Review is based on an ARC.
About halfway through the book, I had to stop reading to do laundry. Walking to the laundry room, I caught myself thinking, "How is it so good?" Then my boss called and I was interrupted from my chore for a while. Upon returning to the laundry, I realized that all I could think about was what was happening in the story and what would happen next.
I'd like to congratulate Michelle Knudson on writing an engaging, fast-paced fantasy that is neither overly simplistic nor overly weighed down with unnecessary fantasy lore (which few authors have successfully implemented). I recently found myself straying away from dragon novels because they are too often poorly done. Knudson, however, appears a master at crafting a fantastical creature that readers will want to relate to, without making the dragon too human itself.
The story follows a young "feisty" princess and a mage's apprentice as they attempt to save loved ones, kingdoms, and their world. We are accompanied by a mysterious mage (magician), sisters of all personalities, a completely understandable crush, and evil in numerous forms.
The only criticism I have is a failure to announce the characters' age. While I correctly guessed 14, I felt that putting the characters at the correct age (even approximate age) would have helped the characterization move just a little bit faster (it was finally confirmed on page 125).
All in all, a wonderful, quick read for readers craving a little more fantasy in their lives.
FOUR and a half of five stars