Author: Ava Richardson
Title: Dragon Song (Deadweed Trilogy #3)
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Plot: Their only hope for their future is to unravel her past.
The Southern Kingdom is overrun with Deadweed and what remains lies scorched by dragon’s fire. Plagued by the choking menace and targeted by attacks from deadly Water Wraiths, Dayie has no choice—master her magic or succumb to it. But when she and the Dragon Riders seek help from neighboring Torvald, they find a Kingdom under siege and come to a heart-wrenching realization.
They will not win the fight.
The only option to restore the wasteland that was once their home is for Dayie to travel to a mysterious site that may hold the key to her birth and the tremendous power that drives the Water Wraiths. But what she discovers is more terrifying than the enemies she already faces.
Armed with a link to her past and the song of the sea in her heart, Dayie must confront the truth of her birth in order to wield the full strength of her magic against powerful and untamable foes.
Before all hope is lost.
I received Dragon Song from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
After the heightened tension, faster-pace and character development in book two of the Deadweed trilogy, I was disappointed with this one.
I failed to connect with Dayie’s character for the entire trilogy, which undermined the whole thing as she takes 80% of the narration. Even in this final book, there is an arrogance to her that I haven’t come across with Ava Richardson’s characters before: normally these traits are the flaws they overcome. Dayie, however, remains convinced she knows more than others and even her bond with her dragon has undercurrents of this arrogance.
Akeem is a much stronger character. You can pinpoint key moments in his journey from the first to the last book. You see him grow, witness him making decisions that would have been unthinkable for him when we first meet him: he becomes the type of leader he is destined to be.
One thing lacking in this one for me was the friendships between the humans. Perhaps it is because they each have their own dragon, whereas before they’ve bonded with the same one, which instinctively deepens the connection between the humans. But while we realise Akeem truly values Dayie, there’s not that borderline romantic connection as other books, where they are as loyal to one another as they are to their dragon. That friendship, that loyalty, has always been the charm of these books and why I keep coming back to them.
There really is no arguing with a young bull dragon in full flight, especially if you are the one clutching at its back scales.
Usually, secondary characters are given the chance to develop as much as the main ones. Again, this was lacking: Nas had the potential to become more, and wasn’t given the chance to truly redeem himself from his actions at the beginning of the book. Same with Heydar – I was expecting more from Akeem’s second.
It wasn’t just the characters that let this one down for me. Despite the encroaching threat of the Deadweed, despite losing territories and people along the way, there wasn’t the same tension. The book became predictable – I figured out who the “sea witch” was going to be early in this book, and was proven right.
There was no final climax, no big battle. Instead, the characters had a quick chat, chanted a song and that was it; done deal. There wasn’t that satisfying good conquering evil or teamwork where everyone plays a valuable part, even if they have been a secondary character up until now. I found the battles of the second book far more engaging; they at least made you fear for the characters. This time, it just felt like there was no threat.
These books come out quite quickly. This is the first time, however, that they have genuinely felt rushed, with not enough time or effort given over to developing the characters. I know they are intended for a younger audience, but this is the first time I haven’t been able to connect. Given how many of Ava Richardson’s books I’ve read, that’s saying something.
A disappointing read that undermined my love of all her books.