Title: Dragoon: War of the Princes (#2)
Author: A.R Ivanovich
Published: June 16, 2013
Series: War of the Princes (first installment published May 26, 2011: Haven)
Amazon summary: Surviving a narrow brush with death convinced Katelyn Kestrel that she must never return to the war-torn Outside World. Safe again within the sanctuary of Haven Valley, she has forced herself to forget Rune Thayer, the young Dragoon soldier who sacrificed everything to save her.
Katelyn’s struggle to adapt to a peaceful life is undone when she is assaulted by a classmate, triggering her powers with devastating consequences. The authorities learn of her rare Abilities, and a web of troubling mysteries unravels around her. She finds that an unfortunate twist of fate has delivered Haven prisoners to the Prince of Shadows, and he will stop at nothing to discover the valley’s secret location. Katelyn must find and rescue the captives or witness the destruction of everything she has ever loved.
It is books like 'Haven' and 'Dragoon' that inspire me and makes me ridiculously excited about reading, about the art of imagination and storytelling.
Ivanovich is an excellent writer. Truly gifted. I just love her writing style, how everything just flows. When you're reading you'll experience that the story is writing itself, and it does so flawlessly.
(Feel free to read my review of the first installment, Haven.)
Again, I loved Katelyn, our protagonist. Her narrating voice is so solid, and good gravity, is she sensible, smart, and selfless. I admire her and her ability to make strong, fearless decisions. Never the damsel-in-distress and never a weakling, yet so easy to relate to emotionally. I also very much appreciated her witty nature. At the end of the day, she was an eighteen-year-old girl who'd managed to do what few could.
It was so interesting that Ivanovich decided to include Katelyn's friends from Haven in the Outside World, and it had me wondering if the story would go down a doomed route because of it. Would Katelyn's epic journey be weighted down by constantly having to look out for her friends and rescue them? Would they put her in unnecessary danger and risks due to their lack of knowledge? The answer is no.
Surprisingly enough, it worked very well. It made Katelyn more vulnerable and it lent her more strength. There was always a possibility she wouldn't make it back home, to Haven, but with people she cared about with her, she had to. And they were willing to fight by her side.
Things didn't turn out the way I'd expected with Dylan; though, despite my hopes(?) it was realistic for Katelyn and Dylan to have a rough, conflicting relationship. Ivanovich let Dylan stay true to his nature but in an enjoyable way. I liked not liking him.
As I mentioned in my Haven-review, romance isn't what you think of when you're reading these books. However, the story is driven by the heart.
Fake identities, flying ships, explosions, immense danger, and an impossible quest aside - Katelyn's heart always wondered about the one person, the one dragoon. Rune. And it drove the story to be more relatable and hopeful.
There wasn't much romance, but it was just enough to be a small step towards something greater. Rune is unlike any other love interest that I've read about. He is unwillingly stoic. There is so much to understand about him. Dragoons are not seen as people and they aren't worthy or allowed to feel, to care, and to love. I look forward to experiencing more of Rune's character development.
'Dragoon' is a highly enjoyable read without a dull moment! I'll be waiting for the third installment.