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Monday, 19 December 2016

Book Review: Cairn, A Dragon Memoir by Rebecca Ferrell Porter

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What do murderous whales, an orphaned fawn, and tattooed dragons have to do with the Northern Lights? Everything.

Troika never knew life in the lair. Orphaned the night of his hatching, he trudges through the world painfully unaware of what it truly means to be dragon. Then the voice invades his dreams, and he knows what must be done. Ignoring Aurora is unthinkable, but Troika has already fulfilled his destiny, and he has no reason to risk his life for dragons he barely remembers. Still, nobody denies an Elemental, and certainly not a dragon of the Sapphire clan. But is she calling him home to die, or will he expose the brutal killer before he becomes the next murder victim?

Image: Rebecca Ferrell Porter / Gnarled Roots Books
Cairn is the second book in the Legends of the Aurora series, although I wasn't aware of this when I started reading. I wish I had known this, though, as it was rather disorientating to be plunged straight into the story without being given any background information at all! There was none of the usual recapping present in sequels or books in a series, so I was left trying to guess past events, ending up with me being thoroughly confused. 

Still, once I did manage to (mostly) figure out what was going on, I got involved in the story. I couldn't figure out if it is meant to be a children's, YA, or even an adult fiction story, as it seemed to contain elements of all three. The story itself is pretty simplistic, and the characters are youngsters on the cusp of adulthood, yet some of the descriptions and events are actually pretty gruesome. 

As the main character, Troika is great. He's well aware of his mission and purpose in life and is never afraid to stand up for what he believes in or sacrifice his morals. He's honest, true, and kind - very unlike the majority of the other dragons in the book! Leaf is another interesting character. Like Troika, she's an outcast, not quite fitting in at home. She did get on my nerves a little at times, but for the most part, she was a stubborn yet plucky character.

The descriptions and world-building in this book are outstanding. The author expertly crafts a fantasy world so realistic that you can almost see it in front of your eyes. The location and description are weaved together perfectly - the setting is the real stand out feature of this book.

By contrast, however, I felt that the plot is what let this book down. There was nothing actually wrong with it, per se, but it just wasn't interesting enough to fully hold my attention throughout. I felt that at the beginning the storyline took far too long to actually get going, meandering about all over the place instead of focusing on the real meat of the story.

However, overall this was a fun book, and I'll be interested to see where the rest of the series goes in the final part of the trilogy. I get the feeling we'll be hearing a lot more about Terra in the next book...

Rating: 3 stars

Cairn: A Dragon Memoir is available to buy now.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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