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Books like this are the reason I love to read. There are some authors who are so adept at worldbuilding that opening their books and beginning to read transports you (back) into this magical place they have created. A world that sparks your imagination and allows you to see and feel the book come alive as you devour the pages. This author, with the Inferno Rising and Fire’s Edge series’, has created a world like this. A world where dragons (and bears and wolves) are real. Where they live and work alongside humans without us ever knowing, unless we are destined to become important to them. Where something as enchanting as mythical as a Phoenix can hide in plain sight, never revealing themselves for fear of losing their freedom or worse, their life. Where the strings of Fate wind between so many lives and bring surprises at every turn.
Ladon is a King who took his throne in blood. He fought someone he considered a friend for most of his life until he learned of his soul deep, life-altering betrayal. He struggles every day to be the man he knows his clan needs him to be. He had hoped to mate The Phoenix and use her legend and legendary powers to destroy the corrupt and insane High King, but that didn’t quite go according to plan! Now, amazingly, he has somehow been given a second chance when Fate delivers to him a Second Phoenix and he is determined that this one will be his. Forever.
Skylar is a woman who has spent her life hiding everything she is. From the human world even as she lived within it, and especially from dragons. When she learns that her sister has been mated to a dragon, she cannot stand by and watch her be used by the creatures she has been taught to fear their whole lives. So being the impetuous, risk-taking, go-getter she’s knows for, she sneaks into the Blue Dragon stronghold to rescue her sister and reveals that there is more than one Phoenix! And even though she uses her brash, no-holds barred, snarky personality that usually keeps everyone at a safe distance, she ends up becoming a part of the dragon’s fight against the High King – mostly because he killed her parents!
Ladon needs to defeat the High King and his minions in the other dragon Clans in order to keep himself, his clan and the people he cares about safe. Skylar needs to protect herself and her sister from the machinations of the High King and avenge her parent’s murders. Fate has brought these two together so they can achieve their goals but she also knows that they are stronger together than they ever would be apart.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley and Entangled Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Bei diesem Buch bin ich etwas zwiegespalten. Einerseits haben mir die Fantasy-Elemente unglaublich gut gefallen, die Kampfszenen waren mal wieder herausragend gut geschrieben und die Geschichte war sehr spannend. Andererseits konnte ich leider Skylar und Ladon die Liebesgeschichte nicht ganz abkaufen. Ich hatte nie das Gefühl, dass es ein ›Wir‹ bei den Protagonisten gibt, da beide im Prinzip von Anfang bis Ende ihre eigenen Pläne durchziehen und auch oft getrennt voneinander sind – zu oft, um eine richtige Beziehung aufzubauen, meiner persönlichen Meinung nach. Obwohl Skylar und Ladon sehr starke Charaktere sind, die in diesem Buch tiefgründiger erscheinen als die Protagonisten in Band 1, hat mir die Abwechslung zum Vorgänger-Paar gefehlt. Offenbar verleugnen alle Hauptcharaktere dieser Reihe, dass sie "fated mates" sind. Diese Ignoranz fand ich in Band 1 noch ganz interessant, doch in Band 2 hatte es mich leider zunehmend genervt. Laut dem Klappetext zu Band 3 werden die Protagonisten dort erneut verleugnen, dass sie füreinander bestimmt sind. Daher werde ich erst einmal andere Bücher lesen, ehe ich mich an den vorletzten Teil dieser Reihe wage. Nichtsdestotrotz habe ich mir Band 3 bereits gekauft und möchte unbedingt wissen, wie es mit den Drachenkönigen und dem Krieg zwischen diesen weitergeht.
Wer Geschichten mag, in denen Seelenverwandte jeglichem Instinkt trotzen und das Schicksal herausfordern, wird mit dieser Buchreihe schöne Lesestunden verbringen.
This book didn’t have as many dramatic elements of book one in my opinion, but it didn’t need it. I enjoyed the read. I like how the hero and heroine were fated but not Insta-love. Looking forward to the next one.
The Blood King is book 2 in Abigail Owen's Inferno Rising series, directly following (as in the last scene of book 1 is the first of book 2) The Rogue King. Though you could slog your way through and understand the premise of the series as well as gather the events of the last book, this series really should be read in order. They would not standalone well as they are essentially telling one story from the four sisters' perspectives. Besides, Rogue King was phenomenal-you should read it.
The book is done in third person omniscient style (for those whom that matters *cough:me:cough*) and from multiple characters, though mostly the leading two. The tone of the book was very different than that of Rogue King in that our two leads' personalities were so vastly different than Brand and Kasia. It carries on the serious undercurrent of the world situation, but Ladon and Skylar are far more the doers than the dreamers; guardians and fighters more than planners and leaders.
Ladon, the Blood King himself, is a hard as nails, die hard warrior who has known nothing but fighting for his cause (freeing the blue clan and all dragon shifters from the oppression of the rotting king) in his half a millennia of life. He is dedicated and driven to a fault, and the addition of Skyler to his life throws him into a tailspin like he's never known.
Skyler, for her part, is the daredevil of the quadruplets. The 'crazy one' as she herself puts it with a heaping helping of daring and a dash of recklessness thrown in for good measure. She's a perfect match for Ladon's stubbornness and determination, that's for sure. That very similarity causes them both headaches as well as provides middle ground.
The pairing is an interesting one for me: far from opposites attract, this is a fine example of rock meeting hard place and finding a kindred spirit instead of an obstacle. Don't get me wrong, they were definitely their own obstacles and their relationship was hard won, but they did finally win. Unlike with Brand and Kasia, the bonding happens early in the book and the story is much more about the pair finding their way to making that bond whole and real and becoming a true partnership. The opposite of the first book, but well done and done in such a way that it felt right for our couple.
I enjoyed the book and found myself very happy that the two of them found each other and made their own way in the end. I don't think I loved either as much as Brand or Kasia, but we all have our favorites. ;) I am dying for the next installment (Meira's book) and will hate waiting a year or more to see it! The overarching story progresses significantly (great points to the author for managing to spread it out well and not leave a book lacking in that arena) and we find more reasons to hate the Rotting King, as well as meeting new allies and interesting persons. Also: more lovable hellhound time. Who doesn't love that?
If you're into contemporary parallel worlds (happening alongside modern times, though in secret), stubborn characters with more pride than sense sometimes, steamy romance, great sibling relationships, powerful dragons, amazing paranormal creatures, and a story that will leave you begging for the conclusion to come sooner, this is definitely a book for you.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.