2

Cover Reveal, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Dragons of Loom

Today Elise Kova and Rockstar Book Tours

are revealing the cover for THE DRAGONS OF NOVA, which releases July 11, 2017!

Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win assigned ARC of the book!!

On to the reveal! 

 

 

Title: The Dragons of Nova
(Loom Saga #2)

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Keymaster Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 488

Find it:
 Amazon | B&N | TBD |
Goodreads

Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

 

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

 

Exclusive Excerpt!

“They’re coming from the front!” Nora screamed over the crescendo of the engine gaining speed. On cue, the train lurched as an endwig was splattered to a bloody mess on the point of the engine’s pilot.

 

“Bloody cogs,” Florence cursed. The Vicar Alchemist had sent her to protect the mission as the Revolver, but one of her wasn’t going to be enough. “I’m going to the engine.”

 

“What are we going to do?” The usually self-sure Nora had the face of a cornered hare.

 

“You’re going to fight.” Florence passed her a weapon.

 

“I’ve never shot a gun before.”

 

“Now is a great time to learn.”

 

“I’m an Alchemist!”

 

Seriously, Florence was a breath away from shooting the woman herself. “You’re dead if you don’t adapt! There’s three more bombs exactly like the ones you just used, right there. Just fend them off until the train gets up to speed. But don’t use any other disks.”

 

Florence had no more time to waste as the train lurched again. They just had to survive until the train reached full speed. For all the endwig were, they certainly couldn’t keep up with a locomotive.

 

She hoped.

 

The wind whipped her hair around her face as she stuck her head from the train car. Florence reached out for the ladder to the right of the door, scaling up before another endwig could emerge. She swung up just in time as an explosion nearly blew her foot clean off.

 

“By the five guilds, you two only had three bombs!” she screamed over the wind, not knowing if they could hear.

“Ration them a bit!”

 

Standing, Florence looked in horror at the tracks ahead. Dozens of endwig lined the path, running eagerly to meet the train. She loaded six canisters at once.

 

Jumping to the tender, Florence lost her footing atop the moving train car. A nail snapped clean off as she sought a grip that would prevent her from being thrown to certain death. If she fell now, she would never get back on the vessel. She’d be torn limb from limb.

 

Gritting her teeth, Florence rose to her knees, shooting two endwig in the process. She wedged herself between two grooves on the top of the tender. Blood pooled around her shins as she dug them into the metal for a grip where there was none, but she was stable enough to take aim, and that meant she could open fire.

 

Five shots down, and Florence reloaded her gun. Endwig came relentlessly like a never-ending nightmare. But the train didn’t gain any more speed. She repeated the process, waiting for the vessel to be like her bullets, whizzing through the night at deadly speeds.

 

“Anders, now would be a great time to open her up!” she screamed.

 

There was no reply.

 

“Anders, Rotus, we need speed, get us out of here faster!”

 

Five long claws curled around the door of the engine in answer. Florence watched in horror as the white silhouette of an endwig, dotted in the black blood of a Chimera, pulled itself from the engine room. Florence swallowed hard.

 

They were without Rivet and Raven, stumbling through the darkness, enemies at all sides. She raised her gun slowly, looking fearlessly at the face of death itself. Her revolver was steady over the rocking of the train.

 

“You think I’m not used to this?” Her mouth curled into a mad grin. “I’ve been fighting my way out of the darkness my whole life. And you’re not going to stop me now.”

 

Gunshots echoed through the forest.

About Elise: 

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

 

Giveaway Details:

(1) winner will receive a signed advanced readers copy of THE DRAGONS OF NOVA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6

Immortal Writers: Okay, I want to Move to THIS World!

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Immortal Writers

Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she’s kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book’s antagonist, she thinks that she’s fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans… until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her. Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it’s brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?

Fantasy/Romance/Adventure/YA
296 Pages
Blue Moon Publishers
Publication Date: November 5th, 2016
Get a copy here!

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: hugely entertaining; I ADORE the unique, creative take Jill Bowers took with this plot; gorgeously descriptive, detailed writing; fast-paced, heart-pounding action scenes; imaginative and enthralling; realistic, steamy romance; DRAGONS!

