One Good Dragon Deserves Another: Review

One Good Dragon Deserves Another: ReviewOne Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron
Published by Self-Published on August 1, 2015
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 404
Format: eARC
Amazon • Goodreads

four-stars

After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one, and now that he’s got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker’s gamble to put her clan on top.

Refusal to play along with his mother’s plans means death, but there’s more going on than even Bethesda knows, and with Estella back in the game with a vengeance, Heartstriker futures disappearing, and Algonquin’s dragon hunter closing in, the stakes are higher than even a seer can calculate. But when his most powerful family members start dropping like flies, it falls to Julius to defend the clan that never respected him and prove that, sometimes, the world’s worst dragon is the best one to have on your side.

If only a perfectly nice dragon could be left well enough alone to manage his curse removal business with his partner (and crush) the human mage, Marci. Unfortunately for Julius, his family is far too big and far too, well, draconic to ever let him be. And clan seer Bob claims to have big plans for him. This does not at all add up to a quiet lifetime of removing tank badger spirits (don’t ask) from the erstwhile cursed.

This series is just so much awesome fantasy fun. Picking up shortly after the events of Nice Dragons Finish Last, Julius and Marci are giving it their best to scrape by running a curse removal business when major events start happening that throw the two into a situation way beyond their means. Estella, seer, daughter of the Three Sisters and long time enemy of the Heartstriker clan has put into motion her final plan to take down Heartstriker once for and all. In a game between two seers nothing is certain and futures are constantly at stake. Estella’s plan is big enough and bold enough to bring the might of Heartstriker to its knees.

Where the first book had a larger focus on its urban fantasy setting (it’s a futuristic dystopian-ish Detroit where an ancient water spirit reawakened after a thousand year slumber that brought magic rushing back into the entire world. Also, she wiped out the vast majority of Detroit in a gigantic flood when this happened. Whoops!), this one focuses more on tightly packed action, magic, epic battles, and lots of badass dragons showing off the different varieties of their badassery. Julius and Marci are caught as pawns in the battle of the seers and it’s one supernatural threat after another. It’s really just plain fun.

I love the genre bending scope of this series. It’s futuristic urban fantasy with a touch of dystopian, and, in this installment, more than a little bit of science fiction. Swords that can cut transportation portals into thin air! Dragons who can access whole other dimensions in time and space. Mortal Spirits who can conjure all of death’s power to come to your aid. I may have mentioned how much fun this series is already. Oh, and it’s also incredibly funny.

The series is also a character reader’s dream. There is a large cast here and they are all so delightful. Sweet Julius is as lovable and kind as ever, while Marci retains that sass and the wit and talent that makes her my absolute favorite. Julius’ siblings are entertaining as always and I loved getting to meet Amelia, the oldest surviving sibling. Amelia’s unique ability is that she can straight up access other realities. And the villains are quite fun too. It’s hard to imagine the water spirit dragon hunter Vann Jeger, just a very large man-like form but made out of water with an eternally replenishing supply of weapons (all of the weapons lost to his sea become his–yeah, it’s not great to go toe to toe with this guy). Estella is deliciously creepy with just how well her evil masterminding is planned. And the Lady of the Lakes, Algonquin, remains the biggest threat, with more tricks up her sleeves to wipe out all of dragonkind than we’re even yet aware of.

I will not neglect to mention that my hopes for the Julius x Marci ship were fulfilled! The romance definitely takes a backseat but the camaraderie and friendship between these two is so adorable. They’re such a good team and excellent strides were taken in this installment that push things further toward there being something more between these two. I just hope in Book 3 there’s a little bit of breathing room for Julius and Marci to explore their budding relationship. This book was so action packed (and that’s a good thing!) there was barely any time for any personal moments. More please in Book 3! I am like a monster in my shipping demands. Sorry not sorry!

This second story in the Heartstriker’s series takes all of the promise of its predecessor and fulfills it. We get many answers and insights to questions raised in Book 1. What are the dragons really? Where did they come from? How did dragon politics and infighting come to be what it is today? Why does Algonquin hate dragons so much? The story builds upon its foundation and adds new layers, concepts, and layers of complexity to the plot that all but guarantee an amazing Book 3.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good old fashioned all out dragon brawl in the heart of an ancient throne room? One Good Dragon Deserves Another is a tightly plotted, wonderfully characterized, minimally (but adorably) romantic, futuristic tale of dragons and magic and you should want to get your hands on it immediately.

An advance copy was provided by the author for this review.

kim teal

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