House of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1) by Jessica Cluess – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 12, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy, Dragons

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads | Amazon

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call….

THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.

THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.

THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.

THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.

THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

I am starting to learn something about myself, I think I review books based on how entertaining they are to me vs. intricacies. If I am super entertained, I don’t care if such and such didn’t add up. Or if characters are boring or whatnot.

Anyways, I say that because this book was really entertaining but it had some slight problems. Just not enough for me to dock another star.

I always like to start with the problem areas so then we can end on a good note! And really, I only had one problem. The characters.

The characters were boring. It’s hard to explain because they didn’t have a lot of personality, while still having 5 very different people.

Hyperia: She is the “mean girl” with a past of abuse

Lucien: The good looking, goody-goody boy scout

Emilia: The smart girl who doesn’t know she’s pretty

Vespir: The shy, quiet, gay girl

Ajax: The class clown

I liked them, they were just a bit bland. They get better the last half of the book when they start to use what they are good at to shine during the trials.

WITH THAT BEING SAID: I ENJOYED THIS BOOK!

There were dragons galore! There was adventure, a mysterious plot, and plenty of action. THOSE are the things that make me love a book! I was entertained! Dog, Ajax’s dragons, was my favorite! He acts like a puppy! Cluess knows how to write dragons! And I loved it! Each dragon had it’s own personality that sort of matched their riders! It was so cool!

The trials to become emperor were sooooo much fun to read about! The Hunt, The Game, The Race, and The Truth. In The Hunt, they had to hunt a basilisk and that was my favorite! They were all on an island hunting it and it was so intense! LOTs of adventure going on. Each character tried to use their skills to win (or not to win in Lucien’s case), and it was interesting to see how they would use those skills. Emilia was probably my favorite to read about, just because she had the added element of dark magic she had to try to control and keep secret, while trying to compete.

Maybe 70% of the way through, the book changes gears. Meaning, there was a huge twist that I am here for! I won’t spoil it, but it’s so good! I definitely can’t wait for book 2!

I am going to try something new. Novel Heartbeat (follow her, she’s amazing!) has star ratings for each aspect of the book. I would love to try my own hand at that! Here are mine:

Characters: 2 🌟

Entertainment: 5 🌟

Plot: 5 🌟

Adventure: 5 🌟

Writing: 4 🌟

Let’s talk DRAGONS! Tell me your favorite book that has dragons in it!

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Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3) by Robin Hobb – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: March, 2000

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Dragons

Adventure Rating: 5 Stars

Amazon

“The triumphant conclusion to the magnificent Liveship Traders series.

The dragon, Tintaglia, released from her wizardwood coffin, flies high over the Rain Wild River. Below her, Reyn and Selden have been left to drown, while Malta and the Satrap attempt to navigate the acid flow of the river in a decomposing boat.

Althea and Brashen are sailing the liveship Paragon into pirate waters in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia, who was stolen by the pirate king, Kennit; but there is mutiny brewing amongst their ragtag crew, and in the mind of the mad ship itself.

And all the while the waters around the Vivacia are seething with giant serpents, following the liveship as she sails to her destiny . . . “

I’ll be quick about this one since it’s the third book in the series and I can’t talk about much without giving away a spoiler!

Characters. Malta is my favorite character now. Whoops. Not sure how that happened considering I hated her. Reyn is sooo sweet still and I will forever ship him and Malta. Amber, Paragon, Vivacia, all have super interesting stories that I loved reading about. Wintrow has his heart torn so many times. I feel so bad for him! He grows almost as much as Malta though! I still want to be Ronica when I grow up. Brashen had some major growing to do but he did it well. Now for the “messy” characters. Kennit. Oh boy, he has the most interesting story of all. Etta also has her heart torn a few times. Kefria sort of redeemed herself at the end. Now Althea. Ugh. She was such a BRAT the whole freaking time. She was selfish and cruel sometimes, all while acting she deserved this or that. She ended up being my least favorite. Wow. I think I covered most characters.

Plot. Dragons, serpents, talking magic ships with secret histories, mysterious people, romances, pirates, high seas adventure, sea battles, tragic twists!

World. I never want to leave Robin Hobb’s world and everyone should join me here. She has it all!

Final Thoughts. Probably my favorite of all the books! I seriously tell everyone to read this series. I’m obsessed and I want to binge all of Hobb’s books now!

What is a series you are convinced everyone should read?

