The Hearts of Dragons, book two in the Dragoon Saga, is available NOW. To celebrate, I’m going to be spotlighting both books that kick off this epic new trilogy today!
From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.
Lodian history declares lefthanded people chaotic, dangerous, and devil-spawned, but Iren, the kingdom’s only known Left, thinks that’s an exaggeration. Sure, he loves pranking the residents of Haldessa Castle, but that’s harmless fun to get a little attention.
When one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia’s charismatic heir to the throne, Amroth Angustion, however, Iren confronts a no-win choice. To avoid execution, he must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. The mission is suicidal, and Iren’s chances aren’t helped when he learns that his new katana imprisons a dragon’s spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.
Adding to Iren’s problems, someone on the assassination team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a blood-soaked plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties, and the fates of two nations will depend on his choice.
Seven months ago nineteen-year-old Iren Saitosan saved the continent of Raa, but victory had its price: his Dragoon transformation left him unable to use magic. In a culture that relies on spells just to open doors, the impairment has crippled him. Unwilling to live dependent on his friend Minawë, Iren departs in search of a cure.
Meanwhile, Minawë faces a greater loss. She had to watch her mother’s murder, and she has yet to overcome her grief.
She will have to find the strength to move on, though, because a ruthless pair is hunting Iren. They know about the Dragoon, and they’ll stop at nothing to gain its power. If they succeed, they’ll plunge Raa into its most devastating war in a thousand years. Only Minawë can rescue Iren before that happens. But even if she finds him in time, a secret from the past may turn him against her.
*I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for sharing my fair and honest opinion*
I’ve just got to preface this by stating I have been waiting for this book for like EVER! And, like we’ve been talking about lately on the blog, there is always that possibility that a sequel won’t live up to the expectations you put forth after falling in the love with the series’ world in the first book. I have to say, The Hearts of Dragons was MORE than with the wait.
Like I mentioned when I read The Wings of Dragons, the Dragoon saga is a series that is almost Harry Potteresque(rocking the made up words this week!) in the sense that it is both timeless and ageless. I have a list of books I recommend for teen boys, simply because I know my own brother who is still in his teens struggles to find material that’s really targeted towards him. These books are definitely on it.
To the actual story, though, I recommend you not read out of order as it really takes away from the experience. That being said, this was even better than the first. Mr. VanBrakle’s writing was fantastic in the Wings, but you can tell he has improved tenfold since – and that’s saying something. The setting is just so extraordinary- you are a part of this book when you read it. You step into the characters’ shoes and truly experience the world around you. Simply put, amazing! I cannot recommend enough
About Josh VanBrakle:
Josh VanBrakle is the author of the perfectly logical combination – to him, anyway – of epic fantasy novels and environmental non-fiction.
Born in Pennsylvania, Josh grew up in Hershey, Chocolatetown USA. He now lives in the rural Catskill Mountains of upstate New York with his wife and two ill-behaved cats.
Josh grew up with a passion for both reading and the outdoors. His parents claim he learned to read using dinosaur books, because all the dinosaur names had phonetic spellings after them. From an early age he was telling and writing stories.
While the ideas for his first novel originated in high school, Josh set them aside to pursue a career in environmental protection. He might never have gone back to writing had it not been for a serendipity moment. He saw a newspaper article advertising workshops hosted by Shannon Delany, author of the 13 to Life series and the Weather Witch series. Thanks to those workshops, two years of hard work, and the incredible support of his family and coworkers, Josh’s debut novel, The Wings of Dragons, was born.
Although Josh is now writing more than ever, he continues to work a day job at a local environmental nonprofit promoting rural land conservation. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, nature photography, and generally being outdoors wherever and whenever possible.
One lucky winner will receive a signed paperback of both The Wings of Dragons AND The Hearts of Dragons! Enter below