Poignant and Fantastic

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“All that I am, henceforth, belongs to Callipolis. By the wings of my dragon, I will keep her…”

Regardless of your story and characters, chance are that if you have dragons in your book, I’m going to read it. I’m very glad that as I read the book, I found that the dragons aren’t even the best part of the book. The best part, in my opinion, was the character relationships and the way the book talks about societal justice and the cyclical nature of violence.

When I started reading the book, I was incredibly impressed by how charming the characters were. However, the lightness of the beginning chapters gave me the false impression that this book would be funny or light-hearted. The book is actually quite dark and heavy. As the book went on, the characters became more weighted and complex. Of course, the plot of the book really stretches the characters out and molds them into something different as their world’s change.

The plot begins with the end of a revolution. An internal uprising that killed Lee’s family and avenged Annie’s. Both are talented dragon-riders and are vying for the same position. They also have incredible chemistry as friends, rivals, and romantic partners.

Lee and Annie’s relationship was incredibly complex and was a huge motivator for me to read this. They have a huge history with one another and know each other really well that they can see things in each other that no one else can. They also have this dedication to each other that comes before reason and patriotism. They’re two people who want more from one another and never seem to get around to it.

The politics of this book are also really great. Instead of centering on a building revolution, it’s already happening and the book focuses on the establishment of a new system. I realy loved that the book focuses on the way that one system is much like another and what really maters is the people in power and their motivations. I feel like this book had a lot to say about how power itself is a corrupting force and the consequences of reaching your goals.

The experience of reading this book was very very very slow at first. I felt like I had read hundreds of pages when I only read 20. The first half was very tough for me to get through and didn’t have as much substance as I thought the second half did. There’s lots of reasons for this distinction, so I don’t mind it much looking back now, but at the time it was rough. The second half of the book is great though, and I was able to get through it really quick. Character development as well as plot moves at a great pace and you really get to enjoy the whole scope of the story.

I hope and expect this to be a series as while I liked the ending there’s has to be more to the story and I fully intend on seeing this through to the end. I hope that this world grows, but I’m most excited for the character development that I’m eager to see.

TL;DR: A slow star, but a blazing finish for a new fantasy series that promises the excitement of dragons and a societal commentary that’s beyond thought-provoking. If you can push through the beginning of the book, you’ll be rewarded by the last page.