So many thanks to Jill Bowers, Blue Moon Publishers, and Netgalley for sending me an advance copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Quick note to sensitive or easily triggered readers: there are scenes of physical and sexual abuse in this book. If such subjects are difficult for you to read, PLEASE be careful going into this book! Stay safe, penguins.

That being said… I am SO super in love with Liz, I can’t even. I mean, let’s just ignore the fact that we share a first name–that has almost absolutely nothing to do with this. For one thing, she is SUPER fierce. She is wholly independent, hard-headed, and snarky. In the midst of everything that happens in this book, she holds her own–and she does it with admirable strength and determination. Seriously, I want to be friends with her–I think I could learn a LOT from just being in her presence. Of course, the rest of the characters are just as entertaining and complex! I adored each and every character this book introduced (or re-introduced, in some cases) me to–and had SO much fun following all of them on this journey!

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AND OH, my penguins–this read is super unique, super inventive (at least, I think it is, and that’s all that counts right now). The plot is fast-paced and TO THE BRIM full of action, adventure, and–most importantly–dragons! Also, a literal ton of literary references, writerly characters, and plays on things like world-building, plot devices, and world immersion. Seriously, penguins, if you’re in any way at all interested in writing or being writerly, you should check out this book JUST for that–I had so much fun with how creative and awesome Jill Bowers made this read!

I am super excited to have been given the opportunity to start this journey, and I cannot wait for book two–from the tiny snippet of an excerpt I got at the end of this book, I can tell it’s going to be just as unique and entertaining! These characters are bomb; the romance is realistic and steamy and endearing; and the plot is super enthralling. I just… So much yes in one book. Jill Bowers wins, and has been put on my “to watch out for in the future” list. I recommend this to lovers of dragons, fantasy, and writerly awesomeness. (I know, I know, writerly is totally not a word–don’t care, using it anyway!) Jill Bowers is a debut author to watch out for, penguins–pick this book up!

3

Sign of the Green Dragon: Sleuthing doesn’t Always Mean Computer Research and Safety

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Sign of the Green Dragon

181 Pages
Children’s/Middle Grade
CreateSpace Edition Publishing
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2016
Available on Kindle Unlimited
or get a copy here!

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”

Order now to jump into the adventure.

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: decent action/adventure tale; entertaining; occasional moments of snark and sass; a ‘coming of age’ journey (of sorts); quasi-mystery; perfect for thrill seekers and dragon lovers; some missing words/grammatical inconsistencies; I wish we’d gotten to see more of the magic/dragons aspect

Huge thank you, first and foremost, to C. Lee McKenzie and Createspace Edition Publishing for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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While not necessarily my favorite read of the year, this book was at turns endearing and enchanting. The focus on the boys’ struggles with and attempts at figuring out the “mystery” of this book–what the note they discovered meant, who/what the dragon twins were, and where the treasure was hidden–got somewhat lost in the grand scheme of the ending, particularly when one of the adult characters went missing/was kidnapped and the search for him began. I also felt like, for a book about dragons, I don’t feel like this focused enough on those key aspects–while there ARE dragons, they make sort of an odd, late appearance and do no more than explain that while they’d been “watching over the boys” the whole time, they couldn’t interfere because rules. In the end, I was just a bit let down by the promise of–and then lack of–dragons (but this is because I love books with dragons/dragon lore.)

 

The story, however, was quite a bit of fun. There were tons of humorous, snarky moments–particularly from our main boy, Sam–and I found myself being drawn into this world of mystery and intrigue fairly quickly. The prose is, admittedly, a little blase and young–but given the age this read is targeted for, I didn’t mind this so much. The fact that the characters become wholly consumed by and obsessed with their quest, and therefore don’t really notice the other things happening around them, was also realistic and well-done. I remember being that age and getting the same amount of tunnel-vision, and could easily understand where the boys were coming from throughout the read.

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The plot is fast-paced and action packed, though not weighed down TOO heavily with subjects of import. Sam is, throughout, struggling to figure out his place in the world–recently moved into his uncle’s house, his plight to come to terms with a feeling of helplessness and homelessness was endearing and heart-wrenching. The amount of devotion C. Lee McKenzie put into making and molding dynamic, differing familial relationships was a highlight of this read.

