This was a very fun dragon fantasy novel! The characters drew me in right away and the setting was interesting – a high mountain monastery! Niell is charming in his insecurities and his bumbling ways. He’s trying very hard to do the right thing but the trick is figuring out what the right thing is – obey his father’s commands or stay true to his new found friends. Tough place for the lad to be in too, being a bastard son of a War Lord.
Char I really liked right away. She’s also bastard born and a bit of an outcast in the male-dominated world of dragon tending. She’s a little older than Niell and has been at the monastery for about a year (if I recall correctly) so she already knows some of the pitfalls that Niell will blindly stumble into. Her new room mate Sigrid is a first year as well. Char also has a wondrous and dangerous secret – a young dragon named Paxala! She rocks!
The plot has a good balance of action, character building, magic system building, politics, and bad guys needing a pounding. My one little quibble is with Niell. As much as I like him, he did come off a little angsty or whiny here and there. He’s rather touchy, feeling out of place, and even small ribs from his friends have him questioning his place at this dragon monastery.
Not all is well in the Three Kingdoms just as all is not well at the dragon monastery. There’s a chief dragon, who is supposedly the father of all the dragons. He’s a heavy handed ass, but a very dangerous one. Honestly, how would you go about putting this bully in his place? Well, that’s a good question that Niell and his friends might have to face. The monastery has a range of characters. Some are bull-headed sexist men, some hate everyone equally, some are sympathetic but don’t feel they can change it all over night, and some have hidden agendas and are quite dangerous.
All around, this is a great addition to the dragon fantasy genre. 5/5 stars.
The Narration: Tiffany Williams gave a very good performance for this novel. She had perfect voices for both Niell and Char. The rest of her character voices were each distinct and well done. Her male characters sound masculine. She did great with the dragon voices as well, including their whistles and scree! cries. 5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ava Richardson. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.