Overall Score: 6/10
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Yes, Book 1
Publisher: Crown Books
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Book Summary (From GoodReads)
When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.
Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.
As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .
If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?
There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.
In order to maintain the binding on the fire dragon that nearly destroyed both kingdoms in the past, Princess Sorrowlynn must either sacrifice herself to the dragon or marry the heir to the neighboring kingdom. Despite her very sheltered upbringing, Sorrowlynn decides to sacrifice herself to the dragon due to a misunderstanding regarding which of the princes she would be betrothed to. One of the princes from the neighboring kingdom follows her into the dragons den.
This book had such potential but it never quite lived up to it. The romance between Sorrow and Golmarr(which started out as insta-love) didn’t really click for me until about halfway through the book. However, there was one twist in the romance that really didn’t seem necessary and lowered my opinion of Golmarr a bit. The plot in general was pretty predictable, although there were some surprises that made it enjoyable to read. As far as the magical aspect went, I really enjoyed the dragons and the mythology surrounding them, including transference (such a cool concept!).
After a certain part of the book, Sorrow seemed content to fall back into her previous passive role (albeit with some new abilities) rather than continuing to develop into a very interesting independent character. However, she did mature quite a lot in this book so that reversal, particularly in context, didn’t bother me too much. I think that Sorrow still has a lot of untapped potential and I look forward to seeing how she develops in future books.
I think that this series does have a lot of promise and that many readers will enjoy this first book immensely (some parts of it just weren’t for me). I do plan on reading future installments in this series, particularly after that slightly wicked ending, because I’m interested to see where the author will take it. I would recommend this book to the YA fantasy reader who likes a strong romance aspect.