Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: The Princess's Dragon by Susan Trombley

Title:  The Princess's Dragon
Author:  Susan Trombley
Summary:  Flanked by two lovely and graceful sisters, Princess Casiondra Falanell Cristalona Ariva - Sondra to her family - doesn't feel confident or beautiful. In fact, she's an unconventional princess who spends her days trying to disprove the nonsensical ideas of magic and myth. As she stands on achieving the life she has only dreamed about, Sondra's handsome suitor, Derek, prepares to propose, and her poverty-stricken kingdom of Ariva uncovers a valuable resource that will change it's future forever. Everything seems perfect in Sondra's life until she encounters a wizard who transforms her into a monstrous dragon. Forced to flee from the man she adores, Sondra blunders into the territory of Tolmac, a powerful and ancient black dragon. Instead of killing her as she anticipates, Tolmac takes her under his wing, unknowingly training the human princess in the fine art of being a dragon. As Sondra soon discovers, she must constantly sacrifice to make the right choices as she grows to love and admire her new mentor. With her homeland poised on the brink of war, Sondra finds herself facing an unbearable decision; she must choose between her heart and her duty to her country.
(Edit: Due to a serious “story high” when I first wrote this review, I decided to rewrite it because I felt this book deserved a different review than originally penned.)
The Dish:  It's amazing what you can come across when looking for something totally different. I think my disappointment at not getting into Touched by Venom made me start looking for other dragon books. In my search, I came upon The Princess's Dragon by chance and read the summary. Then, I read the first chapter on Amazon, and soon I was buying a copy of the ebook for my Kobo. Susan Trombley certainly knows how to grab a reader's attention, and I was barely able to put the book down in order to sleep. If I hadn't had work the next day, I would have most likely stayed up through the night to finish.
What really drew me to the story was the concept of having a princess transformed into a dragon. How often do you see that in stories? It’s refreshing to see this kind of take which allows a person the opportunity to see a completely new perspective. What was even better was having an actual teacher in the form of a dragon show the princess what it was to be a magical creature.
The Princess's Dragon claimed all of my attention, and I loved every bit of it, even after the story returned to the kingdom of Ariva and away from the draconic Sondra and her mentor, Tolmac. Trombley divided the novel into two portions with the first half focusing on Sondra and Tolmac after her transformation and the second half revealing what happened within Ariva following her "death" to her family and Derek. Both halves work to tell different parts of the story that took place at the same time, which can sometimes be confusing if not done right. It caught me a little off-guard when the focus went not only back to Ariva but back to the time just after Sondra had transformed and “died” to her people. Once I gained my bearings within the first few paragraphs of returning to Ariva, I was interested to see the impact that Sondra’s “death” had left upon her loved ones.
The concept may have brought the book to my attention, but it was the characters and the plot that kept me turning the pages. Trombley has a way of really showing her characters rather than just telling about them, making each of them more realistic. I felt really close to Sondra with the way she was constantly researching and trying to discover the “truth” behind the magic that her family and kingdom believed. Even after her transformation, she was always curious about new things as a dragon, asking her mentor, Tolmac, many different questions. Sondra was so endearing, I could understand why so many people in her kingdom adored her.
Tolmac was by far one of my favorite characters simply because he was such a duality. On the one hand, he was gruff with the draconic Sondra when she first arrived and suspicious about the reasons for disturbing him. But there was a soft side to him that Sondra also brought out in Tolmac, revealing him more as the noble protector rather than the fire-breathing villain of Thunder Mountain the people of Ariva thought he was. Even when he believed that Sondra betrayed him, Tolmac was always there to help her when she was in trouble, which just made him even more likeable.
Almost all of the supporting characters were endearing, and although they were well-developed at their introductions, Trombley still found a way to reveal even more depth to their characters, especially Elona, Sondra's eldest sister. I was still up in the air about my feelings on her when she first arrived in Ariva, pregnant and haughty, but there was much more revealed about the eldest princess that made me admire and like her even more than the kind-hearted Sarai. One character who changed in a more negative fashion was Derek. He just seemed to have an inferiority complex that really bogged down his character and made him less likeable when the story returned to Ariva.

This is a story for those readers who love fantasy with a bit of updating to the writing style and for those who are hopeless romantics. My delight and fervor with this ebook is so great, I am bent on buying a hardback copy for my personal library, I love it that much.
What books have grabbed your attention that you were determined to finish it as soon as possible?


  1. ooooo this looks sooooo good...just added it to my TBR list...can't wait to read it! Thanks for the great review :)

  2. It was so very good. I hope you enjoy it when you are able to read it. :) Thank you for following and stopping by!


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