4/5 stars – vivid world building, a masterful plot and a heartbreaking cliff-hanger of an ending are just some of my favourite things about Alysha King’s sequel to her debut novel, The Order of the Rose
Title: The Dragon’s Heart
Author: Alysha King
Publisher: Self published
Genre: YA Fantasy
A prophecy fulfilled. An Empire defeated. The Order victorious.
If only it were true.
Darkness lurks on the horizon and Carey Lee finds herself being drawn back into danger. Bound by the whims of a powerful man determined to procure her magic for his own, the odds are firmly stacked against her. Yet Carey must fight to stop him before he carries out his devious plans, or risk losing everything…
I am so so proud of Alysha as a writer after reading this book!
The writing style was third person from the perspective of the protagonist Carey-Lee (like it was in The Order of the Rose). The pacing was a little slow to start, but I didn’t mind because we got to explore the Centre City in the Magic Realm a little more (which I was hoping we would after finishing the first book so yay!!). I loved the scenery descriptions. They weren’t drawn out to unnecessary lengths, but still managed to paint a vivid background setting for the characters. The story really picked up for me about a third of the way through. From there I was in constant emotional turmoil!! It was fast paced and action packed and had my heart beating with anxiety for Carey and her friends.
Speaking of, I’m so happy with the character growth we got to see in this one!! Carey seemed to grow into herself in The Dragon’s Heart, and it was done in such an amazing way that worked really well alongside the plot development. It was great getting to know the secondary characters a little better in this one too!
I think my favourite character has to be her best friend Kat (still), I just love a feisty female who is not afraid to kick-ass and has a wild competitive streak!! I was mildly disappointed that we didn’t get to have more Kat (and Ji) in this one, but I also love all the new characters we got to meet (and fall in love with, and then have our hearts ripped to shreds over – honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever emotionally recover from this book).
I can’t talk about Ji. I just can’t. I will start crying and I also don’t want to spoil anything.
The Harry Potter/Throne of Glass vibes were still along the lines of what I got from this one (and if you’ve read/love those, definitely look into Alysha’s novels!!), but The Dragon’s Heart felt a little more it’s own thing than The Order of the Rose did, and I’m so happy about it!! I think the author is really finding her own voice in the world of YA Fantasy and I can’t wait to see it develop even further with the next instalment of this series!
Warning: you will experience heartbreak. I legit was holding back tears at work as I read the last two chapters during a null point in the shop and praying that a customer wouldn’t walk in because I was an emotional wreck. How dare you Alysha. How. Dare. You.
But definitely check these books out, you won’t regret it! Big thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of this novel!! You’ll find me patching up my broken heart while I wait for the next one!
Links for the book and author:
Alysha King on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7447564.Alysha_King
The Dragon’s Heart on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47947344-the-dragon-s-heart?from_search=true&qid=ESkqAXNGfZ&rank=1