Tuesday, 3 October 2017


The Book

Savage (Dragonrider Legacy #1)
by Nicole Conway
Publication Date:  September 26, 2017
Publisher:  Month9Books

Savage begins the Dragonrider Legacy series, a thrilling companion to the international bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles.

Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.

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The Author 

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school. She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

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The Review

Savage is an ambitious novel for sure! It covers warring kingdoms, elves, dragons (and their human riders), prophecy, dark magic, shadow wolves, royal politics and more, all told from the pov of a teenage human raised by elves. That's a lot for a first book in a series to cover, but with so much happening, you can pretty much guarantee to not be bored, but it's a testament to the author's storytelling that you won't be confused either.

The writing style is, across the board, great; descriptive enough to build the world and characters easily, but not affected enough to be distracting or annoying. Nicole Conway manages to build one heck of a world in a first book, populating it with otherworldly creatures and building it with royal politics and history. The one niggling problem I had though was with Reigh's narration. He talks like a 90s California surfer - talking about things sucking, missions being bogus - and it jars with the more traditional fantasy language of all the other characters, like the author wrote a contemporary character and put him in a fantasy novel.

As for Reigh himself though - despite a few eye rolls at his dialogue - I grew to love him s a character. He was a good mix of determined, hot-headed and brave, but he did have a tendency to be stubborn to a fault, and sometimes downright idiotic. In short though, he felt real. I have to say though, his woe-is-me about his dark magic felt a bit disingenuous at times. He constantly professed to be unable to control his mysterious dark power, but he's shown several time to be in complete control. Noh - the wolf-like form his dark magic often takes - obeys Reigh without question. It's not until nearly three quarters of the way through the book that we finally see an instance of Reigh losing control of his magic. I would have liked to have seen more of Noh and exactly what he was capable of doing (Reigh has a tendency to pass out when Noh goes to work), but I guess that's material for book two!

Reigh's adopted, grey-elf "father", Kiran, was one of my favourite characters. Always putting himself out and going out of his way to raise his idiot son right, he was a wonderful character. It probably helped that I kept picturing this healer/hunter/tracker as Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings! Elsewhere, the human dragonrider Princess Jenna was brilliant! The dragons entered the story pretty late considering the book has one on the cover, but Jenna's struggle to be accepted as a fighting female was nicely touched on. It's a shame this book didn't focus on her! Reigh's elf friend Enyo fares less well though, relegated to the best friend/love interest role.

The story was excellent, even if there was a bit much going on. However, I have to admit, this book wrong footed me more than once. I was so sure I saw a twist about Reigh's true identity coming, but the author spun this a completely different way, snatching back my attention - and wiping the smug, 'saw-it-coming' smile from my face - having me devouring pages right up until the end. There's plenty here that makes me want to come back for book two!


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