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I loved the story / magic system with the dragons. I kinda liked the love story even though it was instalove. But I have some concerns.
First and foremost- some of the descriptions bothered me a little, and I’m interested to hear what other reviewers make of this because I’m still learning. Basically there are two main kingdoms- the one that our heroine (Sorrowlyn) is from (predominately pale skinned). At first, she’s stuck in their ways and beliefs – thinking the other kingdom is just barbarians (they are described as bronze skinned.) However, as the story progresses, Sorrowlyn comes to realize that she was taught wrong about the other kingdom- that all her beliefs and preconceived notions are wrong… and that her family and home kingdom are the ones that are horribly corrupt. She ends up ashamed that she ever thought ill of the other kingdom and (view spoiler)[ends up joining them and turning her back on her family. She realizes that the other kingdom is how all kingdoms should be- they are shown as fair/loving/etc later on. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, I wanted to put that out there. If you’re considering reading this, just be aware of that. Even though it ends in a positive note, I have a feeling some of the descriptions especially early on are a bit disturbing. Also in one part, skin is described as ‘the color of caramel silk’. I’m not sure if that is a food or fabric reference. Either way, I think its pretty close to the line. I read this book a few weeks ago when I was really sick so there’s a chance I missed something else.
So, just be aware. If you’ve read this, please feel free to put your opinion of how all this is handled in the comments below- I’m eager to see how everyone else feels.
Back to the story itself – I did like Sorrowlyn. She’s taller, lankier, and ‘uglier’ than her sisters. She never really fit in. She wasn’t exactly ‘strong’ even when she chose the dragon over being married off, but her character did end up growing in the end. I think the description of the book is a bit misleading because she doesn’t exactly choose the dragon/death over Golmarr (the love interest)- she chooses it thinking she will be married off to his older brother (the crown prince) who is already married and that she’d be a side wife.
Once she is cast down into the dragon’s lair, Golmarr goes after her. I actually really liked the cave scenes. They must find the dragon/kill it to get out – though that will be nearly impossible. They go through quite a bit of struggles and pain together and I liked how Golmarr ruffled Sorrowlyn quite a bit. I also really loved how the dragon’s magic was portrayed and how it was passed onto Sorrowlyn.
Anyway, the last half of the book was a little rougher to read imo. It wasn’t exactly boring but it didn’t hold my attention as well. Lots of traveling.
The ending was really cool though and saved the rest of the book for me in terms of the story. It is a bit of a cliffhanger so beware. At least Sorrowlyn is with Golmarr’s kingdom now and that whole part was pretty touching – and what happens to Golmarr should make the next book really interesting.