Title: Draykon (Draykon #1)
Author: Charlotte E. English
Pages: Kindle; 314
Release Date: August 31, 2011
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy well written fantasy, coupled with a quick moving mystery.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.
Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious "istore" gem.
The emergence of the stone is causing chaos across the Seven. Gates between the worlds are opening at will, pulling hordes of creatures through from the shadowy Lower Realm and the glittering Uppers. As Eva works to discover the culprit behind the spreading disorder, Llandry must learn the truth about her precious istore stone — before she herself becomes a victim.
The deeper I dive into self-published Fantasy books, the more I find to love. Draykon is no exception to this! Charlotte E. English has successfully managed to mesh a sweeping fantasy world together with vibrant characters, and a very compelling mystery. As a reader I was treated to a story that immersed me so wholly, that I couldn't put it down! Once you're in, there is no coming back.
Draykon tells the story of two very different characters, in alternating chapters. Overprotected by her parents for reasons unknown to the reader, Llandry feels trapped. I honestly didn't feel much for her. Her character was unsociable towards others most times, and I didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked. On the other side of the coin is Lady Evastany Glostrum, who is a strong willed and kindhearted woman. Despite her position as High Summoner, Eva is one of the most practical and down to earth characters you'll ever meet. I adored her. I'd have followed Eva happily for books and books of adventures. In fact I liked her so much, I feel the need to mention that I felt as though Llandry's chapters were somewhat unimportant to the overall story. Just my opinion I know, you be the judge.
The reader follows these two women through the story, and it is so very easy to get lost in the huge and sweeping universe that English builds for her reader. Whole worlds exist inside the pages of this book. Realms of light, realms of dark, and those in between. Awe inspiring, and often terrifying, new beasts are presented for the reader's enjoyment. About half way through the story I felt so small inside of the world of Draykon that I almost wished I had a map. Okay, I did wish I had a map. Perhaps there will be one in the next book? This is high fantasy at it's finest. You aren't just getting a story here, but a whole new world along with it.
The mystery aspect is also incorporated into the overall story amazingly well. As I was navigating the vibrant lands of Draykon, so too was I helping Llandry and Eva uncover the mystery of the "istore" gem. I'll admit that I was about two steps behind them the majority of the book. Although English allows the reader to come along on the journey, she doesn't make it easy to figure out where it is headed, and I loved that. Such a sense of adventure! The ending, well I wouldn't have been able to see that coming if I was clairvoyant. I'm still not a hundred percent sure how I feel about it, but that is a spoiler in the making so I'll stop there. Suffice it to say that I'm eager to get to the next in this series so I can uncover what happens next!
I know this is a longer review so, if you are still with me, I applaud you! It's tough to sum up such a well-written story, with such vivid characters and worlds, in only a few short paragraphs. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not Draykon is for you. I can tell you that it's a great place to get lost in! Happy travelling my friends.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.