Review: Rise of Magic

Dragonia: Rise of Magic by Craig A. Price Jr.

3 stars – I liked it, but the repeated storyline is getting boring

This is book 4 of 5 in the Dragonia series, though this is the last book sent to me for review. I’ve enjoyed reading the books thus far, but I’m not waiting with bated breath for book 5. Started reading on September 12, 2022.

Finished on September 15, 2022.

Check out Craig A. Price Jr’s website to see his other work.

Not my Style, but It’s Okay

The main focus of this book is Lilianya and her desire to contribute to the Resistance. As of yet, she has played her role in leading other great warriors (like Devarius) to the Resistance, but she has fallen behind in glory as he rises to the top, as Zaviana and the other magic users arrive, and as her abilities fall to the wayside. She joins the magic training classes, hoping to find a way to rise in the ranks, but after the last book, in which she returns with wyvern scales only to be upstaged by Devarius and the Dragon Stone, she is losing hope. What she has left is the single black wyvern scale she kept, not knowing what it does but believing she is entitled to it.

My biggest complaint about this series isn’t really a complaint about the style or quality, but of my own interest. The first book was cool. It was a journey to find the Resistance in which Devarius and his group find the wyverns and battle some dragonriders in the end. Don’t get me wrong—that was really cool. It was giving the Resistance new hope while also showing that they stand a chance against the Empire. Then the second book happened, and in the end, they once again battled dragonriders, this time while defending the Resistance city. There are more attackers, and the stakes are higher. I was fine with that. Book three happens and once again, big battle. This time, they have to cross the continent to defend some other cities/villages from the Empire and his dragonriders. Again, not a bad storyline, but it was getting old for me at this point. I feel that sometimes there is a plot point you can repeat, but if every single book is going to end with a big battle between the heroes and the enemy (with the hero winning) it’s not exciting anymore, no matter what new things are added (wyverns, magic, drakes, etc.) I thought it was really creative in this book when the “pirates” were introduced, but I got my hopes up that they would be the enemies fought in this book. Instead, once again, there is a big battle against the dragonriders at the end, spanning multiple chapters.

What I like in other book series is that they are all building up to a big bad guy, but there isn’t repetition like this. In Harry Potter, he fights Voldemort at the end of each, but in different ways. Book 1, a series of tasks and Quirrell at the end; book 2, fighting the basilisk; book 3, time travel and sneaking around; book 4, actual one-on-one duel with Voldemort; and so on. Same with Percy Jackson. Book 1, duel against Ares and return to Olympus before midnight; book 2, trick Luke while Clarisse returns to camp to finish the quest; book 3, take the sky while other people fight the bad guy; etc. Both of these series lead up to the main bad guy, Voldemort and Kronos respectively, but the books leading up to them don’t have the heroes facing that same bad guy time and time again in a big ‘good guys vs bad guys’ fight at the end.

That is my biggest complaint about the book. Otherwise, it is decently written, though I could’ve bonded with the characters more, and the action is enticing and realistic. I still think the cover, like the other books, is a bit amateur, especially for someone with the title “best-selling author”. The author has nearly a dozen(?) books and each of them looks okay, but not something you’d find in a bookstore, so I think he could’ve done better.

map of kaeldroga and surrounding lands

The magic system remains the same—with elemental powers—but again, it seems that specific characters are inventing new forms of magic for the sake of the plot. Like Lilianya, who invents a new branch of magic relating to the black wyvern scale, and Naveen, who invents a special form of magic that is needed during the final battle but conveniently only she can do it. I know that magic is still new to them all and that in war times innovation is at an all-time high, but it seems like the author is just pulling them out as the plot calls for them. Plus, whatever new thing they come up with, it seems that the emperor already knows how to do it! Which is sort of annoying but at the same time you understand that he’s been using magic for decades and of course he knows how to do it. Still, annoying to me as a reader.

I did like that Lilyana got more page time, as it were, as this book is about her. It has a great message about people who feel left out and like the world is against them. It’s all about her finding her place in the world and what she can uniquely offer, which is powerful and strong.

Something about this book, and the series as a whole, that I was unsure about was who is the target audience. The book feels simply written with easy-to-follow storylines and easy-to-understand words, but some of the language is definitely meant for older readers. It didn’t give me the feel of a book for adults, so maybe young adults? But the first book’s main character is an older(?) man, rather than a child or a teenager or even a young adult, as these books mostly feature as the protagonist. Then again, the protagonist seems to change from book to book as new characters are introduced, so it doesn’t stay with Devarius as the main character, but it still makes me wonder.

I recommend anyone reading the first three books (and enjoying the big battles at the end) to keep reading this series. I, for one, have gotten to the end of the books the author sent to me, and I’m not sure when the fifth and final book is coming out, but I am unsure of whether I will read it or not.

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