GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Dragons Against Them (Kingdoms of Fire and Ice Book Two) by Kyra Jacobs | I Smell Sheep

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: Dragons Against Them (Kingdoms of Fire and Ice Book Two) by Kyra Jacobs

Dragons Against Them (Kingdoms of Fire and Ice Book Two)
by Kyra Jacobs
Genre: Fantasy romance / paranormal alternate world
August 29, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9976719-1-9
Word Count: 67K
Cover Artist: Kelly Martin
Blood is thicker than water…but can it melt a heart of ice?

Adelaide Miller gave up everything she knows to remain in Prince Zayne Godfrey’s alternate reality and assume her rightful place as eldest princess in the rival kingdom of Forath.

For an independent, free-spirited woman, however, royal life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it’s downright smothering. Especially since the vengeful Rosalind has gone AWOL.

Zayne is eager to wed Princess Addie—but their fathers seem more intent on keeping them apart. The longer Rosalind goes missing, the more suspicious each monarch becomes that the other is guilty of foul play.

Both kingdoms may soon face a strong, new rival intent on gaining power foretold by an ancient prophecy. To protect their chance at happily ever after, Zayne and Addie must partner with unlikely allies to save the one person intent on destroying them both.

But victory will not come without a price, and in the end, someone may have to pay—in blood.

The fairytale-esque Kingdoms of Ice and Fire, Forath and Edana, exist in an alternate reality. In this magical land, men transform into majestic dragons wielding either ice or fire, depending on their originating kingdom. Forath’s female heir, Adelaide “Addie” Miller, is an earthly transplant desperately attempting to navigate her newfound home. Kidnapped in infancy, Addie is recently returned to Forath via wizard magic. Upon her arrival, Addie falls in love with prince Zayne Godfrey; the fiery golden dragon shifter and heir to rival kingdom Edana. Addie’s existence in her new home is threatened by the machinations of her jealous half-sister Rosalind who, in this installment, seeks the assistance of a reclusive witch colony to assist in her own political rise to power.

The cover design for this series is exquisite. I was instantly attracted to the books for their provocative artwork. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not read book one. As a reviewer, I typically find I can jump into a series early with little difficulty. With this book, however, I feel I missed a lot of information critical to my enjoyment of book two. Gaps are filled in throughout the book, but I was confused for a lot of this read. If this book intrigues you, I advise you start with the first book, Dragons Among Them.

One of this book’s greatest strengths is its characterization. Jacobs avoids flat, black and white-type characters. Her characters harbour a whole host of motivations; none purely good or irrevocably bad. I liked Rosalind, for all her insecurity and misguided grabs for power, I felt Jacobs effectively wrote fully-fleshed characters a reader could identify with and enjoy. I preferred conniving Rosalind far more than Addie, whose observations, at times, were frivolous: “to die young would mean not having to worry about stretch marks, or living to see the day when Zayne grew tired of her.” Insert eye roll.

This plot twists and turns a lot. I found, at times, the shifts in alliances and motive changed too suddenly, without adequate transition or finesse. While this keeps the book from being overly predicable, the frenzied pace makes it difficult to feel grounded in the story.

Through this read there’s a core set of characters in which I’ve become invested. I’d like to see how this unfolds and I will definitely give The Dragon Within, the next installment, a try.

Three sheep

Bianca Greenwood

“…How long has it been since you stretched your wings, went on a leisurely flight?”

Tristan bristled. “I am unfamiliar with your customs in Edana, Prince Zayne, but here in Forath, those responsible for protecting our kingdom have little time for leisure.”

“A pity, that.”

“How so?”

Zayne bent to press a kiss upon his betrothed’s hair. Its silken strands tickled his chin, and her scent washed over him anew. His enjoyment in the continued battle of wits with her prick of a brother waned and was replaced by the desire for a new activity. One that involved himself, Adelaide, and far less clothing.

As if reading his mind, she shifted against him, teasing his length. Had they been alone, the temptation to take her now, here in the stables, might have been too great to resist. The thought of her naked body stretched out willingly beneath him spurred Zayne to cease his battle of words and hasten their retreat.

“Because to fly often is not only good for the soul, but also serves to strengthen your wings and keep your battle skills keen.”

“Of course. But as Adelaide cannot fly, she need not join you. It is her studies that should be my sister’s primary focus prior to your upcoming wedding.”

“Then I shall tutor her on your family’s lineage while we are away, as I am well versed in the subject.” He leaned down farther, pressing a kiss to the hollow beneath her ear. She shivered in his arms as he murmured, “A few hours is all it should take.”

“It won’t take anywhere near that long,” Addie whispered.

Her breathy, musical voice spoke to the beast within. Three days was all that had passed since he’d seen her last, yet it seemed an eternity. His bed had felt empty, her soft skin achingly absent alongside his. Zayne took several more steps toward the door, guiding her with him. Tristan, however, continued to follow.

"I have every confidence in your tutoring skills, Prince Zayne, but my father issued strict orders that Princess Adelaide shall not leave the grounds unaccompanied."

Addie tensed in Zayne’s arms. Of course a decree limiting her travels would create such a reaction in his free-spirited nymph. When they first met a few short weeks ago, she had been traveling alone. To now be restricted by King Jarin’s rules was undoubtedly difficult for her.

Ah, but he had ways to help ease her mind from these anxieties. Ways his body craved as much as the next breath. “An understandable decree, and one I pledge to uphold as her royal escort.”

“That is Blackstone’s assignment,” Tristan said. “Not yours.”

“Please, Tristan,” said Addie.

“Is Blackstone no longer your personal guard, then, my lord?” asked Zayne.

Tristan’s eyes narrowed and remained fixed upon him, ignoring his sister’s plea. “He has been assigned to protect the royal family, Adelaide included.”

“A difficult task when the prince and princess are in different locations, is it not?”

“Indeed. But as we are both here at the present, I feel he is quite capable of offering protection to us both.”

“I have no doubt in his abilities.” Zayne gripped Adelaide tighter with one hand and shoved the stable’s rear door wide with his other. “Unfortunately for you, the present has now passed.”

As he summoned his transformation, the air around them began to whip and swirl, masking their escape in a cloud of dust and straw. The beast within wasn’t to be denied, and not a soul in Forath Castle could stop them. In an instant, they were airborne, Adelaide safe and secure in his taloned grasp. 

About the Author:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by her website to learn more about her novels and ways connect with her on social media.

No comments:

Post a Comment