Tag Archives: Dragons

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.

Review of The Dragon’s Psychic (Immortal Dragon #1), by Linzi Baxter

I received a free audible code for a copy of Linzi Baxter‘s The Dragon’s Psychic.

Description from Goodreads:

She was supposed to be just a job. A paycheck. Now she’s his destiny.

Talia hadn’t planned on dying today. Accidentally defying the supernatural council wasn’t exactly her plan either. But when she did her duty and touched a bloody knife to determine guilt or innocence, her vision seemed… off. So was Councilman Gideon’s rush to declare a shivering child guilty of murder. Now Talia’s trying to lose herself in the West Virginia mountains with the child in tow, and the mercenary on their tail has an uncanny ability to find them, no matter how far they run. 

Kirin’s dragon-shifter senses make him the most sought-after mercenary in these parts. But something about this job smells wrong. And when he finally lays his hands on the fugitive, he gets the surprise of his three-hundred-year life. The fragile, determined woman in his arms is his mate, who he’d given up all hope of finding. 

His mercenary target has become his chosen partner, and instead of breathing down her neck, he’s bound to protect her at all costs. But if Kirin and Talia can’t figure out who wants this child dead—and why—they could all wind up sharing the same grave. 

Review:

This was what it was. I didn’t find anything especially impressive about it, but I also didn’t think it a bad version of a basic dragon shifter-find-his-mate story. I liked the characters and thought the inclusion of a child interesting. However, I also thought the child got over losing her parents too easily and the conclusion was too swift (rushed). The narrators did a fine job and I’d be willing to both read another Baxter book and listen to another of Costa and Kafer’s readings.

Review of Feral Ice: Paranormal Fantasy (Ice Dragons Book 1), by Ann Gimpel

I borrowed an audio copy of Ann Gimpel‘s Feral Ice through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

Doctor and biochemist, Erin signed up for six months aboard an Antarctic research ship to escape her stifling surgery practice. Jerked from her cozy cabin, she’s dumped in an ice cave by men who assume she’s dead. 

Konstantin and Katya, twins and dragon shifters, have lived miles beneath the polar ice cap for hundreds of years. Other dragons left, but they stuck it out. When several humans—all but two of them dead—end up not far from their lair, the opportunity is too good to pass up. 

If the lore is to be believed, humans can become dragon shifters. Delighted by a simple solution to their enforced isolation, the dragons lure the humans to their home. Surely, they’ll be thrilled by the prospect of becoming magical. 

Or not. 

Too bad no one shared the script with the humans. Science be damned, they’re horrorstruck in the face of fire-breathing dragons. All they want is to escape, but home is thousands of miles away.

Review:

This was bad…like really bad. I thought, in the beginning, I might be able to enjoy it in the ‘it’s so bad it’s amusing’ sort of way. But no, it didn’t even manage that. The story moves along in robotic jerks. The romance is so underdeveloped I literally thought it was going to be between the two humans, instead of the dragon and female human. Honestly, I think it would have been a better pairing. But mostly it just meant I didn’t feel anything for or about the couple. The lore is ridiculous and poorly explained. And dialogue is super cheesy.

The narrator did and OK job. But I don’t understand why Gimpel would choose a male narrator for a book in which the only first person POV is female.