Fall of the Dragon Prince eARC Review

dragonprincepic.jpgFall of the Dragon Prince (Forgotten Heirs, Book 1) by Dan Allen

Synopsis: The crystal compass predicts a turning point when Reann, a seventeen-year-old servant, will take control of her fate, and Terith, a fearless dragon rider, will determine the fate of his people.

Using the Crystal Compass to track and alter fate, King Toran joined the five realms and tied their destinies to the survival of his secret heirs. But the king is dead and his enemies gather. The hope of all lies with the heirs of Toran. But nobody knows who they are.

When a handsome noble from the south arrives at Toran’s castle in Erdal with clues to the secret heirs, Reann, a servant girl and self-appointed librarian of Toran’s estate, finds herself unravelling the greatest mystery in the realm. She discovers the late king’s true intentions for his heirs, and finds her own life and heart in danger.

On the other side of the kingdom, an invading force threatens the Montas barrier. Only Terith, a prince of the Montas and the other dragon riders can save the rest of the realm. Before Terith and the awakened riders can stop the invasion that may very well be the fall of the empire, he must ride in the challenge. In this cross-country dragon race, Terith faces a black-hearted traitor with even darker purposes, to win the kingdom and the heart of the woman he loves.

One rider will fall; one fate will rise.

About the Author: Dan Allen is a newly discovered fantasy and sci-fi author. He is chief technology officer at a tech startup, a father and husband to his drummer-artist wife. Fall of the Dragon Prince is the first novel in Dan’s epic fantasy trilogy The Forgotten Heirs. He has designed lasers for the government and sensors for cell phones, lit a three-story electron accelerator on fire, chased a flying stool across a high magnetic field zone, and created nanoparticles in a radioactive lab. He lives in the mountain west, where the desert touches the mountains and the sky.

Genre: fantasy, YA, epic

More Info: eARC, 378 pages, published by Jolly Fish Press on February 14, 2017

{I received a copy of this book from Jolly Fish Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact the content of my review and my opinions are my own.}

4.5

This book follows the lives of Terith (a fighting, dragon riding champion) and Reann (a palace servant with a pursuit). There are some other POVs included in a few spots through the novel, but the main focus is on them.

Terith is a perfect leader. He’s kind and passionate for his people, but he’s not chief just yet. To be the man he is meant to be he must compete in a traditional race. If he wins he can marry an eligible suitor and, if chosen, become the head of the Montas. He must contend with other champions, and his biggest challenger is Pert – a dark man with a dark secret. In the meantime, he must also protect the villages from Outlanders attempting to overrun their home.

Reann has a secret…project. Able to access the library (between her chores) and search for clues, she is on the hunt to discover Toran’s heirs. To unite the realms it is believed that Toran, the previous king, sired at least 5 heirs from every main section of the region. All of these half-brothers and half-sisters are being searched for, so that they may take their rightful positions and bring peace.

Both face challenges and must outsmart their opponents. Filled with mystery and potential discovery, readers can join the hunt and become involved in an enormous political and social adventure.

 

Do not judge this book by its cover! To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from this book when I first picked it up. But I pleasantly surprised!

The world-building is spectacular. Some areas, like Toran’s fortress, seemed familiar: castle, lords, ladies, servants, library, politics, etc.. Others, like the Montzai Realm, are extremely unique. There are mountains, the deep, bridges, cliff islands, tree pods, and more. It’s like a souped up elf village or something. I wish the map in the book took a closer look at some of the land; I would love to see the layout and intricacies of some of these places.

Some scenes lacked in explanation where I would have to double back to figure out what had just happened. But, for the most part, the detail, explanation, and description was evenly balanced, creating a perfect blend to keep my attention.

Another factor that led to my 2 day reading binge of Fall of the Dragon Prince was Allen’s use of anticipation. It wasn’t overt, like heart wrenching cliffhangers at the end of some books. His style was subtle, enough to keep me wondering and continuing to find out what happens next. The domino of events are all put in motion because of one man, Toran.

One strange thing about the nature of this book is that the audience is following the legacy of Toran. He was a great king and uniter. It feels weird to learn about his character only through memories and flashbacks. You do meet him…but never really get to know him. His character is only built upon actions and adventures. Really, he’s only a legend; you’re not as connected to him as you first believe, once you think about it. For someone so important, and dead :/, it’s just awkward to meet him in this way.

The main reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was the lack of emotion. The writing felt somewhat detached like a disinterested onlooker. I wasn’t truly invested in the character with a sense of feeling. In sections where I felt like my heart should have been in my throat, it just…wasn’t. I was still interested in the main characters and their lives, but it didn’t fully evoke emotion.

That being said, there was some romance but it wasn’t overpowering. The focus of the book was on the characters and the unraveling drama/mystery. I loved the flirting and scandal of the girls in Ferrin-tat. Reann’s love life is far from her mind with other pressing matters to attend to, but readers can certainly see some crushes developing. And despite her lack of attention, Reann is quite good at persuading men to bow to her wishes.

Reann is awesome! She is everything a girl looks for in a female protagonist. She is smart and conniving. She knows how to use her knowledge to spy, gain information, fix problems, and worm out of intelligent situations. She can be forgetful and clumsy, and when it comes to the strength and fighting department she is at a disadvantage. Yet, her brain and alliances allow for a different type of power. She’s a servant at the keep until she turns of age, allowing for a semblance of humility. But she is not demure…if anything, her job makes her more bold. She isn’t self-conscious or worried about her looks, on most occasions. Overall, she is an overlooked, amazing character.

The other main personage is Terith. His sense of honor and duty is absolute, passed along from his bloodline. He is a dragon rider and a champion, set to compete in a traditional race and fight against the invading horde. Terith listens to others, plays with children, is a capable rider/fighter and only wants the best for his people; all of which makes him a great leader. His main downfall is his temptation and too kind heart.

The ending was stopped in an interesting spot. There was a dramatic moment and partial cliffhanger, that left me intrigued but not furious for more. With all of the missing information and discovered information, book two can go is so many directions. I wonder if we’ll hear from new main POV characters or if Reann and Terith will remain the top dogs. The adventures could be numerous and the drama endless. There are so many outcomes that I can’t even imagine what is to come. I guess I’ll simply have to wait and see.

There’s a giveaway on Goodreads right now, until February 8, 2017! Click here.

Buy it here:

amazon

 

 

Barnes-and-Noble

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