What the book is about:
The Blind Dragon is a fantasy story that follows Anna Dyer, 14 year old dragon squire, after the birth of a blind dragon foal. What appears to be an ordinary day quickly turns south as plans of a coup unravel. Anna finds herself in an impossible situation of playing her part in preventing the overthrow and trying to keep herself and this unusual dragon alive.
What I liked:
- Pacing – Right away in the story, stakes are set high and that’s even before the coup is discovered. I was hooked by page 8.
- Characters – Even though I didn’t understand immediately, the characters were beautifully written and fleshed out consistently (that was the part I didn’t understand immediately). Each of the kingdoms involved have a distinct attribute and that was consistent throughout the book, and especially breathtaking as more and more responsibility was heaped on Anna.
- Dragons. Need I say more? The dragons are wonderful in this book – from massive war dragons to tiny messenger dragons and all colors represented, there is no shortage of fantastical dragon elements for the mind to latch on to.
- SUPER short chapters – I’ve read some books with pretty short chapters, but this one had, overall, the shortest chapters ever. And I loved it! There’s something about reaching the next chapter that feels so satisfying that I was basically in a constant state of reward for reading.
- Treatment of the villain – This is hard to explain without giving too much away, but I just have to say that the treatment of the villain was brilliant and I didn’t see it coming. The author treated the villain in such a way that I, as the reader, felt a bit of pity for him and really saw the two sides of his humanity. There are more books, so I definitely want to see where things go.
What I didn’t like:
- This is really nitpicky, but I did find myself a teeny bit let down by the resolution to the climax of the book. Everything is super heated, super intense, and then… (Of course I’m NOT going to tell you what happened!) It made sense and pulled from a really tense moment earlier in the book, so I GET it, but at the same time, I guess I wanted a bit more oomph with it.
- I can only say one word here, and if you read the book, I think you’ll understand: Voidbane. That’s all I can say. I definitely didn’t like that part.
Overall thoughts and opinions:
Oh! The part I’ve been waiting for!
I read this book in ONE day. I felt it was THAT good. Once I started reading, I seriously didn’t want to stop. The pacing kept up, the tension remained high, the stakes were always set and obvious – everything about it just worked for me.
I’m always a bit apprehensive reading a book by an author I’m unfamiliar with or whose writing I’ve never read, but this book absolutely did not disappoint. I was so engrossed in the storyline that I just wanted to get to the next page and see what happened!
There were some really interesting POV shifts that I loved more and more as the story went on. At the beginning of a new book, I can be in hyper-critical mindset mode and be taking apart ALL THE THINGS and questioning all kinds of decisions made by the author. Good books have me forgetting that pretty fast, and like I said above, I was hooked by page 8 and I’m pretty sure by chapter 3, I wasn’t doing any critical reading, I was JUST reading. So, while I questioned some things up front, by the end of the book, I appreciated the richness of those POV changes and the information provided therein.
I also really appreciated the complexity of the characters on all sides, both the positive and the negative. Everyone felt fleshed out, even 5-year-old Wendi (who probably has a super special place in my heart because I have a 4.5 year old daughter and so I just inserted my girl into that spot and loved Wendi instantly.
Finally, I think we need to talk about Moondagger. The blind dragon himself. Again, without giving away too much of the story, I loved him so much. He’s feisty and smart and blind and has a super cool ability that I’m not going to tell you about and he LOVES Anna. Loves. Unendingly. I just adore him so much and I want my very own blind dragon so I can name him Moondagger.
And very lastly, I want to share with you my very favorite line from the whole book. I don’t usually do this, but every now and again, there is a line from a book that grabs me and elicits such a reaction that I’ll probably remember it forever:
The drop was dizzying and deadly and—oh Great Sisters—she was strapped to a baby dragon with a belt.
I loved that line. I laughed out loud.
Of course, I give this book 5 stars and heartily recommend that you read it.
And as a final treat, I leave you with this image of Anna and Moondagger.
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