Book Review: Dragon Legends by Ava Richardson

Book Reviews copy

Dragon Legends 1

Synopsis: Ever since scruffy Sebastian Smith and Lady Thea Flamma were paired as Dragon Riders, their lives have been forever changed. The unlikely duo forged an unbreakable bond, but now with dark stirrings in the south their bond will be put to the ultimate test. 

Seb discovers Lord Vincent has returned and he wants to unleash an ancient evil that will destroy the lives of everyone in the kingdom – The Darkening. In order to defend the realm against unspeakable foes, Seb, Thea, and their shared dragon, Kalax, set out on an arduous journey to find the sacred Dragon Stones – before their dark power ends up in the wrong hands.

But to conquer an old enemy, Thea must find a way to overcome her own inner demons, and Seb has to muster the courage to become the brave leader his kingdom needs . . . 

Author: Ava Richardson

Title: Dragon Legends (Return of the Darkening, Book 2)

Publisher: Relay Publishing

Date: 2016

Dragon Legends 2

Dragon Trials

I had doubts about Dragon Trials, but was intrigued about the story development. It had potential and I wanted to see if the next book lived up to it.

I enjoyed Dragon Legends more than the first book! The character development throughout the first book pays off in the second!

Seb and Thea now work together as Dragon Riders, accomplished and skilled warriors and navigators charged with protecting the kingdom. Seb is worried about Thea: she did die, even if she is refusing to talk about it. Thea no longer acts like a spoilt brat the entire time, making her a relatable character that I could empathise with. Books are more enjoyable when you like the characters! Thea doesn’t lose her nobility though; her mother spends the entire book wanting her to wear formal dresses and make a decent math, despite being an accomplished dragon rider.

The bond between Thea, Seb and Kalax is stronger than before and more equally balanced across the three of them. This makes it easier to identify them as a team: even during Thea’s narration, there is a link between her and Kalax. Not relying purely on Seb to bring the dragons into the story means Kalax develops as a character in her own right; she speaks to Thea in a different way to how she interacts with Seb.

“I don’t know.” I shook my head. “It’s just that life…well, doesn’t it feels a little like everything is about to spiral out of control at any moment?”

For an action-packed story filled with dragons and fights, the pacing is relatively gentle. We are reintroduced to the characters as they run basic patrols and continue their training with the other Dragon Riders. The focus is on their reactions to the previous book (Thea dying, Seb understanding his dragon affinity) and unravelling the mystery that past events have left.

When the action does come, however, it is on a far greater scale than occurred in the first book. There are aerial fights between the dragons, bandits attacking at ground level and a presence that is drawn by Seb’s dragon affinity. The characters are facing impossible odds and it makes for an exciting read!

I have to admit, the very final dragon (almost the “boss” level of a book!), left me a little confused. Seb’s dragon affinity isn’t always the clearest so when that is the main weapon against a foe that has rendered the rest of the dragons and riders incapable, it took some following. I’m still not certain how plausible I found it.

Dragon Legends 3

That being said, I enjoyed this book, far more than the first one. I could relate and emphasis with the characters and the tension rose to just the right level for the climax of the book. We still don’t see a lot of the bad guy, so I don’t have any true feelings about him one way or another.

The second book showed me that Richardson does have solid writing and when she moves from development to action, it is a gripping read. I now want to finish the trilogy, which is more than I could say after the first book.

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