 

Of course, given the rating, you probably already know that this was not necessarily the book for me personally. While I enjoyed the story and the focus on familial relationships, both blood and not, I was disappointed by the seeming lack of actual dragons. There were also quite a few missing words or grammatical inconsistencies that, while not necessarily dragging down my reading progress, did trip me up a time or two throughout. They weren’t big enough to merit much on my radar, but there were enough of them that I started to notice after the first couple chapters.

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Overall, this was a cute coming of age tale with a slight focus on the fantastical. I had a good deal of fun following the boys on their journey–and seeing where Sam’s personal struggles led him at the end. C. Lee McKenzie crafted a read that lovers of mystery, thrill-seeking adventures, and dragons will appreciate–no matter their age! This was a fun read; I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us from this author!

7

Talon, by Julie Kagawa

IS. ON. SALE!

Goodreads Rating: 3.79 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Penguins

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

CLICK HERE to get it on your ereader for only 99 cents!

Just thought you ought to know.

1

A Review of Echoes (Echoes #1), by Therin Knite

20522073
Washington
District of Columbia
United Republic of Earth
2712
_____
Twenty-three-year-old Adem Adamend has it rough. His name is ludicrous. His friends are few. And the only thing his “kid genius” status has gotten him at the Interdistrict Bureau of Intelligence is a boatload of extra work with no credit in sight.
Then hotshot lawyer Victor Manson is burned to death in his own back yard, and Adem finds himself using his unique skills to piece together the strangest crime he’s ever seen. Strange because the only possible suspect Adem can pin the murder on…is a mythical beast. A dragon.
Before Adem can unravel the mystery of Manson’s death, the Bureau loses jurisdiction to the secretive EDPA, an organization that investigates weird and deadly events. But Adem isn’t one for giving up, so he takes it upon himself to delve deeper into EDPA’s machinations, into the series of unfortunate events that led to Manson’s demise.
And what he finds may change the way he views the world — and himself — forever.
_____
What do you do when a killer can hide behind his dreams?
What do you do when a murder weapon ceases to exist?
And how do you stop a villain who can conjure up nightmares and burn you from the Earth in the blink of an eye?
Adem Adamend is about to find out.

– – – – –

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: a special snowflake who is also entertaining and arrogant; the fantasy and originality in this read are beyond awesome; the concept, while not original, has unique twists and changes; an effective use of red-herring

If there were a way to seep a writer’s genius through the pages of their works, Therin Knite would be at the TOP of my “need to steal” list. I mean seriously, this woman has definite writing chops—and I’m supremely jealous.

A single dollop of raspberry donut filling. That is what prevents Victor Manson’s seventy-seventh death by dragon.

I think the thing I envy about Therin Knite most is her unlimited amount of unique and creative ideas. She starts readers off running, thrusting them into the midst of a story and explaining the important details as needed, instead of attempting to dump a bunch of confusing information in the first few chapters. The plot is well-paced and set up perfectly. In fact, Therin Knite puts everything into creating red-herrings so obviously unobvious, you’ll have yourself believing it MUST be the answer…only to realize the answer is about a million miles off from that. The concept of this read is also, while not original, filled to the brim with Knite’s unique flair and ideas.

Her style is also unique—inventive in all the right ways, gorgeous in the rest. It’s not hard to get caught up in the story or her descriptions—she makes things so real, you’ll leave the read believing her creations actually exist. It’s easy to imagine these characters off the page—because the author makes it easy. Same with her world-building: the details are so inventive, so well-described, so realistically woven into realism you’ll begin to wonder if such things might have ALWAYS existed…and been overlooked or ignored.

Heterochromia lady has crept up to us like a snake in a sea of rainbow-colored glass. Too-severe mod cheeks give her dyed turquoise lips a dollish smile, and the proportions of her body have been stretched and thinned to make her fit the silhouette of a designer store mannequin. Even in a room full of half-remembered dreams, she looks like a walking storybook character.

