Monday 20 July 2015

{Review} Soul of Smoke (Dragonsworn #1) by Caitlyn McFarland

25273071Posted by Melanie
Release Date: July 27th, 2015
Finished Date: July 11th, 2015
Publishers: Carina Press
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.

As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.

Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys's life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.

The review: Soul of Smoke is the first book in the Dragonsworn series and I have to say – I’m impressed!
I think the synopsis is spot on in its description and if that doesn’t tempt you to read this then nothing will.
I thought the author came up with a great premise for the book and series, Dragons living alongside us but separately, cloaked against discovery and very little interaction with humans…. Until now. Kai is thrust straight into the battle of two sets of dragons after rescuing a girl who she finds injured on a cliff. When she gets the girl to her friends it quickly becomes an escape mission as they come under attack from dragons and turn into dragons themselves. Kai defends one of the dragons and finds herself in danger from repercussions, so the group have no alternative but to take her with them to a safe haven. Although they try to assure her that she is not a prisoner…she sort of is, even if she does get along with them. What she doesn’t realise is that with one touch of skin on skin, a human can becomes heartsworn to a dragon, a fated mate of sorts who can amplify the dragon’s powers and take on some magic for themselves. Kai ends up heartsworn to Rhys and although she is completely drawn to him, she wants nothing to do with the situation but Rhys wants her to commit willingly and not just because he will suffer if she chooses not to bond with him.
I really liked Kai’s character, she is more than capable of looking after herself and I love that she didn’t just lie down and accept what was happening to her; she challenged it! She refused to compromise who she was and what she wanted just because she was drawn to Rhys. They did share a lovely bond even before the ‘touch’ but it’s good to see them both try to work for it & get to know each other – even if it went against Rhys’s instincts. I also liked that she was willing to jump in and help complete strangers; that showed her characters’ integrity from the start which also tied in with her refusal to be a victim and helping herself to find a solution to her situation.
The storyline was great but a lot of it could be spoilery so I will do my best to explain. There are two opposing sides of dragons which are feuding against each other. One side wants to kill the other side and will stop at nothing to do so. The ‘good’ side is forced into a safe haven after being discovered with minimal guards and support. The feud has been coming to a head for a while and has a whole history that you will learn about. We are introduced to all different kinds of dragons, most have gifts that enhance their natural abilities and they are from a place where magic is common place. They have a soul mate principal called heartsworn that is activated by skin on skin contact and sealed with a kiss that totally brings out the alpha in our dragons. There are quite a few secrets being kept that will be revealed throughout the story and will definitely change the way you view more than one character but have the potential to turn the whole game on its head.
The story is also filled with lots of action and fighting from the start; if we haven’t got people shifting into dragons we have dragons carrying people then we have awesome battle scenes with dragon on dragon fighting, human on dragon fighting, in air battles, on the ground battles, fire breathing, mind controlling….. you name it and it’s in there. All of this creates and awesome read and it left me desperate for more – as all good books should. 

4.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Carina press for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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