Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull

Dragonwatch, book 2: Wrath of the Dragon KingShadow Mountain Publishing, 2018.

Seth is frozen–rendered completely immobile by the fear of the dragon before him. Even his knowledge that this dragon is a friend cannot outweigh the fear that paralyses him. Seth and his sister Kendra may be co-caretakers at Wyrmroost, but only Kendra is immune to dragon fear, and Seth is only protected when he holds her hand. There are a few logistical problems with that, plus it’s embarrassing!

Now Celebrant, the Dragon King, has invited Seth and Kendra to a feast and it’s an invitation they can’t refuse. But Kendra’s immunity to dragon fear once helped her get the better of Celebrant, and that made him her enemy. Will the dragons honor their rules of hospitality at the feast or will Seth and Kendra be risking their lives just to attend?

I came to this preview of the second book of the Dragonwatch series without having read the first book nor any other than the first book in the Fablehaven series. Nevertheless, the world-building in Wrath of the Dragon King is strong, so although there were many characters to be introduced to in a short time, I felt as if I understood the world itself and the challenges the main characters faced right away.

This story will be loved by readers who love magical creatures, lore, and of course, mythical battles. There is magic here, but much of the interest in the tale seems to focus on strategy, cleverness, ancient rules, and societies. Seth and Kendra have a real challenge in front of them. I can’t wait to find out how it ends!

I received a preview of Wrath of the Dragon King from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Wilder by Lena North

wilder

FAB Publishing, 2017.

When Wilder’s mother and her grandfather die at the very same time, her life changes, and it’s her grandfather that she misses most. Wilder’s mom was devoted only to her husband and Wilder always felt like she was in the way, but Willy, Wilder’s grandfather, loved her unconditionally and spent as much time with her as he possibly could.

Wilder’s not sure how to go on without Willy in her life. She’s always tried to please her father, but received nothing in return. Then, when Willy’s will is read, Wilder learns that her mother’s husband wasn’t her father at all and her father is a mysterious man who lives in the mountains where Willy and Wilder went every winter to ski.

Wilder and her best friend Mickey go to the mountains to explore this unknown part of her life and find far more than they bargained for. Soon they’ve met a whole community of strangers who know all about them, they’re embroiled in a two thousand year old mystery, and the secrets are popping up all over. And did I mention the romance? There’s also romance.

Wilder is smart as a whip and tough. The characters in the book are interesting and flawed and I not only rooted for them while I was reading but now that I’m finished I want to know more about them. Good thing this is the first book in a series!

The fantasy is rooted in a modern world that is familiar. The characters drive cars and motorcycles and have cell phones and technology, but the physical location doesn’t match with any place in the real world, and the history of the story in no way matches history as we know it. The world building is beautiful, however, and the technology we know from the world today blends seamlessly with the fantastical elements of the story.

I would have been happy with antagonists that were a little less gullible, slightly smarter, and harder to defeat. But on the whole, the conflict was a satisfying one, and the emotional pull I felt toward the sympathetic characters more than made up for any disappointments in the antagonists.

In Wilder, Lena North wrote a fantasy that kept me up reading past my bedtime two nights in a row and had me ignoring my to-do list the final morning just so I could finish reading. I’ll definitely keep my eyes out for book number two in the Books of a Feather series.

I received a review copy of Wilder courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.