On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.
As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.
Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys’s life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.
Book One of the Dragonsworn trilogy
As they say “You had me at dragons”, I know they don’t really say that. But for me, the moment I read the blurb on this book I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed!
One of the reasons fantasy is one of my favourite genres is because almost all of the best fantasy novels ever written feature dragons. These beautiful, terrifying, creatures have featured in fantasy in every shape and form as saviours, as monsters, as friends, as enemies. From Smaug in The Hobbit to Drogon in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels (Game of Thrones).
What I loved about this novel was we are essentially introduced to dragons in a paranormal romance setting. I’ve wracked my brains and can’t think of any time I’ve seen this come up before it is perfect, original, and dramatic.
We are introduced to Kai, a human girl who accidentally gets herself tied up in a dragon war where dragons from all over the world have taken sides and we get to see both sides of the story. Dragons as monsters and as saviours.
What I absolutely loved was that woven through this book were tidbits of dragon mythology from around the world, as different dragons were introduced, where they were from and why they had the powers they do etc. Rather than just having a group of stereotypical dragons Caitlyn McFarland has taken the time to merge cultures, and mythologies to make people like me completely geek out!
The concept that dragons can take human form allowed for the romance aspect which is superbly paced and even at the end of the book we are left hanging not knowing what will happen between Kai and Rhys.
The battles, the dialogue, the descriptions are beautiful. I’m so glad this is part of a trilogy as there is so much more to take from this world and story.
This is a spectacular new slant on the genre and I’m supremely impressed.
Thank you so much to Carina via NetGalley for the ARC of this book in return for this honest review.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Title: Soul of Smoke
Author: Caitlyn McFarland
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: 27 July 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A