Publication Date: February 2019
Publisher: Meg Cowley
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
I’ve kept my eye on Meg Cowley’s books for a few years now, and based on the rave reviews her stories accumulate, I fully expected to be impressed. And I was! So impressed and so delight with HEART OF DRAGONS, the first of the Chronicles of Pelenor.
There are many throwback fantasy elements to this story that give it a feel of revisiting an old friend . . . there’s a magical talisman that everyone is chasing, which ends up in the hands of an unlikely and unprepared hero. There are multiple fantasy races—elves, goblins, dwarves, etc.—and a complex world with intricate social structures generating an interesting push-and-pull within the narrative. But the author’s handling of classic fantasy themes is always fresh, exciting, unexpected, and utterly captivating.
The characters are the driving heart of this story, particularly the three main leads. Harper is our unexpected heroine, who finds herself in possession of the Dragon Heart and therefore in the eye of the storm, so to speak. She starts out as a tough, self-possessed, confident character, but ends up thrown completely for a loop when she’s transported into a foreign land. Her journey was fascinating, and she made for a compelling lead.
Dimiti, the king’s spymaster and our main antagonist, proves himself heart-wrenchingly sympathetic along the way, though without ever losing his sinister undercurrent. There’s hope for him to possibly take a turn for the better (I’m definitely rooting for him!!!), but in the meanwhile, he drives the story with deadly intent. He may have been my favorite character . . . .
Aedon, the arrogant elf thief, had his own intriguing storyline as well, and made for a fantastic counterpoint to the other two leads. He’s a bit of a Robin Hood, cheeky, charming, and always entertaining.
The plot unfolds at a wonderful pace, with the first chapter so gripping that you’ll be swept away within moments. I love being plunged into new worlds, and this world is so multi-layered and fascinating. What’s more, I know we’ve only just begun to explore everything Pelenor has to offer, and I can’t wait to dive in deeper still!