Guest Review: The Sun Dragon (The Sun Dragon #1) by Annabelle Jay

The Sun Dragon: Book One

It’s been many years since the beauty of dragons riding the wind disappeared from the skies, destroyed by the corrupt King Roland and his greedy minions.

Or were they?

Instead of killing the dragons, Roland transformed them into humans so they could mingle with his people and breed him an army. Teenage Allanah saves her friend Victoria from falling victim to his scheme with newly manifested magical abilities. Another surprise comes when Allanah’s first high school crush, Jason, reveals he’s been sent by a clandestine council of wizards to test Allanah and Victoria’s arcane talents. No one is more amazed than Allanah when, during her trial, she produces the world’s first light dragon.

Allanah might be the only hope not just for her best friend but also for the survival of all the world’s dragons. In addition to her monumental task, she struggles to understand her feelings between her new attraction to Cormac, the wizard general, and her emerging desire for a beautiful, forest-dwelling Igreefee girl named Dena.

Guest Reviewer: Fantasy Living

Allanah is fifteen and spends her days reading fantasy novels, not able to stay mentally present in school, or life in general, always getting in trouble for not paying attention to things around her.

When King Roland, an evil wizard, calls out his dragons on national television, Allanah is thrust into the magical world, where her reality is completely turned around and things make even less sense to her addled mind.

Allanah quickly discovers that she is a powerful witch, and has been tasked with saving the magical world from the evil King Roland, while navigating her strange new world, and her feelings for Cormac and Dena.

This was a struggle for me. There was just too much information in the beginning of the story, and none of it really made sense. A teenager is suddenly the most important person in the magical world, and is giving counsel to adults, in a world she just learned about, yet she is not amazed, not frightened, and seems to just go along with the new reality. Most of the ideas she has are just blurted out thoughts and everyone goes along with it. There is no questioning her thought process, it just seems like the most logical option available because she cracked open an egg with a light dragon. No training, no guidance, let's just all do what this teenager says, even though we’ve been doing this for decades, and she walked into the room moments ago.

Once the second part rolled around I was much more comfortable with the storyline. Allanah is finally being taught something, she is finally being guided, and it is heading in the right direction. I liked the world, although the worldbuilding was somewhat lacking, it was enough to grasp what was going on. The relationship development between characters was poorly executed, and flimsy. I would have preferred more time spent fleshing out the relationships with all the key characters. Too much time was spent inside Allanah’s mind, and not enough spent on giving me more of the important people in her life.

Which brings me to the relationship between Allanah and her mother. I have a teenager….. he’s thirteen, and very headstrong. He is independent and flighty in school. So I get it. I’ve yelled at him about his education, and it has not hit the thinking brain yet. But we still have a relationship. He hasn’t run away (yet?), and he still defers to me when things really matter. I just do not understand how Allanah’s mother pretty much says ‘Oh, you’re a Level Five witch, and you’ve been pulled into this Council that I hate, but sure, go live somewhere else, and do your witchy thing, because I don’t use magic anymore so I won’t be helping you on this journey’. No! That is not how parental guidance works. It was completely unbelievable to me. Maybe it would be more believable to the teenagers who will be reading this story, and this book would definitely be best placed in the 9-13 category, but if my kid is reading about how he can just say ‘Oh, I’m going to go live in this little village in the woods and learn from these magical beings, that I’ve just met’, you can bet on me tagging along, if I don’t say ‘Absolutely not’ before the sentence has left his lips.

All those issues aside, I think this story would be good for pre-teen/young teens. It’s an adventure story, and the ‘romance’ element is completely G rated. There is suggestion of liking Dena and Cormac, but there is no real romantic development. I would be comfortable with my 11 and 13 year olds reading this (not that they would because they prefer video games). It may make more sense to children who are not advanced readers yet, and won’t get hung up on grammar, context, and misuse of metaphors.

The third part of this story flopped for me. Even though it tied everything else in, it missed the mark. It may make more sense in the second book, but it was a completely unsatisfying ending to this book. I hope that the second book improves the author’s writing, because the ideas are actually really great. More time needs to be spent developing the world, characters, as well as tightening up the writing.

I wouldn’t recommend this to an adult who enjoys YA reading, but I would recommend it to previously stated 9-13 age group.

Harmony Ink Press

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