Darrica has been retired from the Valreus Sky Guard for four years following the Battle of the Broken Wings that resulted in the death of his dragon. Now, all Tauran wants to do is spend his days forgetting the past and gambling his way to an unsteady income.

So when his old general from the Sky Guard hunts Tauran down to request his help with staving off the increasingly aggressive wild dragon population, Tauran refuses. But a fire ruins his rented room and leaves him without a place to stay, and Tauran finds himself on the road to Valreus, after all.

Tauran is determined to stay as far away from dragons as he can get, but a starry-eyed young man from Sharoani, land of the wild dragons, might just ruin his plans.

Kalai Ro-Ani has spent his life watching the stars, knowing he could never reach them. With his wild dragon Arrow, he sets out for the city of Valreus in the hope of building himself a better future than he could have stuck at the foot of the Kel Visal dragon temples.

But nobody told Kalai that only the Sky Guard is allowed to own dragons, so when Arrow kills a guard in Kalai’s defense, it looks like his adventure might be over before it can begin. But a chance encounter at the old Valreus archive offers Kalai the future he’d been hoping for. In the span of a single day, he has a home, a job, and a purpose.

In Valreus, something much bigger falls into his lap – along with a tall and striking Valrean man with a rather strange disposition.

Review:

I generally enjoyed this a lot. I thought the pacing was a little inconsistent, making it feel overly long at times, the plot progression depended on too many coincidences, and that the two main characters were a little too perfect, especially in their dealing with one another. However, outside of that, I loved the dragons; thought the plot engaging, liked the characters and world, and appreciated the slow-burn romance. I’d be more than happy to read more books by Feli, be it in this series or another.

Review of The King’s Dragon & The Prince’s Dragon, by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

I purchased a copy of W.M. Fawkes‘ and Sam BurnsThe King’s Dragon and then borrowed a copy of The Prince’s Dragon through Amazon.

Description of The King’s Dragon:

Lord Tristram Radcliffe has a secret—he is the only dragon at the king’s court in Llangard. It’s a secret he’s kept from the knights he’s fought beside, from the ladies who bat their lashes at him, and from his closest companion, Prince Reynold. If it were to get out, he’d be banished to the Mawrcraig Mountains along with the rest of his kind, but the kingdom of men is the only one he’s ever known, and his heart lives in the stone halls of those who’d count him an enemy.

When the old king dies and Prince Reynold takes the throne, two visitors from the north throw Tristram into the middle of the ancient conflict between dragons and men. They put him on a collision course with the king’s shadow, Bet Kyston, a dangerous assassin who may want him dead or may want more of Tristram that he’d ever thought to give.

With the eyes of dragons upon him and a threat from the north creeping toward the home he loves, Tristram must weigh his allegiances before his dual legacies tear him apart.

Review:

You know, mutual “I’m too dangerous, defiled, unworthy for this beautiful perfect being” is apparently my jam. I love to see those men pine from the shadows and then see them stand in gobsmacked awe when they realize that their feelings are actually reciprocated. I really enjoyed Tris and Bet. I thought Rhiannon and Sidonie were lovely side characters, as was Gillian (whom I’m hoping she gets her happily ever after with a certain individual I won’t name in the next book). And little Roland (though too mature for his age) was still marvelous. All in all, I can’t wait for more.


Description of The Prince’s Dragon:

The last place Lord Tristram Radcliffe ever expected to find himself was right hand to the Llangardian throne. His parentage should have seen him banished, but he managed to keep his draconic secret. Now, King Reynold is dead. Long live King Roland.

The boy ascends to rule a kingdom in chaos, and Tristram must undo the damage of the last king’s reign to save his people from lean winter and wolves in the palace itself. Reynold’s former shadow, Bet Kyston, is determined to root out King Roland’s enemies, but his version of help may cause as much harm as good.

There remains a traitor near to the throne, and when the king falls mysteriously ill, Tristram’s strongest ally is forced to leave court. As his enemies move closer, the strength of Tristram’s regency is more precarious than ever. Abandoned and friendless, Tristram must sacrifice everything to protect his homeland or risk not only Roland’s life, but his own.

Review:

What’s interesting about this story is how many sorts of romantic couples it allows for. There is M/M, F/F, M/F, and the start of an age gap coming into play (not to mention cross-species). In my experience, books tend to focus on one or the other but rarely have multiple couplings. And I adore all of them.

I liked seeing Bet finally accept affection and how low angst some of the other pairs were. (I’m avoiding spoilers.) I was distressed that the book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and the next book isn’t out yet. But all in all, I loved it.

Review of Heartstone, by Elle Katharine White

I borrowed a copy of Heartstone, by Elle Katharine White, from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in a world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Review:

This was ok, just a little more YA than I was prepared for. Of course, I can’t criticize it for being what it is. I’m just admitting that I went in with a misconception. I saw that it’s a fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice and decided to go for it.

The writing is fine and I liked the characters well enough. However, this has a serious case of a love interest who never actually shows any love, not even any curtesy. Up until the moment he declares himself, I (and the heroine) thought he distinctly disliked her. So, love came as a surprise. Yes, I could tell he was being set up as the hero. But we’re never given any reason to tolerate, let alone like him. I appreciate that the heroine told him all of this. But she then turned right around and decided she loved him anyway. I didn’t feel this love develop AT ALL. The sister’s secondary romance was far more developed.

My biggest complaint about the book, however, is the fact that the heroine threw herself into danger that should have killed her, somehow miraculously survived, and her mere presence made things happen. As an example (and this is a SPOILER), hundreds of people were fighting and dying to kill the big bad at the end, had been for days. She literally showed up, said three sentences and within five minutes (maybe less) the big bad was dead, the hero was saved from something that should have killed him, and everyone lived happily ever after. All she had to do was show up. I found this anticlimactic and unbelievable.

I have book two. This was originally going to be a multi-book review. But, at this point, I’m undecided if I’ll read it or not.