In a land where magic is forbidden, earth witch Halani knows she has to be careful with her secret. When her free trader uncle purchases an artifact that’s said to be a bone from a long extinct draga, Halani feels the magic within and knows it will bring them trouble. Malachus has been searching for that same item and needs it to be able to transform from a man into a draga before his magic kills him. Their fate’s are tied together, both holding secrets, yet developing a love that will transform them and help them conquer evil.
Dragon Unleashed is the second novel in the Fallen Empire series, but for those of you who haven’t read Phoenix Unbound, this one can be read as a stand alone. I haven’t read the first novel in the series and except for meeting those characters, they weren’t involved in the plot for Dragon Unleashed so I didn’t feel at all lost. The world, however, is the same where magic is forbidden and just as in Phoenix Unbound Halani wields a magic that could make her an outlaw. It’s through her magic that the conflict for the story arises. Knowing the relic is actually the real deal means that Halani lies to Malachus right from the start. The reader being in on that lie is waiting for the hero to find out, which adds tension to what might have been a rather dull story.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a story with a dragon and I enjoyed his point of view even more than I did Halani’s. Having lived for a long time, Malachus has seen the dark side of humanity, and is pretty cynical about Halani and her people when they first meet. I liked how his view gradually changed, making Halani’s secret lie even more important to this novel. How Malachus overcomes his disdain allows his character to grow which adds impetus to the final conflict in the story. It was really well done. Halani’s POV is more predictable and because of that I found her character a little dull. Malachus definitely did all of the hard lifting in this novel.
I couldn’t end this post without saying something about the cover for this book. It’s absolutely gorgeous and really gives you a feel for the genre, although I pictured Halani a little less beautiful and more round. The author’s descriptions made me envision Malachus as sharply handsome, and Halani as softly pretty. I don’t begrudge the author this beautiful cover though, it will definitely help sell books!
I received a copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
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