Rating: 4.75 stars
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The kingdom of Torsere has one thing that the surrounding kingdoms don’t – dragons and their riders. But not for lack of trying. When Ryneq’s parents were killed by the Rodeth and Athisi armies, Ryneq inherited the throne and the wars against it. In need of protection for his people, King Ryneq and his sister, Cerylea, agree to her betrothal to the elven prince in exchange for the magical protection for all of Torsere. But with the wedding on the horizon, the threats form Rodeth and Athisi become increasingly more dangerous.
When the elven delegation visits Torsere, Ryneq gives into their request to learn more about the dragons and their riders by choosing a representative from the riders. Ryneq is immediately attracted to Nykin, but knows that nothing can ever come from it. Even with Cerylea urging him to take a chance, Ryneq refuses to make a move.
Nykin is a relatively new dragon rider and he’s still learning to trust himself and his dragon. He follows the orders of his king so when he is asked to represent the dragons and riders, he does so to the best of his ability. Even attracting the attention of the beautiful elven representatives, Nykin can’t help his attraction and need to please Ryneq, but Nykin wants more than to become the king’s bedwarmer. And weeks after the delegation leaves, Nykin rarely even sees Ryneq.
But with the wedding nearing, Ryneq plans travel through the forest, a place the dragons and riders can’t cover, in order to reach the elven kingdom. When their enemies attack and Ryneq is taken prisoner, he sees the hopelessness of his situation and only hopes that his sister and his kingdom will survive. And after his king is captured, Nykin will do anything to save the man he is loyal to, the man he can’t stop thinking about.
I love this book. I mean, I love it. It’s such a big story with a big world and big plot. It’s enrapturing from the beginning. I was drawn in and had a hard time finding my way out, not that I really wanted to. This epic fantasy is layered beautifully. First, the world is amazing – one easily pictured in my head with the help of the authors colorful, vivid description.
And of course dragons. I really liked this author’s take on the giant beasts. They’re magical and ferocious. They’re sentient and wise. The connection between rider and dragon is a special bond that is not that of mates, which I enjoyed, but more of a partner bond. One unable to survive fully without the other. These dragons are full dragon and beautifully scripted. They have emotion, connection, and passion. And the bond between rider and dragon is beautiful – the trust and respect that makes them stronger or weaker depending on the level.
So not only do we have dragons, but we have elves. These elves are pretty much your typical elves. Their magic is derived from nature, which is why their kingdom is in the woods and hidden by the water. Not only are they beautiful in presence, but their magic tends to make them even more attractive. So, no, the elves aren’t unique to elven stories, but they are fabulous characters –sensual, beautiful, inquisitive, sexy. Not only are they all of those things, they are strong and protective of what they consider theirs. I enjoyed the elves immensely.
Ryneq and Nykin are wonderful characters. Ryneq struggles with running a kingdom, worrying how the choices he makes will affect his kingdom. He’s young for a king, but strong and intelligent. He’s brave and passionate, everything you would imagine a king to be, yet he hopes for a love he’s afraid to have. Nykin is young and impulsive. He takes risks that tend to get him in trouble. What attracts me to these guys the most is their unrequited attraction to one another. They are both stubborn beyond belief. They fight their attraction to one another for different reasons. But when they do finally come together, it’s fabulous. These two are meant to be and I truly enjoyed their journey into that discovery.
And this story…wow! It is such an adventure. This author does a wonderful job at drawing readers into this story. The action and adventure is heart pounding. It’s intense. The capture, the rescue, the fight – it’s amazing. Add in the dragons and the elves and it’s a real party. Then to layer it with a romance that seems unlikely, to give hope where there seems to be none. This author took me through a rollercoaster of emotion and adventure. The battles, captivity, escape – this story has so much and I only wanted more. Luckily, there is sure to be more in this series.
I loved this story from beginning to end. The world is amazing. The characters are fabulous. And the story is beyond entertaining. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series. I highly recommend Capture by Annabelle Jacobs.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.