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Book Reviews

Book Review: Dragon’s Breath by Michael Gordon

25 Days of Book Reviews logo.

DAY 21

Cover of "Dragon's Breath" by Michael Gordon
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Book
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: What happens when a Dragon doesn’t brush his teeth? Well…we all heard about the ”dragon’s breath’’. That’s why learning proper dental care is really important for a little boy and his friend Dragon Joe.

 

Light blue text that says "Book Review" over a stem of while orchids.

A delightful story that teaches young readers the importance of dental hygiene in a fun and creative way. It’s a creative take on the idiom “dragon’s breath” by having a dragon as one of the main characters. Dragons are awesome so I found myself very interested in the story. The story is short and to the point, which I liked.

I wish George (the boy) was a little less blunt about Joe’s (the dragon) bad breath as teeth insecurity (such as braces, gaps, crooked alignment, etc.) impacts one’s self-esteem. So I personally connected with what Joe was feeling having felt the same growing up. But I do like George’s solution to help his friend Joe.

Dragon’s Breath was a good story. The illustrations were nice and I liked that it rhymed. I think it will encourage kids to build healthy habits in an accessible way.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Servant of the Crown by Duncan M. Hamilton

Light blue text that says "Book Review" over a stem of while orchids.

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer #3
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Long laid plans finally bear fruit, but will it prove as sweet as hoped for? With the king on his deathbed, the power Amaury has sought for so long is finally in his grasp.

As opposition gathers from unexpected places, dragonkind fights for survival and a long-awaited reckoning grows close.

Soléne masters her magic, but questions the demands the world will make of her. Unable to say no when the call of duty comes, Gill realizes that the life he had given up on has not given up on him.

 

My Review: All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes. Servant of the Crown was a great ending to the Dragonslayer trilogy. Many emotions ran through me, thoughts on hyperdrive, because I didn’t know how Gill, Solène, and Pharadon would succeed in stopping the usurper, Amaury. I was hooked!

Mirabay is irrevocably changing, which is never easy to deal with, especially on this scale. I think for some characters they’re starting to realize their worth, what they want from life, find a purpose, and/or discover what matters. Almost like, what will they do with the time they have left?

Some parts of the story were sad because of certain character deaths, leaving me brokenhearted. One death I felt had a high chance of being avoided if people didn’t waste time.

I wish Solène had more page time. Though told in varying POVs, Gill was featured the most, which makes sense in the grand scheme of things, because he kind of begins the series and we finally get that long awaited showdown between Gill and Amaury in this last installment.

I was a little disappointed with the end of Amaury’s story. He’s one of the best, most wicked antagonists I’ve ever read. I felt he deserved a longer build up in that final scene. It went by too fast.

The last little bit of the story was also disappointing. While things wrapped up well and came full circle, it seemed like Gill and Solène got the short end of the stick. After all they’ve been through and sacrificed to save Mirabay from danger, they’d more than earned…a happier ending? for lack of better words. “Once a servant of the crown, ever a servant of the crown,” I guess.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the book and would recommend this series. Hamilton’s stories will leave you amazed and entertained.


More by Duncan M. Hamilton

Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer (#1)
Knight of the Silver Circle (#2)

The Wolf of the North
The Wolf of the North (#1)

Blood of Kings
The Squire (#1)

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About Books

First Read of September

Happy Saturday!

Although I don’t have a definite tbr planned for September, I’m deciding to start the month off by reading Servant of the Crown by Duncan M. Hamilton.

Image via Goodreads

Yes, it’s the third book I’m reading from him this summer but also the final book of a captivating fantasy trilogy.

Gill and Solène have come a long way since book 1. They gone through so much to reclaim and gain control over their lives (respectively), while at the same time facing off against dragons and whatever evil machinations the devious, and power-hunger Amaury sends their way.

It never gets easier saying farewell to a highly entertaining book or series. The author has taken readers on a wild ride and created such rich, multi-dimensional characters. I’m envisioning this final book will be as gloriously fantastical and dangerous as its predecessors.

What was or will be your first read of the month?


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Knight of the Silver Circle by Duncan M. Hamilton

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Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Three dragons wreak havoc throughout Mirabay–eating livestock, killing humans, and burning entire villages to ash. It was nearly impossible to kill one, using a legendary sword and the magic of the mysterious Cup; to tackle three, Guillot dal Villerauvais will need help.

The mage Solène fears having to kill again; she leaves Gill to gain greater control over her magic.

The Prince Bishop still wants Gill dead, but more than that, he wants the Cup, and he’ll do whatever he has to to get it, even sending his own daughter–a talented thief and assassin–into the dragons’ path.

As secrets mount on secrets and betrayals on betrayals, both Guillot and Solène face critical decisions that will settle not only their own fate but that of all Mirabaya.

 

My Review: Knight of the Silver Circle, book 2 of the Dragonslayer trilogy, ups the stakes in this action-packed, page-turner story.

There are a lot of moving parts and multiple POVs that kept my interest and the story moving forward. Every POV counted and added to the overall plot.

Guillot, who has lost so much and fallen so far, nobly answers the call once more to slay dragons but faces many challenges as it’s unclear who to trust. He is slowly surely transforming into a better man than he used to be with some bumps in the road. His character development was well done.

Solène is still experiencing mental turmoil of having killed someone for the first time. I like that she doesn’t spend the whole book lamenting but instead does something about it by seeking aid to control her unknown level of magic. I also like that she gets to act independently of Guillot.

