Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of Redheart (Book One of The Leland Dragon series) by Jackie Gamber

Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. Their unexpected friendship is risky in Leland Province, where drought has stripped the land and superstition has cowed its people. And the danger only grows. Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, resents Leland's time-worn venur system. He has inflamed tensions between dragons and humans to the brink of war. He wants to trample humans into utter submission, or wipe them off the face of the land. Anger erupts, scorching innocent lives in its path. When Riza is threatened, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. But first, he must confront his past and the future he stopped believing in. He must claim his destiny.

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Recommended: Yes, you need to check it out!

                                                        Recommended Ages: 15 and Up
Paperback: 294 pgs.
PublishedApril 19th 2011 by Seventh Star Press, LLC (first published October 1st 2008)

For This Review: *Paperback Book Copy Provided by Publisher For Review Purposes*

Riza Diantus is an open-minded young woman compared to her fellow humans of her village of Cresvell. In these times dragons are becoming few and people are ignorant enough to hunt them for sport or plain fear.  Riza has lived in the village of Cresvell all her life knowing how narrow-minded many of the villagers are that she's grown restless for something bigger or new to fill her life from what she obviouly suspects her life in Cresvell will be- ignorant. A life marrying a young man who wouldn't be capable of accepting her with the many questions she asks as a woman. The men expecting her to be quiet and subservient where she knows that life isn't something she wants at all. Riza decides to run away instead of staying where she will undoubtedly be put to marry a man by pressure if she stays in Cresvell. Just when Riza is out on her own she's viciously  assaulted by a group of men while traveling. In her darkest moments she knows there's no one to help her and she may in fact have made a horrible mistake leaving the comfort of the life she knew. To her relieve on this day Kallon Redheart a Red dragon who has run away from his responsibility comes by and saves her feeling the need to show though he's a dragon humans can paint a  bad picture of them  but they aren't evil creatures. Kallon turns out to be a rather moody dragon than anyone would expect. Some of his issues could come from feeling he has such a legacy to live up to: his father having been a magnificent dragon ruler. Kallon though doesn't want it especially holding guilt and shame over his parents being mudered by a human dragon slayer. The same dragon slayer who seems taken with Riza as well when she leaves off into the human way of living. Jastin Armitage a dragon hater, hunter, slayer, and all-around destroyer of more often than not innocent dragons. Jastin holds a lot of hate for dragonkind since his family was murdered by a particular mysterious Gold dragon  a long way back. He can be hard but also honorable which as a character is impressive to see.  He often gets assisted b a rather crazy wizard named Layce who often teases him fo his serious and dark attitudes. Jastin seems both annoyed and amused by her most of the time. There is a deep sense in humor pieces during this time in the book that's good to read. Kallon really worries about Riza over her and Jastin yet his father's wizard , Orman Tistleby, warns him on many days that he needs to confront his destiny as the leader of The Dragon Council of The Leland Mountain Dragons. To him its something he really feels he can't afford to think about. So, while he hesitates a darkly viscous dragon by the name of Fordon Blackclaw grows stronger who's assisted by an even unsavory dragon named Fane Whitetail. With allies in Riza, Vaya Brownwing, Hale Brownwing, and Orman, Kallon may have a chance at triumph. If he'd just allowed his friendships to guide him to the bigger picture of taking his place as a leader.

In Redheart for a reader that really loves fantasy or dragons this novel series that begins with this book should be a delicious treat in an otherwise same -old- same-old - palette. The narration is omniscient allowing for the readers to really see into all the darkest corners of the story as well as characters. This is a book that seeps into your mind and the storytelling is just wonderful very picturesque. 

Riza and Kallon formed a bond that really surpasses species boundaries through mutual understanding that besides the fascinating fantasy curving movement of the story held quite the lovely message. A fantasy not to discount.
Overall: Amazing read!
Genre: Fantasy, Dragons, Young Adult

                             About the Author
Jackie Gamber is an award-winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies and periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, ParABnormal Digest, and Shroud. She is author of the Leland Dragon Series of novels, released by Seventh Star Press, and an upcoming steampunk fantasy novel by New Babel Books. Jackie is winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction, was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is also a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association.

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