Isle of Dragons by L.A. Thompson is a unique fantasy adventure story combining steampunk with magic in some very interesting ways. The story takes the reader on one young girl’s journey, Jade of House Sol, to rescue her father — the only family she has left, from the mystical Isle of Dragons. Many dangers await her on the road to the isle, not least riding dragons, learning magic and battling a king. Rumor has it that Jade’s father has been taken to the Isle of Dragons — an island that could be myth or reality, where many have ventured, but none have thus returned.
The magical world Thompson has created with her writing is filled with fantastical creatures, steampunk machines and dragons. The heroine must travel to a variety of exciting landscapes, from mystical forests to deserts, all of them feel exotic and have a depth that makes them feel real. These descriptions are never a distraction from the narrative but rather serve to create an enchanting world that the reader will get happily lost in. Our heroine meets many new friends along the way. These provide interesting character interactions and highlight the kindness of strangers. Jade is a feisty and determined young girl who has genuine love and loyalty for her family and friends. She is a noble, or ex-noble as she likes to remind people, and her fall from grace is an interesting aspect of the story, and her character, that I enjoyed. Author L.A. Thompson has an ability to create depth and complexity in her characters, making them both relatable and authentic.
There are many positive themes explored in this young adult adventure tale that will be beneficial to young readers like perseverance and family. Another positive aspect of Isle of Dragons is how action-packed the storyline is. Whenever Jade ventures out, usually with Miria, they encounter some obstacle that sets the tension high and makes sure you keep flipping pages.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that I had to discern all connections and motivations of the characters from dialogue and action sequences. I wanted a few moments where I was in Miria’s or Jade’s head and I got to listen to their internal thoughts.
Isle of Dragons is a fast paced adventure story with a fascinating plot that is filled with plenty of action and heart. This is a riveting novel that I think will appeal to fans of the steampunk or mythical fantasy genre. This book has definitely got me excited for the series.
Pages: 383 | ASIN: B08PDQVHXS
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Ahna has all the powers needed to do great damage or be a great asset. As a dark elf, it is not likely she will be welcome in this battle as a rebel. She has spent many years secluded and trying to push aside all memories of the battle that was lost by her people. Her time has been spent trying to separate herself from those days. Despite all her efforts, things have come full circle, and she is being coerced into escaping seclusion and heading into battle once more. Will Kairen’s pleas be enough to bring Ahna to the forefront of the war?
Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent, by Valena D’Angelis, is a beautifully vivid fantasy novel focused on the life of Ahna, who is dokkalfar. Her personality, her appearance, and her unique set of skills all combine to make a memorable character and a force with which to be reckoned. Ahna is one of those female leads readers will love from the moment she graces the pages. Her energy is pure, and her determination is strong.
Fantasies, when well done, have a certain beauty all their own. D’Angelis has mastered exactly that in a story filled with adventure, peril, and self-discovery. The descriptions of the landscape are particularly breathtaking and truly make the story all the more riveting. In addition, the author has created a fascinating cast of characters and beings; their world is one that draws readers directly into the story. D’Angelis’s work is not short on action. Page after page, Ahna and her comrades find themselves in the throes of a battle that never seems to end. The magical energy and abilities Ahna possesses make each and every one of their clashes that much more intriguing. As splendid a setting and as full of adventure and action as it is, I would love to have seen more of a focus on the backstories of the main characters.
I was especially touched by the dynamic between Kairen and Ahna. The rescue that brought the two together sets the stage for a close and loving relationship. Ahna, a mentor and sister figure to Kairen, spends a great deal of her time modeling appropriate behavior and teaching Kairen to prepare for the rebellion in which she would one day participate. She is as much a mother as she is a trainer.
Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent is an emotionally charged adventure that sword and sorcery fans will devour. Author Valena D’Angelis is adept at creating a mystical world that seems like we’re only scratching the surface of some deeper lore.
Pages: 283 | ASIN: B08R2SDW5V
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The Spires of Dasny by Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait, is one of those books that will make you fall in love with a fantastical world with a deep backstory. Seyra’s family was tortured and killed leaving her alone in a dangerous world. Abandoned by the world, she tries to find refuge in the Dragon Riders School. Along the way she meets a captivating companion, and together they face dangerous obstacles through a beautifully detailed world.
Author Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait has meticulously constructed an epic fantasy story with stunning landscapes, dragons, legendary battles and intriguing characters battling between good and evil. The Spires of Dasny is an epic fantasy adventure novel that will guide you easily through a dense world. The good news is that this book is part of a trilogy, so fans of C.R.C’s work will be able to dive deeper into a world that is begging to be explored. I enjoyed getting to know the different dragons and their personalities. Seyra is a strong female protagonist that captivates readers with a captivating personality. Seyra is relatable, and felt authentic. While I did enjoy Dreyth’s character, it took a while to grow on me, but when it did I was just as absorbed with the character as I was with Seyra.