As always, the snark and witty banter are out of bounds with this read (yes, I did just quote Guy Fieri.) Adem Adamend is an arrogant, pompous, special snowflake of a character—of course, the last of this might be attributed to being in the wrong line of work at the beginning of this book, so I won’t hold that against him. But what he has in genius and intellect, he makes up for in awkward social engagements and ridiculous reactions.

His character pair, Dynara, also balances him out nicely—she has the same level of snark and wit, but she also pulls Adem out of his own genius. She forces him to think outside the box, she challenges him to figure out things on his own, and she doesn’t make it easy. Instead, she settles back, gives him just enough clues to get him by…and waits for him to figure it out. Their interactions are entertaining and at times squee-inducing. They’re just so adorable, you won’t be able to do anything but love them.

The draon explodes into a swarm of butterflies. They blow past us, a couple landing on my face and chest. They’re black and blue, beautiful, harmless things. The bulk of them scatter into the heavy winds, and poorly hidden bystanders begin to emerge from their cover to watch the spectacle recede. Someone starts to clap, and the muffled fever catches on before igniting into a shower of senseless cheers.

“Dynara,” I murmur.

“Yes?”

“Did I just turn a dragon into butterflies?”

Once again, Therin Knite blew me away with her beautiful prose, awesome plotline, and endearing characters. I will be picking up Epitaphs (Echoes #2) in the very near future, in anticipation of the soon-to-be-released third book! I’d definitely recommend to lovers of sci fi/fantasy, thrilling adventures, and awkward geniuses. If you haven’t read a book from Therin Knite yet, I’d recommend you start with this one—I promise you won’t regret it. I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for Adem and Dynara next!

5

A Review of Rogue (Talon #2), by Julie Kagawa

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Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

– – – – –

Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: blasted love triangle!; some obvious and easy-to-see-coming plot “twists”; an intriguing and surprising ending; character growth (particularly in Garret); action-packed story; some unanswered questions

I’m sure you can all say this first part with me: The cover is GORGEOUS (duh) but also, how did it take me this long to realize that the two covers in this series so far have represented our two main dragon characters? Obviously, Talon is red…as is Ember. And Rogue is blue…as is my beloved rogue dragon, Cobalt/Riley! (Yes, I’m on the Riley/Cobalt team. I just don’t have butterflies about Garret like I do Riley, I can’t help it! I tried! I tried so hard!) The third cover in the series was just revealed the sixth—it looks intriguing, though not quite keeping in line with the dragon scale theme we’ve had going on. Of course, given the MAJOR PLOT TWIST at the end of this book, the chainmail is actually pretty fitting for the finale. Here, look at the beautiful:

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“Relax, oh paranoid one. I doubt there’ll be Talon agents hiding in the potted plants.”

To get the most annoying bit of this review out of the way first: what the hell is up with the blasted love triangle?! Why do almost all young adult books set in a dystopian-esque or fantasy world feel the need to shove love triangles in readers’ faces? After finishing The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare earlier this year…no love triangle is ever going to top or beat out that one. They all pale so much in comparison; authors, you should just give it up. You’ll never win over the queen of epic love stories. Don’t even try!

That being said: I really enjoyed the character development of Garret in this book. (I know, I know, shoot me now—I don’t think he’s a good love interest for Ember, but as a best friend he’s got huge potential. You know, if he hadn’t already fallen in love with her.) Seriously, though—he goes through such a huge transformation in this book, it’s astounding! Sadly, he’s about the only one who does any changing in a positive way, though? Riley maintains his snarky, cool exterior…but also develops a sort of crazy-man syndrome when it comes to Ember. And Ember? She flip-flops so often I spent most of the book looking like I was chasing a tennis ball back and forth across the court. Seriously, girl—make a decision and stick the hell with it already! (I know, I just can’t get over this stupid love triangle. I apologize.)

“Oh, is that all?” Riley frowned, gesturing to the broken window. “And how are we supposed to find where this shooter is without taking a hole to the head? I don’t feel like playing whack-a-mole with a trained sniper right now.”

