There’s not a lot I can say about the plot without giving away plot points from the preceding installments, so I’m going to review this as vaguely as possible.
Something I really loved about this installment was the alteration of common idioms to more properly suit dragons. Things get under their feathers instead of under their skin. They let the dragon out of the bag instead of the cat out of the bag. Something slips through their claws instead of their fingers. These are tiny changes to common idioms, but I thought the addition was thoughtful and fun.
I also loved getting more of the dragons, with their viewpoints and lifestyles and hierarchy. Seeing dragons in their more natural habitat, instead of only in their human form, was fascinating. Dragon politics are interesting, especially as these dragons have lived as humans for centuries and are trying to apply what they’ve learned from humans while remaining draconic. While the politics were interesting, the political aspect felt overly heavy, in my opinion. But I’m not a big fan of politics, so I don’t think this is a huge deterrent for most other readers.
The reason I was so excited to read this book was because I was expecting Chelsie’s back story. To some extent, I did get what I was looking for. However, I felt like there are some mysteries presented whose answers were glaringly obvious, and yet our main characters somehow are still in the dark despite the plethora of clues presented to them. I don’t want to say much more than that, because I don’t want to spoil the story, but a pet peeve of mine is when authors drop clues like breadcrumbs, and yet their characters are unable to follow them.
I love the development of Marci’s relationship with Ghost, the spirit bound to her. I love the development of her relationships with Amelia and Julius. However, I feel like there were secrets between Marci and Julius in this installment, and a lack of deeper communication that bothered me. A lot of problems would be solved so much easier if there was just more clear communication. But I suppose that wouldn’t make for a very interesting story, right?
I found learning more about F-clutch to be really interesting. They’re the clutch of dragons who have never left Heartstriker Mountain, and finding out more about their lies and why they stick so close to Bethesda was one of my favorite parts of the book. However, in my opinion the reasoning behind their treatment was almost transparent in some places, but yet again, our main character doesn’t grasp the truth. I just found this lack of understanding more than a bit irritating, if you can’t tell.
Finally, my biggest problem with this series is Julius’s aggressive embrace of pacifism, if that even makes sense. Even when literally the entire planet would be better off with someone dead, Julius is going to do everything in his power to preserve that someone’s life. I get what he’s trying to do, but it just reminds me so much of my main gripe against super heroes. Batman doesn’t kill the Joker because he doesn’t want to stoop to the villain’s level. However, how many lives would have been saved by Batman taking just that one? Maybe there’s some small part of me that’s utilitarian, because in that particular circumstance I think the good of the many outweighs the death of one (horrible) man. But that’s obviously just my opinion, so take it as you will.
I still enjoyed this book, but not as much as the preceding installment. That being said, it was still incredibly addictive, and I had a really hard time putting it down. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!