I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Initial Reaction...
After LOVING the novella, Cursed in Shadow , I was really excited to launch into Son of Dragons. But when I started Son of Dragons I found myself rereading the story of Cursed in Shadowwith new details woven in. It made for a slow, frustrating start and, despite how great the novella was, I would recommend skipping it and getting straight into Son of Dragons. You'll have a much better start than I did. And since the action doesn't ever stop, you'll be gripped to the very end.
NOTE: Book 1, The Garnet Dagger, is on sale for only $0.99 until May 3!
Besides the frustration of having the entire novella included inSon of Dragons, the characters were a bit of a disappointment for me. They were good characters, but I really wish we'd seen them fleshed out a lot more. Andrea introduced us to a LOT of new characters in Son of Dragons and, in my opinion, we could have stretched this book over two (or maybe let the first 100+ pages stand as the novella) so that we could REALLY get to know them. Despite wishing I knew them better, I did like the new additions to the story. I'll mention just the ones that stood out to me most.
Mirhana, Brock's sister, is introduced to us shortly after the section that retells the novella and I loved her instantly. She's a mix of youth and aged wisdom that worked in a fun way. As an elf living among humans because of her human-like appearance, she's outlived generations of humans and from that vantage point she has years of experience under her belt. And yet, she's still young from an elvin perspective - and she makes young mistakes, like acting too hastily. I wish I'd gotten to know her much better.
We also met a young prince, Landon, who seems anxious to escape his life of privilege and act like a commoner. When we first get to know him, he's asked one of his fighting men - Gillepsie, who we met in The Garnet Dagger, to come with him in search of the young woman who saved Gillepsie from undead attackers. It was good to see Gillepsie again and I enjoyed seeing the way Landon tried to get Gillepsie to treat him as a commoner. Landon is a bit naive, but he has a good heart and, again, I wished I gotten to know him better.
We still see a lot of Celeste and Brock, but they felt a bit stagnant to me in comparison to The Garnet Dagger. Celeste had been this strong, fierce woman to me in that book - and while she still holds that quality (indeed- one of the things I love most about this series is that woman are often as strong - if not stronger - than the men), it took a backseat to her role as the woman Brock loved and felt saved him. There's something about Brock that I just don't like - maybe I'm supposed to feel that way, since he is the Vaer (Bringer of Death) and, good intentions aside, he does suck the life out of all he touches. He has this menacing, haughty, weak-minded quality about him and while I'm not his biggest fan, it fits the story well.
The final member of the group, Jeslyn, we got to know the least and I felt that it was a real shortcoming of Son of Dragonsbecause she had the makings of a really compelling, complicated character. She's mysterious from the start, hailing from a land unknown to all the travelers, but clearly strong and capable. She's beautiful and feminine, while also being as tough as the men (when we meet her, she's helping save their collective asses). I think the story would have been much richer if we'd gotten to know her better.
Like The Garnet Dagger, the story of Son of Dragons is that of a quest guided by prophecy. Here Andrea shines - the way she drags the characters across the countryside and leads them into one struggle after another is compelling. There are so many new magical characters in Son of Dragons (including Dragons, of course) and they add so much fantasy and excitement to this historic-like setting. I love this setting - with the traveling by foot and horseback, camping in the woods, etc.
The prophecy was much easier to follow and see work itself out than in The Garnet Dagger, but I still found the flow of the story a bit jolting. The story was great, but the transitions and descriptions didn't flow, making it a little more difficult to really feel and get immersed into. Again, I feel this is a situation where the book could have been stretched across two books so that we slowed down and really experienced everything. I wanted to get a bit more immersed in the action and the characters and it just fell slightly short of that for me.
I love the story that Andrea's telling with the Legends of Oblivion. I just wish I could get the pace to slow down a bit, so that I could really savor the characters and the action, because then it would be truly great! Thoroughly looking forward to the next book!