blood coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Ravi has always had poor impulse control, but there was still no way to anticipate he would accidentally out the existence of dragons to the entire world. While humans know mages and dragons existed years ago, they have no idea that both are still around. But after Ravi’s mistake, there is no staying hidden anymore. The upside of it all is that now that people know about dragons, the Burkhard clan’s efforts to find new mages just got easier, as they can go public with their search.

When Sora sees King Alric and his consort on television, he is surprised to learn about the Burkhard clan. Sora and his family of mages didn’t realize the dragon clan had survived the war 500 years ago. He can’t resist the chance to visit the castle and learn more about them. When he arrives, Sora is shocked to see how small the Burkhard clan is, how few mages they have, and how much magic has been lost to them. They don’t even seem to know basic spells that are routine among the mages Sora knows. And with the Jaeggi still after the clan, they are even more vulnerable.

Sora and Ravi hit it off right away, and Ravi’s fun loving personality totally appeals to Sora. Sora also loves feeling needed and knowing that he can contribute to the clan. Not to mention Sora knows the truth about the other dragons and mages that will completely change the lives of Burkhard clan. But even as Sora and Ravi fall for one another, they must figure out if there is a future for two men from totally different clans. Not to mention that the Jaeggi are still around, and they haven’t given up their murderous quest.

Blood is the third novel in the Scales ‘n Spells series and gives us the story for one of the most fun dragons we have met so far in Ravi. He is enthusiastic and full of life, and a bit of a mischief maker, and so it was nice to see his story here. This book features new MCs in Ravi and Sora, but the overarching threat from the Jaeggi, as well as the general world building elements, continue across the series. So I think while you could read this as a standalone, you will enjoy it more following the other books.

This story takes a little departure from the first two that had similar themes of somewhat naive mages entering the world of dragons. In this case, it is the mage who is more knowledgeable about their shared world and the dragons that are somewhat behind. So it is a nice change and provides some new challenges as this time it is the dragons who are getting exposed to new ideas and a new understanding of their world. Sora also has some other secrets about the larger dragon/mage world that he reveals, so there is a lot of new world building happening here that I really enjoyed. We get to meet other types of dragons, as well as learn about new spells and more about the dragon history.

On a relationship end, Ravi and Sora are enjoyable together. Ravi is fun and light-hearted and he is a nice balance for Sora. I also appreciated that there is no real relationship angst here, again compared to both of the first two books that dealt with largely the same issues in both stories. The guys meet and get to know one another and find themselves falling for each other. While they do have issues to resolve, like where they will live, I was happy to see a new conflict here. I will say that while I did like the men together and enjoyed their rapport, I never felt much in the way of sexual chemistry or connection between them. They felt like a good match, but for whatever reason, I felt the romance but not the heat that I think was intended.

The biggest problem for me here is one that I had in the first two books as well, and that is this book is really long and there feels like way too much filler. At close to 400 pages, there is just not enough story that happens in these books to carry so much length. While there are some key moments that are important, so much of the book is filled with day-to-day interactions. It made what could have been a more intense, exciting story feel like it slowed way down. While I enjoy the camaraderie among the clan, I think there is just too much page time dedicated to everyday interaction and the books are all just way too long. I also feel like the conflict with the Jaeggi isn’t really moving fast enough either. Each story seems to have one or two conflicts, but it doesn’t feel like the situation is really any further along than it was after the first book. I am assuming the resolution won’t come until the last story in the series, but even seeing some incremental progress would help keep the overarching story moving.

The end of this book gives us a little hint of what is to come for the next main characters and I am excited for more of this pairing. Even as I struggle with the length of the books, I still find myself very invested in this world and I am eager to see what happens next.

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