The Spires of Dasny is a book that spins the story of eternal friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, and love with just enough of a unique twist that it felt like I was reading a new story in a well defined genre. C.R.C’s talent and experience is on fully display as she masterfully pens an exciting adventure novel that will appeal to sword and sorcery fans seeking a dragon story that never forgets to entertain its readers.
Pages: 202 | ASIN: B08BT6W6TK
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Weepy the Dragon has proven to be a big hit in my household. I bought this book as a bedtime storybook for my two children, and having read this book (several times), I have nothing but good things to say about it. This book is full of illuminating pictures and cute dragon images which creates a very interesting plot line. J.J. Hebert does an exceptional job at captivating a young reader.
The characters were well drawn and my children loved them. I thought the plot about the dragon world was solid and teaches children about the importance of not judging a book by its cover.
The only negative thing I have to say, which is more constructive than negative, is that the writing could have been written in a larger font. Trying to get my two children to read along was a bit of a struggle due to the small font. But, other than that, the writing itself was clear and intriguing. I highly recommend this book to anyone with young children who love a good story! “Weepy the Dragon: the happiest, friendliest, and kindest dragon in the world” – a story for every child!
Pages: 36 | ASIN: B008CRVNKE
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When Dark Ships invade the skies over the “Nown” World, the invaders bring with them horrendous terrors for which no one is prepared to face. As entire villages begin to disappear, the world enters a new Dark Age. King Jatel and Queen Karen join forces once again with their friends and awaken ancient magic, giving them their only chance at freedom. Amid war, vampires, dragons, and widespread genocide, the “Nown” World welcomes the glorious return of the most valiant warrior it’s ever known!
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The Dragon Shifters at Southgate is the second book in The Seers series. It opens with the protagonist, Talwyn, fleeing for her life. At only eight years old she is still considered a baby by her people, who live for hundreds of years. Hidden under a rock by her mother, Talwyn evades detection, but emerges from her hiding place without a home or a family to return to. Three hundred years later and Talwyn is still haunted by the memories of that tragic day. Moreover, as a Seer she has now been having visions of an even more bleak future.
The world is laced with what Talwyn calls “ley lines”. Lines that form a diamond shape and surge with powerful energy that sorcerers can harness. Where the lines meet, a sorcerer’s power would grow even stronger, and this location is called the Source. Talwyn relays the history of the battles fought over the Source and the great powers it grants. This rich backstory is what kept me turning pages. It’s intricate and intriguing but leaves room for your imagination to wander. A powerful sorcerer by the name of Anceannmor discovered the nature of the Source and that when the planets align just right, the Source has unprecedented effects. In this case, it granted Anceannmor a great boon. The sorcerer opened a gate to another realm and let the demons of that realm roam free in the world. I enjoyed the balance of power in this world, things were believable (as much as they can be in an epic fantasy novel) but was still fascinating.
Talwyn explains how the gate was closed and that keystones were crafted and distributed all over the realm along the ley lines. However, if the keystones are united and the celestial alignment is just as it was when Anceannmor initially open the gate, the gate would open once more. The pace of the novel picks up quickly and rarely lets up. I enjoyed the balance between story telling and action. Champions such as Talwyn have sworn to protect the keystones, but as the very same celestial alignment draws near Talwyn and the other Seers having been having worrying visions of the future. Thus, Talwyn takes it upon herself in a race against time to find and warn other people who also protect their keystones: the elusive dragonkin.
Talwyn must gain access to this closed community who are equally as devasted by the actions of Anceannmor, and equally cautious of outsiders. The story follows Talwyn’s journey to visit the dragonkin, and in particular to win the trust Dreyken the Dragon Lord. But Talwyn’s duties as a champion and protector of the realm often conflict with her wants and needs, as she struggles to live in the aftermath of Anceannmor’s tyranny. Anyone familiar with The Elder Scrolls series will feel right at home in the myth and legend built around the people and world.
The Dragon Shifters at Southgate is Sherry Leclerc’s seconds book in The Seers series and is a fantastic follow up to the previous book. The world is so rich with lore that one constantly feels welcomed back to the novel by its secret forest or the mountainous caverns of the dragonkin. The high-fantasy of this novel adds an interesting abstraction to the very real feelings of loneliness that an individual may face in the aftermath of hardship and war. For this reason, I give the book a four out of five for its intricate plot and the realism that sits at the heart of the fantasy.
Pages: 425 | ASIN: B07LC437FY
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A Seer Champion sworn to protect Southgate. A Dragon Shifter Lord sworn to protect his clan. Can they bring their peoples together to defeat the evil forces that threaten to destroy them all?
Seer Champion Talwyn Sevi must protect Southgate and its keystone against the evil forces that threaten their destruction. Knowing she cannot do it alone, she seeks help from a group of reclusive Dragon Shifters. In return, she offers them information vital to their survival. Can Talwyn gain the Dragon Lord’s trust in time to save Southgate and the dragonkin?
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The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
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