The action is decently written and fast-paced, though I found some of the “twists” to be a bit obvious and lacking. Many of them I found myself guessing way early on—like, right after certain characters were introduced early. Perhaps this is due to Julie Kagawa’s foreshadowing, however—it seems certain things she practically gives away for free, while others she plays closer to the chest. In fact, many of the unanswered questions I was left with at the end of this book—plus the BIG plot twist at the very end—remain ignored, to be answered a different day in the final installment. This balance is both intriguing and slightly frustrating for me—there are certain things I feel I NEED to know now, before heading into the last book, that I’m not sure I have clues for yet.

Overall, I enjoyed this read—the prose is exciting, pretty in some instances, and constantly filled with snark (which I just adore); the plot is well-paced and balanced; the love triangle I would prefer to do without, but… well, I can’t agree with everything all the time, right? I can’t wait to see what the third book brings to the table for this series! I’d definitely recommend to lovers of dragons, fantasy, and action-packed plots—this is a firebreather bound to singe you!

2

A Review of Talon, by Julie Kagawa

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Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: dragons!; intriguing story, decent action-scenes; unnecessary? love triangle; lots of questions unanswered, or answered at weird times; pretty prose; realistic motivations

Okay, let’s start with the most obvious thing, shall we? These book covers are catnip for readers. They’re GORGEOUS, they’re textured, they scream at you from their homes on bookstore shelves…what more could you POSSIBLY ask for from a cover? Not much, I don’t think.

Going in to this read, I really didn’t know MUCH about the book or it’s premise…aside from dragons. I spent almost a month debating, on each trip to walmart, whether or not I wanted to have these on my shelves. I’d heard some people really, really didn’t like the read, and that had me concerned. I think what settled me most were the covers, in the end. I just NEEDED these covers.

I finally got the chance to pick this up the other day, and settled in for the read…and let me just say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Julie Kagawa’s prose is always pretty and poignant; she has a way of weaving her words so readers both feel a part of the story and SEE the story playing out while they read. She knows how to sew together an intriguing, action-packed read; she knows how to keep readers entertained.

I fell in love with Ember almost immediately. She’s not LIKE most female protagonists; from the very beginning, she questions EVERYTHING, and doesn’t let herself come to a decision without sound reasonings and, often, a handful of proof. She is fiery (dragon, DUH), self-reliant, and independent while still maintaining a sense of curiousity and sense of confidence. She KNOWS who she is; she KNOWS what she wants and what she stands for. At the beginning of a book, this is very hard to find. (Yes, okay, so the book is about her finding out what Talon’s REALLY like, and making a decision based on that—but on the little things, on the things that make her such an enjoyable read for me, she already knew where she was in life and what she was searching for. Cut me some slack, okay?)

That being said…I’m not ENTIRELY sure I was convinced with the two (and, after the halfway mark, three) person POV. At the beginning, I found it almost entirely unnecessary. Usually, multiple POVs are done to show us a hidden agenda, to show us a side of a character we might not see otherwise, or just to keep the plot rolling forward. While I understand, in the long run, what Julie Kagawa was going for splitting the book up the way she did, I’m not sure she did it in the best way. I think certain moments of this might have been better pulled off…if we didn’t already see them coming. I think the emotional tug was a bit…lacking, in certain moments that should have been frought with tension. Emotionally, overall, this read fell a tad bit flat.

However, the characters overall are realistic and gripping; Ember and Garret’s personal inner struggles leapt off the page, asking readers what they’d do in such circumstances. While I found the love triangle rather unnecessary in the long run, I also (again) understand why it was done: Garret IS, after all, human. In the end, Ember might find staying with him to be…troublesome.

I was a bit confused about some of the finer points. Both Ember and Garret are ADAMANT that dragons cannot feel emotions. That they cannot, under any circumstance, EVER love anything more than shiny things and treasure hordes. And yet. And yet…here we see Ember defying the odds, and doing everything she’s even been told she emotionally cannot. This wasn’t explained, really—why is she so different? How is it possible she can do these things, when it’s clear that perhaps no one else can? Some of the other finer details of the story/world also seemed a bit lacking in description or explanation. I’m hoping book two in this series will help clear up any lingering confusion for me.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, beautiful read. I definitely recommend it to lovers of dragons, fantasy, and teenage angst/coming of age stories!