Today’s team review is from Eleanor
Eleanor has been reading The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal
The central premise of the novel is a high-fantasy take on Sleeping Beauty, focussing on the story building up to “Sleeping Beauty’s” epic nap. This is neatly shown by how the novel is bookended by a child being read a bedtime story, the story being the novel, exactly as one would a fairytale. However, there are many other elements thrown in here to make the story unique: Walking Dead type zombies, Terry Goodkind-esque battle magic and Tolkien-esque language and groups of characters, all of which were skilfully woven together in a fast-paced, action-heavy style.
Continuing the fairytale theme, the driving plot is good vs. evil. The novel is written from four points of view, including that of the villains, Celadyn and Mnuvae, as well as the two main protagonists. As we’re privy to evil’s thoughts, this gives a darker undercurrent to the novel. Our heroine and hero are Sairalindë and her fiancé, Prince Flintathriël. They are Elves and I was initially drawn to the novel for the romantic element. They are already a couple when the story begins but Errin still manages to impart the freshness, excitement and heat of a new relationship. Secondary characters are well-rounded and engaging and the cherry on top of the cake is that there are also dragons integral to the story.
My main complaint would actually be that the book was too short. I’m not a major fantasy reader but fantasy novels I have read are much longer which I think is needed when you’re immersed in a wholly imaginary world. Errin’s world building is very well executed and it was a bit of a jolt to finish it so quickly. I understand that this is just the first book in a series and that she may well have broken up the story into more easily digestible chunks which may suit a lot of readers but it actually frustrated me.
Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.
When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.
The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?
Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.
She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.