Series: Transference #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Published by Crown Books (2.21.2017)
eARC, 304 pages
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.
Let me make something perfectly clear: THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A FUCKING ROMANCE.
Got it? Good. This is not a book about dragons. In fact, dragons make an appearance exactly three times in this entire book. Yes, three. THREE. IN THREE HUNDRED PAGES. Literally the rest of the book is ooey gooey, in your face, vomit-inducing romance.
If you dig romance, you’ll love it.
Me? I am not a fan of romance as most of you probably know. I don’t mind it if it’s background noise. But this romance actually took over the story. I wanted a high fantasy about dragons, “for fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon.” This book doesn’t even deserve to be in the same room as Talon. Also, WHERE WAS THE ACTION? The only real action was in the three scenes with the dragons. Action-packed my arse. (Y’know, for being only 304 pages this book seemed awful long.)
Reasons I was looking forward to this book:
- DRAGONS. Duh.
- I loved Stung by Bethany Wiggins
- It was compared to Talon by Julie Kagawa (should have taken that with a grain of salt)
- I love high fantasy of course
- Did I mention dragons?
Things I liked about this book:
- Dragons, duh
- The concept of “transference”
- Mayanchi (aka baby dragons with acid blood)
……. *crickets chirping* Yep that’s about it.
Things got really sketchy after the transference for me, at least for a minute. First of all, it pisses me off that there is NO sacrifice when magic exists. Oh, you got horribly maimed? No prob, magic can fix that! Oh, someone died? Magic can fix that too! View Spoiler »I obviously knew Golmarr wasn’t really going to die, but I seriously think Bethany should have left it so that Sorrow lost her arm. SACRIFICE. There is none. « Hide Spoiler Second of all, she suddenly became “beautiful” afterward? Seriously? Her hair “changed from kinky curls to glossy waves of brown.” Eye roll. Then her scars that she was embarrassed by disappeared. So her legs were “perfect.” EYE. ROLL. View Spoiler »And of course was completely healed and grew her severed arm back. My eyes are going to detach. « Hide Spoiler And then she started glowing….in the dark. (But only just that once, apparently? Because it was never mentioned again?) Oooookaaaay. And then this happened:
I put my other hand on his other cheek so I am holding his face, then use my thumbs to gently pull his chin down so his mouth is wide-open. Moving my face directly about his, I summon all the good things I am made of – love, innocence, agency, joy, and a thousand other things – and then exhale them into his open mouth. They float out of me as a trickle of light, brighter even than the sunlight warming my shoulders, and pool at the back of his throat. I have to force myself not to recoil from the shock of seeing a part of me enter him.
Golmarr (and don’t even get me started on that name) and Sorrow meet twice – yes, twice – and then he proposes to her and she says yes but it’s too late because she already said she’d rather be eaten by a dragon. So what does he do? He of course throws himself into the dragon cave with a complete stranger so she wouldn’t have to die alone. Perfectly logical.
After the fire dragon scene (yes, only one scene. And the premise is BASED ON HER FACING THE FIRE DRAGON GUYS.) it get so heavily involved in romance that I very nearly DNFed. I probably should have, because honestly I didn’t miss much. Some shoddy flashbacks of the wizard that have nothing to do with anything because I feel like maybe the whole destiny hoopla was going somewhere but then just gave up. The plot couldn’t tell which direction it wanted to go so it just settled on more romance. In between dragon scenes, my reading experience was punctuated by heavy sighs – lots of them – and so much eye rolling that I feared my retinas were going to detach.
He unbuckles my wide leather belt and pulls it from my waist.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
He grins and drops the belt and dagger to the ground, and his eyes turn fierce. “Making sure you don’t stab me for what I’m about to do to you.” I gasp. “Also, you won’t feel my hands on you through that leather, and I won’t be able to feel you,” he adds, his voice a deep rumble. “A kiss isn’t only about your lips on mine. It is about your hands touching me and my hands touching you, about my body against yours.”
In one week you’ve bewitched me with your magic, Princess Sorrowlynn.”
“No one has ever made me feel the way you do.”
Oh, and I saw the ending coming a mile and a half away.
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 2/5