A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that's perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia - until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor's coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory - the emperor's mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she's been having about a beast deep underground.
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
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Best YA I've read in a while
An exciting, original story with a diverse cast. The narrator is pretty decent, although she's American so she does insist on pronouncing 'shone' as 'shown', but hey.
The story is well paced and has a good number of twists and turns. I wasn't sure where it was going for large stretches, which is always nice.
It does have a love triangle, which I was really hoping YA books had grown out of after decades of that particular plot cul-de-sac but in this first book the triangle is only hinted at, so it's more tedious than an actual problem. RKW has real talent when it comes to writing, so she miiiight be able to do something interesting with the love triangle, or it might be the noose that tightens around the sequel's neck. I'll find out soon, as I'm definitely reading the sequel.