It somehow happens that my reading in the second half of 2019 is going to be dragon-themed. After the violent Dawn of Dragons and post-apocalyptic An Empire of Ashes, I got to something a bit lighthearted.
This book made it to my ‘to be read soon’ list in the early summer, originally planned just after the Dawn of Dragons series (I bought the e-book in late July). Then, I got into two beta swaps and my reading was put on hold for over a month.
After a prologue showing Kyleigh, the book moved to a village located in mountains so harsh even the cruel King and his chosen did not bother with it for a long time.
There, we’re introduced to Kael who’d like to be a hunter – for which he has to shoot a deer with his bow but his bad luck prevents him from ever doing so (though he’s a great trapper). And it’s just when Kael fails the trial when it seems his bad luck went so bad even ‘legendary’ would not describe it enough – when he finds an almost-dead woman (who turns out to be Kyleigh – probably the most hunted person in the kingdom) in the woods, the village is attacked by the King’s men just as she recovers, setting them both on the run.
During that, there’s more revealed about the magi, whisperers, shifters, and the struggle for power that set the current cruel King on the throne. Kael and Kyleigh soon join a caravan, their leader mistaking them for the pair of guards he had hired. The diverse setup of the caravan brings several funny moments.
As it tends to be, things go downhill at some point and the caravan gets tangled into Kyleigh’s struggle but, despite the dangers, they stand together. Kael, who originally only intended to get his vengeance for the destruction of his village, gets involved with the whole story during those times as he, Kyleigh, and three other mebers of the caravan separate – and end up on a pirate ship only to realize the Captain knows Kyleigh.
And it’s on their ship when Kael is forced to realize his true power and its potential – and gets some nudges into learning how to use it. Of course, this eventually leads to some showdowns against one part of the bad things the land is facing.
So, without giving any further hints about the story, I can say it was a good mix of action, funny parts, and somber parts (mostly through Kael’s introspective).
I eventually decided to go with 90%. As a side note, if there’s something that allowed me to ‘bond’ with Kael it’s the fact I know enough firsthand from my teen years how it feels to live with low confidence.
I’ll start reading the sequel soon-ish.