Between Dragons and Their Wrath

Orbit. (The Shattered Kingdom, Bk. 1). Aug. 2024. 432p. ISBN 9780316417983. pap. $19.99. FANTASY
The city-states of the old kingdom have governed themselves for a long time, but with the imminent threat of war, many are drawing together under one leader, whether the residents want it or not. As political machinations threaten old ways, three people find that their paths are twisted together. Tesha’s city is conquered and drawn into the fold, but her position as a tribute bride could be a means to destroy the enemies from within. Naili toils as a laundress for an alchemist whose work and identity are shrouded in secrecy, until Naili finds she has acquired strange powers that lead her into the heart of insurrection. In the bordering mountains, dragon riders protect the lands from the creatures that roam the surrounding deserts. After Ash finds that his dragon has become vulnerable to new weapons by the hunters, he will learn that his questions put him on the wrong side of those he was supposed to protect.
VERDICT Madson’s (We Dream of Gods) skillful prose weaves a story of political intrigue, personal connections, and dragons. Readers will want to know where the protagonists’ destinies lead them after this first in a projected trilogy.
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