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Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles #1)

Release Date: January 2, 2013
Author: Ellen Oh
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 312 pages

The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms... is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and even the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.


Review:

Protagonist: Kira is my favorite type of heroine. She's wild, dangerous, hot-headed, quick to act, and at times very sarcastic. She reminds me a lot of another one of my favorite heroines Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Due to her strange appearance and unladylike ways she's forced into the role of an outcast and has a lot of trouble trusting people. I loved seeing her grow into herself as she interacted with those around her and slowly but surely grew to accept her destiny. Because she is a woman living in a sexist world she's subjected to constant ridicule by powerful men who deem her unfit to be a soldier, which I found very ironic as she could do her job better than most men.

Romance: There is very little romance in this book, which of course I loved. It's not that I don't enjoy a good romance, but in this story, with this heroine, any more romance than the small one it's building toward would probably have taken away from the greatness of this book. When I first read the synopsis I thought that Kira's love interest would be the crown prince, boy was I wrong, not only is the kid 12 but he's her cousin. In fact at the beginning of the book Kira wants nothing to do with men or marriage, despite her aunt, the queen's, insistence she get married to a young lord who has asked for her hand in marriage. This lord, Shin Bo Hyun, seemed like a good guy at first, a bit cocky and teasing, but a good guy nonetheless. However there's a twist, a bit of a love triangle a midst the minuscule amount of romance. I'm not going to spoil what happens but I will say that it was handled very well, and I like how the romance turned out in the end... so far.

World-Building: Even though this world, based around Oriental culture, more specifically Korean I believe, isn't set in our universe, the mythology of it is nearly as entrancing as even the Greek or Norse mythology of our world. I'm not sure if any of the mythology was taken or based off of any Oriental mythologies but th way it was done seemed very... for lack of a better word realistic. I hope to see more about the mythology of this world in future books. My only problem with this book, and it's very small and was more or less explained in the very end, is how everyone was so positive that Taejo, the crown prince, is this mystical savior from the prophecy, just because of his blood and station, oh, and that he's male. I'm just saying compared to Kira, who is also eligible to be the savior, he would stand a chance if it were up to me, I'd put all my money on the girl who has spiritual gits that allow her to identify and fight demons over the prince of two kingdoms just saying

Predictability: For most of this book I had no idea what was going to happen next, however I was never really surprised by what did happen. It was a very different experience for me sort of following this story blind, knowing a few eventualities but other than that nothing was concrete. I really enjoyed this numbing of foresight as it really allowed me to fully immerse myself in this story and this world without theories constantly whirring around in my head.

Ending: The ending is very much the ending of a smaller story taking place inside a much larger adventure. While many things wrap up there is still much to accomplish as this book comes to a close. It was a wonderful ending full of action and suspense, that nicely plateaus out into a satisfying ending that makes the time in between the release of this and the next installment in the series seem less agonizing than if it had ended in a terrifying or even heartbreaking cliffhanger.

Rating:


This story gripped me from the very beginning and took me on a wild and crazy ride. Comparing this book to an emotional rollercoaster is putting it very lightly, this is the first book that has every really made me tear up within the first 1/4 of the first book in a series. This book is simply amazing, I can give it no higher praise.

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