Book Reviews, YA book reviews

House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess – ARC Review

 

My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  4 August 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 448

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

 

 

Blurb

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call….

THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.

THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.

THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.

THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.

THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

 

1

Review

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of House of Dragons, in exchange for an honest review!

 

Excuse me while I flail all over the place about this book!  I know this is odd for someone who loves fantasy, but one thing I usually don’t enjoy in books is…. dragons.  Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.  So, as you can imagine, I was a teensy bit hesitant to pick this one up, but ohhhhh I’m so glad I did!  I’m now going to have to revise my thoughts on dragon books, as long as they’re written by Jessica Cluess 😄

When the old Emperor dies, a new ruler is selected, and that new ruler is chosen by winning the Dragon Trials.  The eldest of each of the five influential families is called each time, and they have trained their whole life for this moment.  But when the call comes….it comes for someone different.  Siblings, and a servant, who have never trained for the trials, knowing they would not have to compete.  But there is no way out, they and their dragon’s must answer the call.  Only one of them can win, and the others will be ‘cut’, a fate worse than any other.

Told in alternating points of view from each of the contestants, House of Dragons is a fast paced race, full of danger, tentative friendships, bloodshed and betrayal.  I quite literally had my hand to my mouth in fear for the dragons the whole time I was reading (well, for the human characters too, but mostly the beautiful dragons 😅).  I loved the mix of different characters and their personalities.  I felt like we got to know each and every one of them as well as the next.  House of Dragon’s is very character driven, so I truly appreciated the list of characters being on the back of the book too – I am terrible at remembering who’s who when there are several main characters, but that made it so easy to just keep flipping to the back cover and reminding myself, until I had them straight in my mind!   There was plenty of political intrigue and even a bit of a mystery woven in to the story, which really gave the ‘race’ plot line depth.   I was a little meh about the ending, but to be honest, the rest of the book was so good, it didn’t even matter.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one – even if you’re not into epic type fantasies (and that’s what you think of when you see the word ‘dragon’, like I do) I’d encourage you to pick this one up!  I absolutely can’t wait for the next instalment in the series!

 

 

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