If you like a fresh fantasy series NOT set in the traditional Middle Ages European setting, then I highly recommend you give the DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON THRONE novels a go.
Picking up two years after the events of the Dragon Scale Lute, this book wastes no time plunging you right back into the intricacies and intrigues of court life in this wonderfully realised oriental setting.
Princess Kaiya has grown up, though she’s still open to emotional manipulation, despite being incredibly astute about her world and its politics. She’s also blossomed into a beauty that men now desire, quite apart from wanting her for her status. But is magic responsible for her ‘ugly duckling’ transformation, and does that mean someone unknown is meddling in her life again?
The language used in this book is flowery – in a really good way. Such beautiful descriptions, you can almost smell the gardens, see the blossom, and partake of the ceremonies right along with the characters.
Each and every individual is so well developed, they leap right off the page, and they all continue to grow and change as the book (and the plots) progress. It was fascinating to watch individual plans clash, augment, and often derail each other, twisting the story in unexpected directions.
The political manoeuvring and more deadly deceit is breathtaking in its abundance and complexity – spies and assassins, wheels within wheels, plots within plots, and every character with their own agenda – fabulous!
And finally, despite setting out on another mission altogether, Kaiya ends up pitting her wits against the dragon, Avarax – but you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I thoroughly resented having to put it down each evening when sleep became essential.
Disclaimer: I received this book in return for an unbiased review, which in absolutely no way influenced my opinions – I can’t wait to read the next one!
You can find my review of the first, THE DRAGON SCALE LUTE, here. You’ll note I gave it 4 stars – well this second volume is an out and out 5 stars, and I’m really looking forward to the next one.