Publisher: Viking Adult
Source: From Edelweiss and publisher for review
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.
Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.My thoughts:
Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.
Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.
Oh dragons! I have also been in the mood for a good fantasy. This one delivered, but still had a few problems in the telling. I have to say, first that the characterization was superb! I just loved Tam. She was nothing of a capitulating courtier that was expected. In fact she arrived at the palace for the experience and not to find a husband. So, it was completely unexpected to find the love of her life in the castle. The Prince was also a great character. Instead of insisting that Tam become what was expected, he decided to open himself completely to her and treat her as an equal rather than a subservient woman. He had an example of that with his parents, so it didn't come from left field.
Even though you know the relationship would have to be unequal (he is a prince and she is not only a woman but a commoner) they still acknowledged it and were able to skirt that line between equality and commanding and it was believable. I also enjoyed the secondary characters. We get a smattering of her more common friends and I would have liked more of that, but the other royals were quite engaging. I also really enjoyed the wizard people who seemed to hold more knowledge and power than they were willing to admit, but their fierce loyalty seemed to cancel out any worry that they may turn on our couple.
My biggest complaint is also one thing I enjoyed about the novel. It was very descriptive. I enjoyed it at times as it helped to explain the more magical parts of the book as well as some of the vistas important to the unraveling on how to help the dragons. However, it also slowed the book down considerably and even the more mundane things were explained in great detail. This can often happen in fantasy and it happened here. I would have loved some of the more mundane scenes edited a bit more. Still, I did enjoy really seeing those vistas and mystical visions when it became important.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It is a good fantasy with dragons. It can be slow at times, but you will love the characters and romance in this book.