The Prince Bishop Amaury, our complex and dastardly antagonist will stop at nothing to realize his dreams and maintain power no matter what, whether through blackmail, hiring thugs or murder. Amaury gradually grows into the wicked and a master manipulator that he is as we learn more about his desires and grievances.

As with the previous book, we get the POV of a dragon; this one named Pharadon. He has a completely different reaction after waking up from centuries of sleep. His viewpoint is pivotal as it provides a perspective on the relationship dragons and humans used to have and dragon culture in general. Also, through Pharadon and Solène, we learn a lot more about the history of magic in this world. Pharadon’s character sets up interesting foreshadowing for book 3.

A quick read, I enjoyed reading Knight of the Silver Circle. The plot is evenly paced and engrossing. The ending left me wanting more. I can’t wait to learn how the protagonists will stop Amaury once and for all.

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: The Blood King by Abigail Owen

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Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Inferno Rising #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUTRuthless dragon king Ladon Ormarr must keep his throne at all costs. And now, with war on the horizon, he’ll need a miracle. Luckily, the fates have dropped Skylar Amon right into his lap.

Except he may have met his match.

The feisty Amon sister has no fear — of him or any other dragon shifter — is brash, doesn’t stick to protocols, and regularly offends his warriors and advisers.

Skylar also has no intention of sticking around. She doesn’t believe in the whole destined mates thing and believes all dragon kings to be dangerous. But if it means taking out the High King who murdered her parents, she’ll put up with Ladon… temporarily.

But the fates have other plans. And when Skylar disappears in the middle of a battle, Ladon will burn down the world to find her.

 

My Review: The Blood King was as amazing a sequel as I thought it would be! This is what I love about paranormal romances. The world-building was easily immersive and magical despite my having not read book 1.

I first discovered The Blood King on NetGalley and I was enamored by the synopsis and the gorgeous cover. I loved that it would feature dragon shifters and phoenixes (quadruplet sisters which is awesome). I just had to read this book asap!

I really enjoyed the sisterhood in this book. Skylar is very protective of her sisters. She wastes no time attempting to rescue one of her sisters, Kasia, from evil dragon kings. Skylar exhibits a hard exterior. She dons thick armor around her emotions so she can focus on keeping her sisters safe. I like that she doesn’t insta-fall head over heels for Landon (essentially the “villain” her mother had grilled into them since birth). What’s even more likable is they both are willing to work with each other (as mates and comrades towards the greater good) while making an effort to earn each other’s respect/trust.

Landon is your typical alpha-male who does what needs to be done to keep his people safe and oust the some of the current regime of older dragon kings. His reputation makes him feared by many. But there is a softer side to the rough exterior. He is the perfect match for Skylar as they both are skilled fighters (literally and figuratively), are stubborn to a fault, and passionate. I liked the small adorable moments between them.  As with other characters, Landon has an interesting backstory, establishing why a rebellion is taking place at all.

The action/fight scenes were epic, clashes back and forth where the outcome could go either way at any minute. There’s so much tension and suspense because who knew what the actual antagonist would do to maintain his false kingship. This ruthless antagonist is well composed character and a worthy opponent to the protagonists.

I really enjoyed The Blood King and look forward to reading more of the Infernal Rising series. I would recommend this book if you like paranormal romances, dragons, phoenixes, stories with rebellions and captivating, complex plots.

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Dragon Mount by Jennifer M. Eaton

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Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: No

ABOUT: Things can’t get any worse than being snatched by a dragon, until Anna is dropped into a bloodthirsty battle for the Draconic crown.

On what’s supposed to be a fun trip to New Zealand to recover from a painful breakup, Anna is kidnapped and flown away by a mythical beast bent on making her his queen. Anna’s rare blood type makes her the only viable mate in the islands, and with scores of dragons looking for her, escape isn’t likely.

Joe is the youngest and smallest dragon in the competition to become king. Now that he’s found Anna, all he needs to overthrow their tyrannical monarch is to bring her back to Dragon Mount before anyone can challenge his claim. But Joe is injured and unable to fly, and each passing second increases the risk of discovery.

Challenging the king means certain death, but Anna is Joe’s to lose. If the king finds her, he will bathe Dragon Mount in her blood, condemning Joe’s people to seventeen more years of brutal subjugation. The fate of the Draconi rests in the talons of their smallest dragon, and the clock is ticking.

 

My Review: Dragon Mount is a good fantasy story, just not what I expected.

There are three main characters: Anna, Joe, and Nik. Anna I liked in the beginning but not some much for a good part of the story. A bit too whiny despite her feels for Joe, but I get why she feels that way – it’s understandable. Joe is automatically cool because he’s a dragon. But he’s also a “Debby Downer” with his indecision about kingship and his self-deprecating thoughts.

Nik is the most interesting character of the story. He lives in a little village with his grandparents. The older folk of the village have cultural ties to the dragons, which was really cool. Nik’s role may seem small but he’s battling his own inner demons and coming to terms with his past. He also gets chapters in his own POV alongside Anna, a very nice alternating perspectives that made the book the most enjoyable for me.

The ending was unsatisfying and I feel things could have been solved a much different, better way. It’s cool learning about the dragons’ history and their link to humanity. So, the book’s good overall. I just expected more.

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ARCs Spotlight

Happy Book Release Day! to “Fever” by Donna Grant

Thanks again to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review.

Image via NetGalley

FEVER
by DONNA GRANT
(my review)

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: A Dark Kings Novel #16
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to
send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bare his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?


More by Donna Grant (reviews)

Dark Alpha’s Awakening (Reaper, book 7) (ARC review)

Dark Alpha’s Redemption (Reaper, book 8) (ARC review)


 

AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!!

 


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