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Book Review: Dragonkin by Sam Accardi

Dragonkin by Sam Accardi

Kanaahn, Arial, Arkas, Shooter, and Drakhart have been friends for years. In the harsh criminal landscape of the town of Kula, they’ve had to grow up fast, but they’ve pulled through by sticking together. Yet lately, a rift has grown between Drakhart and Kanaahn. Drakhart feels unheard, pushed aside by the group’s self-appointed leader. Kanaahn can’t understand why Drakhart has been lashing out and withdrawing from their friends.

Then Kanaahn finds five dragon eggs in a cave outside town. In one fateful hatching, these young vigilantes become the fabled Khaleeshir—humans bonded to dragons and entrusted with great magical abilities, guardians of man and dragon alike. They are also harbouring the most-hunted creatures in the entire country of Altimara.

The five friends must travel across a vast desert, train with a hidden dragon council, and delve into ancient magic to learn their destiny and prepare to face the greatest threat to the continent of Enayra in a thousand years: Tenebrae, the human-despising black dragon who perfected the forbidden Blood Magic. No one can be trusted. Every choice they make is a strain on their already endangered friendship. The further they dig, the closer they get to losing each other.

Some relationships you can’t put off repairing without paying a steep price.

Dragonkin Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I was compensated with a small amount for my time and effort in reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the publisher in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.

Dragonkin follows a cast made up of Kanaahn, Arial, Arkas, Shooter, and Drakhart. We follow them through the story and see how their relationship starts to deteriorate due to the dangerous conditions in Kula, where harsh reality has forced them to grow up rapidly. The friendship was strained due to many reasons, such as but not limited to internal conflicts, marginalization, and more.

The catalyst of the plot begins when Kanaahn finds five dragon eggs in a secret cave. Due to the eggs hatching, the cast unexpectedly becomes the Khaleeshir, which are humans bonded to dragons with strong magical abilities. Assigned the responsibility of protecting both humans and dragons, they set out to cross a wide desert and encounter Tenebrae, a black dragon with the ability to use prohibited Blood Magic, a dangerous foe.

Our characters must overcome old magic, deal with betrayals, and face the impending peril that threatens the entire continent of Enayra to realize their full potential. Their pursuit of destiny puts their friendship under strain as they struggle with trust, making difficult decisions, and the threat posed by Tenebrae. In a story entwined with magic, dragons, and the intricacies of camaraderie, the Khaleeshir need to mend the rifts between themselves before the price becomes unmanageable.

The finer points of visual descriptions are quite important to me when it comes to fantasy literature because they really contribute to the overall reading experience. Because you are creating a world system from scratch, additional details are appreciated if not necessary to ensure proper comprehension for the readers. And I felt like that was definitely delivered with this book, and am genuinely thrilled with the author’s choice of visuals. Since the ability to vividly visualize the reality presented can considerably impact narrative engagement, it is especially important in these contexts and genres. The reading experience of these types of books can be made or broken by a poor visual aid.

However, while appreciating the effort put into visualization, I found that some descriptions tended to be overly prolonged and occasionally repetitive. There were instances where I felt a sense of déjà vu, which made me think, “We’ve already delved into this detail before and a more concise depiction could have sufficed” when reading. I acknowledge that this viewpoint is subjective and may vary among readers based on individual preferences. What struck me as a potential concern might not even register for others, emphasizing the inherent subjectivity in evaluating such literary elements. Nevertheless, this is definitely something I noticed in my experience with the novel.

Unfortunately, the quality of the writing and the way the dialogue is delivered is also not the book’s strongest suit in comparison to its visual deliveries. There are instances when the writing may seem a little forced and unnatural, lacking the flow that makes for a comfortable read. In particular, the interactions tend to seem manufactured rather than like real talks.

I personally believe a well-written dialogue should ideally never “feel” like dialogue, and should read like a real conversation. There is a trick to writing out the flow that makes it feel natural but still works from a writing standpoint. The conversation in this instance falls short of attaining that degree of authenticity, sometimes causing me to be detached from the event taking place and feel a bit jarred. The secret to effective conversation is its ability to blend in with the plot such that it becomes a subtle yet essential element of the whole storytelling experience.

Despite these issues though, I really enjoyed the premise and the worldbuilding. I may be slightly biased because I love dragons in fantasy so right off the bat that made Dragonkin more appealing to me than other books, but I can see its potential. If the issues I listed above are not something you would notice I can see one enjoying this book!

If you liked this review and want to see other book reviews like this one, check out my book reviews collection!

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About the Author of Dragonkin

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I grew up on books like Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, Stroud’s Bartimaeus Sequence, Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole and many, many more.

That is to say that all of these works have inspired and stuck with me throughout the years, and have allowed me to understand the kinds of stories I want to tell, and want to see told in literature.

When I first started working on the Chronicles of Enayra series on March 3rd, 2011, late into my 10th grade year, I never thought it would set me on the path to self-publishing as an Indie author. The first novel, then called “A New Legend” and the series called “Dragon Warriors”, was originally published on WattPad. It was a book I constantly rewrote and reworked over the years, until finally, almost a full decade later, I self-published through Amazon KDP, in January of 2021.

Now, as an Indie author in my spare time, I publish in Young Adult series, focusing specifically on the genres of High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. I seek to tell stories rooted in human history, human experience, and the human condition. The greatest thing I can accomplish is to teach a reader something–anything–and to touch their soul with my work.

I currently have a single book and series published, Dragonkin (The Chronicles of Enya #1), though the sequel, Phantoms, is on it’s way, March 1st, 2024, and I’ve already begun to write the third book, as well as a new book from a new, previously unannounced series.

When I am not writing, I am often found at home with my wonderful, supportive, wife, my two dogs Bella (Cane Corso), Uno (Walker Hound), and two cats, Mona and Loki. I spend my free time hiking, playing videos games, enjoying cigars, cooking delicious meals, reading, or watching the anime of combat sports (pro-wrestling).

The highest compliment anyone can give is an honest review of my work!

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