Series: Death Before Dragons #1
Published by Self Published (2.26.2020)
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook, 250 pages
Source: I own it
I’m Val Thorvald, and I’m an assassin.
When magical bad guys hurt people, I take care of them. Permanently.
This doesn’t make me popular with the rest of the magical community—as you can tell from the numerous break-ins and assassination attempts I’ve endured over the years. But thanks to my half-elven blood, a powerful sword named Chopper, and a telepathic tiger with an attitude, I’ve always been able to handle my problems with aplomb. Maybe some cursing and swearing, too, but definitely aplomb.
That changes when my boss is afflicted with a mysterious disease, a government agent starts investigating me, and a godforsaken dragon shows up in the middle of my latest job.
I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, and ogres, but dragons are way, way more powerful. And it doesn’t look like this one is going to like me.
Worse than that, he wants to use his magic to compel me to do his bidding, as if I’m some weak-minded minion.
That’s not going to happen. I’d die before being some dragon’s slave.
But if I can’t figure out a way to avoid him, save my boss, and get rid of the government spook, I’m screwed. Or dead. Or screwed and dead. And that’s never comfortable.
Oh my goodness, I found an Urban Fantasy that I actually enjoyed! And that breaks out of the genre! I usually hate Urban Fantasy, because they all read exactly the same. For once I was pleasantly surprised! This one stands out and brought a fresh perspective to the table that I thoroughly enjoyed.
First of all, SINDARI. Um, sentient magical tiger sidekick, YES PLEASE! Actually, he was the reason I picked this up in the first place. Ya’ll know I’m a crazy cat lady, and I’m a sucker for any kind of cat character in a book. And he did not disappoint! I loved him so much! He had the perfect amount of disdain, sarcasm, and pride fitting of a cat. (I saw that there’s a Sindari novella, I will 1000% be picking that up asap!)
As any feline will tell you, it is more important to be respected than to be liked.
Secondly, SHAPESHIFTING DRAGONS. Zav was so cool! I’m super intrigued. He’s kind of a condescending prick, but I can’t wait to see how his character develops in the series! (And do I see a potential romance budding?!)
I love that Val was a badass, but without being cocky and TOO badass like most UF leads. I liked that about her. I enjoyed most of the characters, actually. I think my favorite besides Sindari was the vampire, Zoltan. I look forward to seeing more of him, too!
I loved all the magical races in the book, and they were all well done! The elves actually reminded me of the movie Bright (which is FANTASTIC, btw), especially the scene under the lake.
This book is pretty short (250 pages), so it was a quick and easy read. The pacing was also very quick, so I flew through it a couple short sittings. From what I saw, the sequels are short as well so I will be bingeing the rest of the series when I get a chance to get Kindle unlimited!
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5