Book Title: Novice Dragoneer
Series: Dragoneer Academy #1
Author: E. E. Knight
Goodreads Link: Click here
Release Date: 11/5/19
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I could kick myself for this mistake. I read this book last year and LOVED it. Gave it 4 stars and then forgot to write a review. That is like the biggest blogger sin I can think of, mea culpa. Well I got the ARC for the second book in the series, which comes out next week, and I thought I’d re-read this book first so I can remember what went on. On re-read I am bumping this up to 5 stars. It really is an excellent example of epic fantasy. Here is the blurb:
In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of theAge of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won’t be as easy or as straightforward as she expected.
Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she’s dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer. For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine.
While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She’s then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past. But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands. . . . – Goodreads
This is a coming-of-age book with dragons. Beautiful, intelligent, talking, dragons with varied personalities. If you are a dragon fan then this is definitely the book for you.
It’s also a magic-school/academy type book. Except better thank usual. I guess all of those type books end up at some point getting compared to Harry Potter. This book is more mature, with the kind of world building and depth that “she who must not be named” could only dream of. Mr Knight, is extremely good at creating a world with a complex history and multiple cultures. He also is good at foreshadowing, leaving little hints and tidbits of information that will undoubtedly be of great import in later books. I absolutely revel in that kind of intricacy of plot. It’s so satisfying when you pick up on a hint and then get to see it come to fruition in a meaningful way.
The characters are really good, in particular the main character, Ileth. She is sweet, naive, bold, shy, fearful and fearless. In other words, a real girl. This world is not fair to people who don’t come from privilege. It is also a fiercely misogynistic place. But Ileth, still keeps on keeping on, and thriving despite it. I really enjoy reading about her. She’s never boring.
All that to say, this is a really excellent book and I’m sorry I didn’t start gushing about it before now. I am hurrying through the last quarter of this book so I can start the second. I can’t state any more clearly how good this book is. I hope you enjoy it too.
Song for this book: My Dream by Yoonmirae