In a land torn by war, the arranged marriage of a headstrong princess to a reclusive mountain king would seem of little consequence… unless you’re the princess! Kimri is bound for adventure greater than she can imagine, however, and perhaps a solution to the war that has plagued her childhood, if only she can break through the gruff exterior of her new husband-to-be in Heart of the Dragon’s Realm, a touching romantic fantasy.
You know me and dragons ;-). When I saw the title and the dragons in the background of Heart of the Dragon’s Realm on NetGalley, I had to request it :D. A big thank you to Carina Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this great book! While Karalynn Lee states on her author page that she is more of a romantic writer, the fantasy element in Heart of the Dragon’s Realm was plenty strong for me, and so I highly recommend this story for all fantasy and dragon readers out there :D.
Princess Kimri is used to betrayal. Her brother sold her to a king in exchange for swords to defend his lands. King Tathan’s reputation is as fierce as that of his mountain kingdom—where dragons are said to guard the castle walls—but the realms are unstable enough without angering the mountain-king, so Kimri reluctantly agrees to the union.
When she arrives in Helsmont, the king promises her a year of courtship before marrying—or parting ways. Before long, Kimri thinks she may find comfort, and perhaps eventually love, with the stoic king.
But the realms are more unsettled than Kimri realizes, and she soon finds herself caught in the middle of a war between the kingdoms. Can she count on her betrothed to take her side? Or will his loyalty to his kingdom come before his loyalty to her? — Goodreads
- I loved the writing style of Heart of the Dragon’s Realm. There was a sense of wonder and excitement that made me really happy to pick this one up, which is a refreshing change from the high stress that some novels have in order to stay interesting.
- While Lee is mainly a romance author, trust me, there is a strong fantasy element in this story beyond just the setting, you just have to be a little patient ;-). Dragons :D.
- The culture of the mountain people was an awesome break from the traditional medieval-based fantasy cultures, and the mountain king’s personality really complemented his people’s culture and made him an awesome secondary character.
- There is so much potential at the end of Heart of the Dragon’s Realm. More please??
- The plot is mostly driven by Kimri being forced into a marriage or making (arguably) bad decisions, which was a little frustrating. Basically most of the story of Heart of the Dragon’s Realm could have been avoided if Kimri had thought through things a little more….
- The last third of the book felt a bit rushed, making the epic finale less satisfying and epic than it could have been.
- A few loose ends that I really wish had been tied up, unless there is going to be more books ;-).
I really enjoyed Heart of the Dragon’s Realm and highly recommend anyone who likes epic fantasy, dragons, and a good romance to check this one out! I’m also really hoping that Karalynn Lee decides to write a sequel, since there seems to be potential for more world-building and character development at the end of this one. While the plot seemed a little forced at times, the characters and magic more than made up for the minor flaws.