Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Review: Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgling (The Dragonrider Chronicles)
Title: Fledgling
Author: Nicole Conway
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons, Coming-of-age
Page Count: 298
Source: I received this book from Month9Books in exchange for an honest review! This in no way has affected my rating.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Synopsis: Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war? Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy, a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future. While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor. Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test. 

"Bravery is not an immunity to fear, it is rising up to meet it with the hope nothing is impossible."

This book surprised me in all of the best ways. I wanted to read this book, but I was wary because this is a new author to me, and I hadn't heard any overwhelmingly bad or good things about this book. But I went excited, and ready to start a journey with a new set of characters.

Jaevid is a half breed, and he was a wonderful narrator, I really enjoyed the way he described the surroundings and everything he experienced, he had a strong voice that I could appreciate. He is small, and underappreciated, and often expected less of than capable of. He proves his strength and bravery throughout the novel.

Felix is Jaevid's roommate, and best friend, and I loved him and every little bit of him. He was the hope for everyone, at least for me. I really liked the dynamic between Jae and Felix because it was very brother-like and best friend-ish, and I appreciated how their friendship played out. I just really enjoyed his witty humor.

Sile Derrick is a dragon-rider and takes Jae and Felix under his wing (hah get it? The puns I have made with this series already are endless...) and taught them how to ride, and how to become stronger, and the bare necessities when it comes to learning at Blybrig Academy. I absolutely loved Sile, and his name is really interesting. (Actually almost every character name is on point in this book, I definitely approve of that.) Sile is just such a great mentor.

Beckah is Sile's daughter and joins us about 50% through. I have some speculations about her involvement in the future installments, but I am going to keep that to myself... She also says some highly intelligent things. Some of the wisest things I have heard in awhile from a book. "Don't forget about everyone else-- especially the ones who need you the most"

"If it's something you really care about, then it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks."

and Jaevid (I'm pretty sure it's Jaevid) once says "You can't just condemn someone, no matter what they've done. Everyone deserves justice, even traitors."

So, as much as I enjoyed this book, it has it's faults. Fledgling is ridden with clichés, and common YA tropes including Specialness and many, many other tropes.

Also, the first thirty pages or so were super slow, until Jae joined Blybrig Academy and started his training, the real story picked up there... and although this is not  the best book I have ever read... it is a really quick read filled with adventure and loads of enjoyment. I flew (hehe) through this book even though it started out dragon (hehehe I'm so funny)

A stupid nitpick of mine is the fact that Katalina's nickname is Katty, it annoyed me... really stupid of me to dislike... but that's okay.

Nicole Conway shows great promise as a writer and I cannot wait to see how she grows with each book, because I guarantee we will see improvement. Beginning with a story filled with clichés does not mean she will continue with the rest of the series! She weaves her story well, keeping a gripping storyline going, growing especially strong when writing action scenes. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book, above the rest of the story. Any action was great.

She also described things really well, and I feel I understood the society well. I am excited to see how the war that was alluded to will play out, and how the gray elves will come into contact with Jaevid again (because I am assuming they will)

Consensus: Nicole Conway's FLEDGLING is a wonderful coming-of-age story about Jaevid Broadfeather, a half-breed human and elf who is shunned for the majority of his life. Jaevid forms an inseparable bond with a dragon, and starts his journey as a dragon rider. Though ridden with clichés and common tropes, Conway deliver's a fast paced, heart pounding thrill ride that had me on the edge of my seat pouring through each page, needing to know the end of the story.

On to AVIAN now! I am super excited and I have high expectations!!!!

Also: The dragons and world awoken the inner World of Warcraft nerd in me and I really appreciated it!

Cody @ Roecker Reviews

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