Review – Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven

Posted September 11, 2020 by Carole in 2020 New Release Challenge, Book Reviews / 9 Comments

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Series: Fallen Empire #2
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group – Ace
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Date Read: June 18, 2020
Length:  384 pages
Source: NetGalley

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright.

My Review

While I liked this book, I didn’t love it as I had hoped that I would.  I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Phoenix Unbound, so I have been very eager to get my hands on this newest installment.  I couldn’t wait to dive back into this world and the dragons promised in the title only added to my excitement.  My expectations were really high going into this book which might have ended up being an issue because I ended up being somewhat disappointed that those expectations were not met.  Don’t get me wrong – this is a good book but I just expected a little more.

This was a slower-moving story.  The first book in the series felt pretty action-packed and I really expected that this book would be similar.  I really felt like I spent most of this book just waiting for something to happen.  Things did eventually get exciting but it was pretty late in the book before things picked up. 

I thought that the characters in the story were very well done.  I really enjoyed getting to know Halani, her mother, and Malachus.  I thought that the chemistry between Halani and Malachus was well done and I was definitely cheering on their relationship.  I found all of the information regarding the Draga to be quite interesting and I really felt like Malachus had been through a lot.  I also found that the secrets surrounding Halani added a nice element to the story.

I would recommend this book to others.  I feel like most readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did.  I did like the book but felt like it was rather slow for much of the story.  I definitely plan to read more of Grace Draven’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group – Ace via Net Galley.

The Series
Book #1 – Phoenix UnboundMy Review
Book #2 – Dragon Unleashed – Now Available!
About the Author

Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and a USA Today Bestselling author.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

9 responses to “Review – Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven

  1. I also felt this was not as "good" as the first book . But it is also more a character-driven story than a plot-action story in some aspects. So the style is quite different and yes, it felt slow for much of the beginning half.

    Anne – Books of My Heart