Author: April Reid
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Buy Link: Buy Forged In Blood Here!
Rating: You Could Read
Reviewed By: Janelle
When dragon shapeshifter, Cinnamon Sweetstorm d’ Vortimer, flies into the enemy land, Kardona, to rescue her teenage cousin from slavers, she doesn’t know she’ll fall in love with the king of that shifter-hating country.
Cedric Blackwell Zarek has spent the first year of his reign secretly gathering support to win back the rights and freedoms lost to the powerful and dangerous dragon priests under his father’s disinterested rule.
When they meet, Cinna Sweetstorm is in human form and Cedric is traveling incognito. As they battle the dark riders, slavers, ferocious creatures, and deadly magic, their love for each other grows—while secrets threaten and forces gather to tear apart this love that should never be…
This story is a mess. I don’t know if it should be longer or shorter, but it is clear that there is too much going on for the number of pages. Everything is rushed, no one idea is given the time it needs to mature before three new ones are jammed in behind it. I honestly feel like I’m reading a first draft than a finished product.
The characters do not act in a logical manner. Cinnamon is a dragon, and she is out to save her cousin, but instead of flying across the country and just eating the priests who took him, she instead allies herself with a complete stranger and plods along on horseback thinking about how hot said stranger is. In fact, she goes for several chapters seemingly unaware that her cousin still needs rescuing.
Along that line, the non-use of special powers happens a lot. If your character can turn into a dragon, and is large enough to eat the bad guy, what is the point of turning back into a human and fighting with a sword?
Then there is Cedric, who really comes off as a horrible person. He receives news that a loyal supporter and long time friend has spent a night being tortured and in the morning burned at the stake, all to protect him. Cedric proceeds to show no real emotional reaction to this, never mentions it again, and goes to boink the girl he’s only known for a little over a week. Cedric is clearly a sociopath.
The priest Peredue is so melodramatically evil he might as well dress like Snidely Whiplash and slink around giggling to himself while hiding behind his cape. And the religion he is head of is never really explained. Why are his magical abilities a gift from his Dragon God, but the magical gifts of non-priests evil? Why would he have images of dragons banned? How did they take power from the former king, when, and why? At what point did they convince the populous that child abuse on a level that would scandalize a Spartan General was okay?
Overall, there is probably a good story in here, but it needs a lot of editing.