Dragon lovers rejoice! Rebecca Kim Wells has created a series just for us!
Maren lives in the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, once the free home to the majestic dragons. She desires a quiet, peaceful life with her heart mate – Kaia – until Kaia is abducted by the Aurati (the Emperors elite group of seers) and taken to their stronghold.
To get her back, Maren ventures to the dragon hold in the hopes of stealing a dragon. While here, her uncanny talents land her a position as an Aromatory apprentice and direct exposure to the dragons. With time running out, Maren must fight to survive as she herself becomes the hunted … because maybe those mysterious dragon dreams are something more?
I was impressed by the amount packed into this short, little novel. Complex and conquered Kingdom, evil emperor, dragon magic, lost princes, and an excellent LGBTQ love story, not to mention fabulous wise, old, “mind-to-mind” talking dragons.
At times, however, these storylines did compete for space with the character development being the loser. Maren herself is well fleshed out, and at times her accomplice Sev is as well … but the side characters are left somewhat wanting. The fact there are numerous side characters compounds this problem. I’m hoping in the future instalments we get more backstory to Kaia, the Aromatory (Neve), and Sev himself.
Having said that, it is still a really fun dragon adventure. Maren is likeable and I really enjoy a heroine who starts out with little confidence/opinion of herself that grows and is challenged and comes out stronger, bolder. I enjoyed the witty banter between her and Sev, it was nice to see a lesbian leading lady in a fantasy setting, and, of course, the dragons. The climatic event … Be still, my dragon loving heart!
Overall it is a highly entertaining, dragon filled story, that has set the stage for a promising series… just hopefully with some more character development. It does read a bit younger than a lot of YA fantasy, so this would be a great introductory fantasy for younger reads (12-15).