Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Reading on a Theme: Dragons

Dragons are undeniably one of the best mythical beasts out there. We love seeing how each author makes the dragon mythology their own, and we have thoughts about this. If you are in the mood for a dragon book or two or five, might we suggest one of these?

Dragon Sanctuary:
Mira Minkoba wishes she could spend all her time at the dragon sanctuary, but as the Hopebearer and the face of the Mira Treaty, she is expected to behave far more properly. But even being the famous Mira Minkoba can't save her when she discovers something that threatens her home, the treaty, and the dragons she so loves. Before She Ignites alternates between "Before" and "After," allowing the mystery to unravel slowly as we came to know Mira. Jodi Meadows truly built a beautiful world. The Fallen Isles are full of rich cultures and interesting religions. I read the second book in the series immediately after finishing this one, and I'm looking forward to the conclusion, When She Reigns, out in September.

Night Dragons:
Onyx and Ivory follows the stories of Kate and Corwin. Childhood friends, the two have long-since been separated due to the traitorous actions of Kate's father. However, when a new threat arises in the form of drakes who attack in the daylight, Kate and Corwin's stories intertwine once again. Onyx and Ivory is another example of beautiful world-building. There's a medieval feel to the whole story and I was interested in the different kinds of magic and the rituals in this world. The drakes were a different kind of dragon, both fascinating and terrifying. I really enjoyed this read by Mindee Arnett and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel, Shadow and Flame, out June 4, 2019.

Travels with Dragons:
Though ostensibly about a girl who's on a journey with her lesser-dragon companion to find a mythical beast, Tess of the Road is really about so much more than that. This new addition to Rachel Hartman's world of Seraphina is very philosophical and introspective. It's about healing from abuse, not fitting into your family, figuring out how to make your own way, and proving that you are capable. Tess of the Road is a hero's journey in the traditional sense because it really is a journey of self-discovery for Tess. And that self-discovery involves a heap of feminism and a dismantling of rape culture. Don't expect tons of action, but do expect greatness. Out February 27, 2018. Review copy from NetGalley.

Dragon Stories:
Asha is the daughter of the king of Firgaard.. She's also the Iskari, the fiercest dragon hunter in the realm. Asha has a secret. She's been telling the forbidden old stories to the dragons, and they listen. In The Last Namsara, Asha must uncover the truth about why the old ways are forbidden. I really enjoyed Kristen Ciccarelli's debut novel. The premise that dragons would listen to stories and tell their own back is pretty fantastic. I also really liked Ciccarelli's writing style. It helps to create a quiet, magical atmosphere, and it also has a folktale feel to it. I loved how the old stories were mingled with the narration. A companion novel, The Cage Queen, is out now, and the third book in the series, The Sky Weaver is out in November 2019.

Shape-Shifting Dragons:
The children of Vallen all dream of being ice wolves and defending their home against scorch dragons. All except siblings Anders and Rayna who are simply trying to survive on the streets. But when Anders discovers that he is an ice wolf and Rayna is a scorch dragon, he seeks a way to save her from the brutal dragons. This middle-grade selection by Amie Kaufman has the fantastic premise of people taking the shape of ice wolves or scorch dragons and I enjoyed watching Anders' understanding of his world change throughout the book. I will say that it took me some time to get into Ice Wolves, but I really enjoyed it in the end. The second book in the series Scorch Dragons was out March 26, 2019.

Before She Ignites, Onyx & Ivory, and Ice Wolves reviewed by Paige.
Tess of the Road and The Last Namsara reviewed by JoLee.

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