Audiobook Review: The Destiny of Dragons (Tales from Verania #2) by T.J. Klune

Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

The first book in the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy (because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever).

Narrator: Michael Lesley
Listening Length:16 hrs 40 mins

I honestly had some trouble starting this review.

What can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said?

For some fangirling reference, check out our group review when the book was released.  I stand by it all and then some.

So, to at least keep this review from going stale, I’m going to focus on the sublime pairing of T.J. Klune’s words and Michael Lesley’s narration. Listening to A Destiny of Dragons is not a passive experience, it doesn’t run in the background while you’re driving, doing chores, blah, blah, blah. Listening to this book is an event that is all encompassing in the best possible way. Thank sweet baby jeebus for the 30 second rewind nubbin on the app; because I get to laughing at a Gary rant and miss a whole passage, or Sam will have an epiphany that is perfectly worded and then spoken in Sam’s “contemplative” tone that always gets my attention, or Ryan will just be Ryan and I want to hear him again.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and am a huge fan of quite a few narrators. Some though, some can just make the words come alive and when the perfect match between book and narrator come together, the book gets elevated and as listeners we get to experience the story on a more intimate level. Michael Lesley is simply amazing. There are A LOT of characters and these aren’t just MC’s and secondary characters, these are KLUNE characters. They have completely unique personalities, rapid fire interactions and the entire gamut of emotions from start to finish. He nails every scene and every bit of banter and I’d love to sit down with him over beer and nachos just to listen to him tell me all his behind the scenes stories of creating a T.J. Klune audiobook.

I’ve gushed over the narration and now I just want to ramble a bit about the series as a whole and what it means to me. One of the best experiences in the world is loving something with your friends. It’s a quiet thing really, it doesn’t take a lot of expense or effort, but the sense of community it creates is priceless. It’s a strength in our little world that I know I take for granted too often and when I was thinking about what I could say about The Tales of Verania that wouldn’t be a repeat of what I’ve already said, words didn’t come to me, but feelings did.

I’m not a super mushy person by nature, but when I love something I’ll smother it hard with all my feelings and when I think of this series, outside of the specifics of the story, it just plain makes my happy. I love that the characters are not perfect, I love that they’re relatable and I love that I can respect them. I love that I can be a part of their epic adventures and that I’m not alone, my friends are with me for the ride. I’ve talked about this series with friends I’ve met in person and some whose real names I don’t even know. I bought the audiobook for another friend and he and I have listened together and texted back and forth throughout every chapter.

I know that this just one series that brings readers together, but this is the most meaningful one for me personally. It’s not just the words or the narration, it’s the sense of comaraderie with fellow readers and listeners both the author and the narrator created that I am truly thankful for. It’s a seemingly minor thing that is actually a pretty big deal.

I have to say a big thank you to both T.J. Klune and Michael Lesley for giving me something to love so hard with my fellow book (and audiobook) pals.

Thanks guys, see you in the next book!

**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

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