3 stars – it was good, but the characters didn’t appeal to me
This is the first book of a series I was asked to review, but I didn’t get to it for a while. It’s been on my list for months, and I finally got around to it. Started reading August 20, 2022.
Finished on August 24, 2022.
Check out Craig A. Price Jr’s website to see his other work.
Great Action, High-Flying Journey
Devarius is on the run with a group of twenty-nine other survivors of his village’s destruction. The Dragonia Empire, run by a greedy emperor and his army of dragon riders, is chasing them down, and all they can do is search for the Resistance, a force they hope can help free Kaeldroga from tyranny. On the way, they discover something much more vital—powerful allies who will turn the tides in their favour.
This book falls within the range of shorter novels, being less than three hundred pages. That appeals to me since I like shorter adventures in this genre. In that sense, the pacing was very good; it didn’t drag on and on like most journey stories have risk of doing. I admit that there were big gaps in time that weren’t to my taste, but they were necessary for the story.
Any complaints I may have would be about the characters. I often find it hard to connect to characters in novels, and it’s hard to see the proper chemistry between them if I can’t first picture the character. Not many were given descriptions in this book, which I would’ve liked. Too many of the characters felt generic, and by the time I saw any of their personality shining through, it was hard to manipulate my mental images of them.
Something that suffered from the above point was the romance between Devarius and Aquila. Some people enjoy the romantic tension, but I found it too cliché. It felt like more of a distraction from the main story rather than something that happened naturally. I think this is because the novel doesn’t expand on their relationship enough. They have many scenes together, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t see the chemistry. They danced around each other, but Devarius was always holding back, saying things like “I’m not worthy of her” and such, which I’ve never found compelling. I can understand how that kind of love story would appeal to people, but it’s not what I enjoy.
To end on a high note, I’d like to point out that the story was well-planned and none of it was wasted. The author is experienced in using words to their full potential, and his writing style is solid. I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, and I am super excited to read and review the rest of the series!
This is a fantasy adventure that I’d recommend to people who love medieval stories and unique world lore. It is a journey story, in which the main characters are running from an evil empire and seeking refuge with the Resistance—that’s cliché done the right way.