Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
Seanah has accepted her life as a lowly vassal of the Eyrie. She doesn’t mind it; at least it gives her a chance to witness the dragon hatchlings and assist in protecting Eleanthra. But, when a hatchling dragon named Shenvu bonds with Seanah, suddenly her world is changed and she is transformed into a dragon rider. While battling comments from her peers about how she is unworthy, Seanah puts her all into becoming a dragon rider. But will her mistakes risk lives…or will she be hailed as a hero?
In a wonderful novella that introduces us to Eleanthra, L.A. Stinnett is quick to give us Seanah’s hopeful and kind characterization, while also diving deep into the fantasy elements of dragon rearing. Seanah’s bond with Shenvu, as well as with their friendly cat O’Mae, shows how caring this protagonist is, and most people will bond with her just as Shenvu did. Seanah is strong willed and filled with dreams; she embodies how everyone wants to be more in life.
Despite the length of the story, we really get a feeling for the world and the hierarchy among dragons, dragon riders, and vassals. It’s hard to do this in a novella sometimes, and that alone deserves kudos. The characters are realistic and well thought out, and I could easily picture the Eyrie sitting against the smoky waters. In addition, the dragons were absolutely adorable. Rather than just being shown as wise and mysterious creatures, they’re treated as friend and companions, with elements similar to dogs and cats. The way they dove into the water and played, or rolled over on their back, made me want a dragon myself.
The length, as with any novella, can also cause some minor issues, and usually that plays out in the fact that I want more! I would have loved to see Seanah and Crohl form more of a bond, especially once Crohl softens, prior to becoming a pair. I also would have loved to explore the world more. But with novellas and short stories, sacrifices have to be made. So when I found out this was a prelude, in a way, to Stinnett’s Blood Witch Chronicles, I immediately added that book to my TBR list!
So if you want a quick read with dragons and a wishful protagonist, I encourage you to check out this novella!
What’s it about?
Seanah is a a lowly servent girl who dreams of becoming a dragon rider and defending the shores of Eleanthra. Fate intervenes when a hatchling dragon chooses Seanah as her caretaker and future rider. With the odds against her, she must fight to prove herself worthy to the elite of the Eyrie. The bond she forms with her dragon, Shenvu, changes her life forever.