House of Dragons

Random. (House of Dragons: Bk. 1). May 2020. 448p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525648154.
Gr 9 Up–In the land of Etrusia, the emperor has died and five royal families compete for a chance at the throne. But it is five unlikely dragon riders who hear the call from the Great Dragon. Emilia has a secret that, if revealed, would be a death sentence. Lucian is running from his father’s expectations. Vespir is just a servant who should have never heard the call. Ajax is an overlooked bastard from a family of many bastards. Hyperia wasn’t called in the first place, but she is willing to kill to take the throne. Each young rider has secrets, traumatic pasts, and motives for answering the call—but before they are crowned they must face four tasks or both they and their dragons will be killed. As the competition grows deadlier they discover that not everything is how it should be. The chosen must decide what’s more important: being emperor or setting wrongs right. This is a thrilling story of five characters from drastically different backgrounds. These differences cause strife and challenge within the group, and through changing narratives, readers witness the growth of each competitor for better or worse. Readers will be captivated by relatable and sometimes deplorable characters. The author creates a dynamic universe filled with wonderfully described landscapes and magical beasts. Through each challenge, the characters are faced with choices between contradicting ideals.
VERDICT A wonderful adventure book for teens that challenges ideas of right and wrong, chaos and purity, as well as good and evil.

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