The Dragon's Thief by Ava Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first book in a YA Shifter Fantasy that teams up a human street rat (aka thief) and a [hot] shape changing dragon with a hint of romance. The world building here is decent, with elves on top and humans on the bottom and the dragons as the conquered former lords of all the world. There is a basic mythology about how magic came into the world by way of a dead god that centers on a mountain from which the dragons get their power … so when the elves managed a sneak attack against the aggressive dragon expansion that hide the mountain from them, the dragons basically lost all magic except their ability to changed into a humanoid (a bit of a stretch, but easy to work with).
There is plenty of distain and prejudice against the short lived and fragile humans by both elves and dragons, but in an enemy of my enemy trope, we get a dream team that just might be able to upset the status quo … but that is for the series arc … here we have two parts, each and a plot conflict to resolve. The first is when the human thief’s sister is unfairly arrested and “disappeared.” Saskia needs the dragons help to rescue her and strikes a bargain that is the focus in part 2. Despite the growing, and somewhat innocent, attraction between the two conspirators, there is a good balance of tension and individuality between them that makes for an entertaining, if somewhat slow, story … picking up momentum toward the end to earn an extra star.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.