The moon was being devoured.
Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.
As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.
Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Endeavour Venture (18 July 2019)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Where to Buy
I was really excited to read this. I mean, come on, dragons. Who doesn’t love dragons/fire breathing lizards/fire breathing anything [let’s be real]?
This is also the start of the Bridge of Fire books, so it’s great when you get to start off with a new series.
In this book, Bentley gives us a pretty awesome take on dragons. They’re shapeshifters, their flying fiery forms are called their ‘second skins’ and they have two hearts, essentially they are two souls, their two-legged human-looking forms and their dragon forms. These shapeshifters had to leave their homeland and make a new land home, crossing a land bridge that is now gone, they made it to the lands where human tribes have ruled. These tribes all have their own cultures and leaders and ways of life, but they’re quickly conquered with a peace treaty put in place.
No second-skins will be used not even in a ‘peaceful’ manner in this new land.
This all recalls the invasion of the Americas to me and I loved that she took something like that and gave it a huge fantasy spin, a new land, new world, new people, and all of it steeped in heavy world building.
You all know me, I love world building, this did cause the pacing for Aledra and her story to slump a bit in the middle but I would say that the ending more than made up for it.
That’s another thing, it took me a while to appreciate Aledra after sh leaves the comforts of her people, but, I really enjoyed her as she developed, especially in the last four chapters. I love the choices she makes and how Bentley steers her toward something that allows her room to grow.
Penda was absolutely one of my favorite characters and I can only hope that there’s more of her to come. I mean, I fangirl her, she’s amazing.
Aledra’s father is complex and so layered that it made me happy to get to the parts with him. I really think there’s so much more to him than Aledra sees and I love the complexity of their relationship.
There is love, there is war, there are dragons and tribes, and a girl who wants nothing more than to have the freedom to choose. So pretty much a guaranteed like in my books when I read it.
Jubal is Aledra’s companion during a good chunk of the novel and he was an interesting character but I would say he paled in comparison to Aledra, her Father, and Penda.
Overall a great solid start to an intriguing fantasy series, and you can bet I will be happy to read book two and see where Aledra goes next.
Three cups of coffee!!
Thanks to Anne Cater, Sue Bently, and Endeavour Venture for a chance to read and honestly review this as part of the Random Things Blog Tour!
About the Author
Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing – which isn’t very often!
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