As you can probably tell from the synopsis, Dragon Mage is set up upon a fair amount of backstory. It also contains a number of different fantasy elements such as multiple worlds, dragon shapeshifters, mages, elves, fae, and siphoning. Generally, I’m one to appreciate a complex magic system and characters with a rich history. However, in this case, the book was too short for all of these components to work together in a satisfying way, which is a shame because there were several parts that I was interested in learning more about.
We didn’t get enough time spent worldbuilding for my tastes, which left the magic system unexplained and the backstory as more of a hindrance than a boon. I never got time to settle in and enjoy the world because new and somewhat unnecessary elements were constantly being introduced. Several of the events that took place seemed to only exist to set up a crossover with the author’s other books, which might be exciting if you've read them, but for me took precious time away from the primary plot development. And even though the big reveal at the end did surprise me, it didn’t have the emotional impact that it could have had if I had gotten to know the characters better. As it was, I didn’t feel any great attachment to them, not even to our main character Amaleigh, which made it difficult to care very much about what took place.
Though Dragon Mage was a mediocre read for me, I think it could be good for someone with different preferences and expectations. If you like a book to just jump into the thick of things and prefer soft magic systems to more defined ones, you’ll probably find much more enjoyment in this novel than I did.