Review of The Prince of Dragons by Tameri Etherton

Rhoane always knew he was destined to protect the savior of his people, a woman prophesied to restore balance to his world. The promise he made as a child proves difficult to honor as a young, impetuous man. Cast out as an exile from his family and home, he wields his rage like a well-honed dagger.
Beyond the borders of his kingdom he discovers a world filled with violence and beauty. With carnal temptations before him, Rhoane struggles to reconcile his fate.
If he doesn’t uphold his oath, his future love will fail before she’s even born.

“Take Risks, make mistakes, and get messy. Be brave, and do what frightens you most, but always, always have hope”

I was very kindly gifted a copy of this book by the author and as a new to me author I’m so so glad she did! Firstly any book that starts with 4 different maps is a winner, it shows commitment to the reader in helping to visualise every aspect of the vast reaches of the story. It also has a prologue, which I’m always a sucker for and that set the tone that this was going to be an epic fantasy.

The Prince of Dragons totally throws you in at the deep end, and I felt quite sink or swim whilst I navigated understanding the magic system, hierachy’s, and dynamics, I don’t necessarily find this a bad thing but I do like a little hand holding at the start. It’s a minor gripe and doesn’t detract from how much I ultimately adored this book! I enjoyed though that each time a new place was introduced the story spent a fair bit of time there, establishing the characters and surroundings before moving on. The world building is wonderful and creates environments which are pretty special, gorgeous attention to detail makes even the most barren of areas come alive. There is a lot of brutality in the world with some really quite violent moments both vivid and cunning, but this is balanced well and is never mindless.

I honestly loved the characterisation across the book, Rhone is a great protagonist, his evolution a joy to read. His steadfast commitment to his oath is wonderfully endearing. It was truly refreshing to have a male protagonist who’s purpose wasn’t to go around bedding maidens until he found the one to tame him. That’s not to say that there aren’t a couple of blushworthy pages. Rhone being schooled in the art of flirting (purely for acting purposes of course) is particularly heartwarming and I think one of my favourite interactions in the book. Faelara as well was similar in her devotion to her cause, never letting her heartbreak define her. She is the perfect balance to Rhone and I loved their banter. None of the characters felt redundant or overplayed and some of them hold delicious secrets that will have your jaw dropping at the end. Plus, that epilogue!!!

I especially liked how the author had no qualms with covering large passages of time within chapters, this was a brilliant move and allowed the story to drive forward without unnecessary waffle, seasons pass within a sentence and much like Rhoane’s time bending abilities, allowed us to reach a goal more satisfactorily because of it. The Prince of Dragons may only be 221 pages but my word does the author pack every page. There was no drag to the story, the pace was steady which gave time to savour the prose, to really get to know the magics and the dynamics and ultimately I was more absorbed in the world for it.

The Prince of Dragons is an amazing fantasy read, I couldn’t put it down – much to the detriment of other books scheduled for review, but I have been struggling of late to rise above 3 stars, so to find a book which overtook me so completely deserved to have all my attention – I have no reservations about giving this 5* and I’m immensely grateful that I was also gifted book 2 as well!

 

 

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