Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wicked New Wednesday: The Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle

The Dragon Empire 

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized...

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind

                         Anyone who says they don't like dragons are LYING! 
That is why I was excited when Heather McCorkle asked me to read The Dragon Empire. This is a story about a young adult dragon named Grendar and his coming of age tale. First of all, let's talk about said dragons. 

This book paints a brilliant picture of dragons all sizes and colors, from "gem" dragons, like Grendar, who are described looking just like gemstones....hence the name. Grendar is a green emerald dragon, but sapphire, ruby and others are mentioned. There are also metallic dragons (gold, silver etc.) and chromatic dragons that are dark as night. Within all these colors and sizes are different castes. Grendar is in the architect class, but Ashanti, Grendar's crush, is a skydancer. The world building is epic in this story because not only do you have the dragons living on the same planet as other creatures, but their own world is diverse.

This is where the story excels for me.

Yes, this is a huge fantastical world but I never got lost in it. I never had a moment when I didn't understand what was going on, everything was approachable and I LOVED IT. This includes the characters. You saw their own reactions and feelings about things happening in the pages, but also their families, friends and other dragons or humans around them. These fantasy giants that could fly seemed just like me. To balance a world with so much whimsy with characters that are relate-able is not easy and is done very well in The Dragon Empire.

The touching part of this was Grendar and his drive to help others. He wants to do great things in the empire but not just for dragons but humans as well. He has all the conflicting drive of wanting to make his parents proud, and wanting to do something for himself, a conflict that most college age adults probably encounter. However, he has such a drive to do more that it pushes the story along with vigor.

Ashanti is a great sidekick/love interest for Grendar as well. Glimpses into her family life, coupled with her own struggle with the gift of foresight really highlight another character that has goals to help in addition to Grendar. Most of the story you'll find yourself rooting for these two to just get together already!

Overall I really enjoyed reading this story and I;d love to hear more from the empire in the future. If you love fantasy, you'll enjoy this book but even if your usually not into dragons, read it because you'll find a world not just made up of flying creatures, but characters that will touch your heart. - My Opinion- Buy!

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