Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.
As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.
A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series. (Publisher's summary from Goodreads)
Jackie Gamber’s first book in The Leland Dragon Series, Redheart takes the reader to a setting where dragons and humans have lived side by side for a long time. We are introduced to Kallon Redheart a disenfranchised young dragon who prefers his solitary life to being a part of dragon society, and to Riza, who has left her home because she wants more from life than marriage, motherhood, and farming. When these two unlikely characters meet, their destiny becomes entwined and their lives are changed forever.
What immediately struck me about this YA fantasy was the clever way Gamber reveals her characterization through the dialogue between Kallon and Riza. Both the pacing and background information about the two main characters are conveyed primarily through their interactions building an unusual yet believable relationship. This also allows the reader to suspend disbelief for the surprising end, and keeps the reader rooting for these characters when both their lives are threatened.
Strong themes of friendship, love, honor, independence, and duty are seamlessly woven into this first book, providing readers with a lasting impression. Although the ending is more than satisfying it is also clear that Kallon and Riza’s destiny is not complete raising questions of what else is in store for these two in future books.
Redheart is a lovely fantasy that provides strong characterization, an evenly paced storyline, and engaging themes. It is a quick read bringing together those elements that make fantasy an enjoyable escape from reality.
Source: Received book for review from Seventh Star Press