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The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: March 1999

Genre: Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars

Amazon

“The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love and magic. The Vestrit family’s liveship, Vivacia, has been taken by the pirate king, Kennit. Held captive on board, Wintrow Vestrit finds himself competing with Kennit for Vivacia’s love as the ship slowly acquires her own bloodlust. Leagues away, Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but she lives only to reclaim the Vivacia and with her friend, Brashen, she plans a dangerous rescue. Meanwhile in Bingtown, the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the Rain Wild Traders. And just outside Bingtown, Amber dreams of relaunching Paragon, the mad liveship … “

I think more often than not second books fall into that “sophomore slump”. Not this one! It could be because this is technically the 5th book that Hobbs wrote. This second installment of The Liveship Traders was, in my opinion, better than the first! It introduces so many new elements and plot points that I loved!

Characters. I hated Malta in the first book and the first half of this book. However, and I have no idea how this happened, but a switch went off and she became my favorite plot line to read about! She really developed into a strong young woman instead of a whiny brat. Speaking of whiny brats, Althea. Ugh. She was still so annoying. She literally would never accept help from anyone because she wants to be “independent”. That’s not maturity. And she is hurting those around her by acting like that. Brashen straitens up a little bit. I was unhappy with the direction he was going but happy where he ended up! Amber is still so mysterious and I now have a pretty good idea of who she is. Reyn, I think, is my favorite! I ship him and Malta so hard! Kefria is slightly annoying. She won’t change even though everything else is changing. Kennit is my other favorite character to read about! He’s so intriguing! He is doing good things but with the wrong motives. Wintrow, next to Reyn, is probably the most honorable character. He always tries to do the right things no matter the cost. Ronica is who I want to be when I “grow up”! Serilla makes me nervous. She went through something horrible but then used that as an excuse to be horrible. And poor Vivacia and Paragon!!

Plot. I am going to try to not say spoilers so I won’t spend much time here. Let me just say this, DRAGONS. Oh. Yes. There is still a lot of high seas adventures, crazy talking ships, a bit of romance, mystery, backstabbing, and plot twists. Kennit is still bent on taking over the pirate isles and we still don’t quite know why. Althea, Amber, and Brashen are outfitting the insane ship Paragon (that’s definitely going to go well…) to sail after Kennit, who has the Vestrit family ship and Wintrow. Ronica, Malta, Reyn, and Kefria are battling the people who are trying to take over Bingtown and some threats within. And meanwhile we are still following the tangle that is the sea serpents and what they are up to. There is a lot going on in this book and I love it.

Final Thoughts. This might become one of my favorite series. It is the exact adventure I love. I am already deep into book 3 and can’t wait to finish! I want to read everything Hobb has written!

Have you read anything by Robin Hobb? What is your favorite? OR what is your favorite high seas adventure?

Dragons

“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.” – Llona Andrews

I thought it might be fun to have a short list of books about dragons! The first five books are books I’ve read and the second five books are books I want to read! They all have dragons as the main component. Hope you enjoy!

Books I’ve read:

1. The Waking Fire by Ryan Anthony

The Waking Fire

I really enjoyed this adventure! I gave it 3 stars but I liked it enough to want to continue the series! People can drink dragon blood and then they get special powers depending on  what color the dragon is. Click the photo for the full synopsis!

2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina

Pretty much every one I know has loved this series. It wasn’t for me. I found it really slow and I honestly just don’t have an interest in continuing the series. I gave it 2 stars. It’s about a girl who is part dragon and has a strange connection with other half dragon people. Click on photo for full synopsis.

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

Eragon, to me, will be a classic. It is one of my favorite series of all times. Adventure, dragons riders, and a little romance? Yes. I’m thinking of a re-read. 5 stars! Series is about Eragon and his dragon Saphira trying to take down the evil King! Click on photo for full synopsis.

4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Again, one of my all time favorite books. I will forever and always love and re-read this book. A true classic masterpiece. 5 stars. I don’t think I need to put a partial synopsis here. Everyone and their mother knows what this is about. Even so, click the photo for full synopsis.

5. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

How can I not put the mother of all dragons in with this post?! One of my favorite series of all time. 5 stars. And once again, I don’t think I need to tell you what this is about. Click on the photo for full synopsis.

Books I want to read (Click on photo for synopsis):

1. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

His Majesty's Dragons

2. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon

3. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara

4. Eon by Alison Goodman

Eon

5. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Dragonflight

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please, please tell me some of your favorite dragon books! 

Happy Adventuring!