Series: Songs of Chaos #1
Author: Michael R. Miller
My rating: 4.2 stars
Dragon rider cultivation novel
A commoner kitchen boy makes an impracticably rash decision to steal and save a dragon egg. In doing so, his life changes irrevocably, bringing chaos where order reigned supreme. Circumstances force him to travel with a princess, who would rather kill him, and a mentor whom they both need. To survive, Holt and his dragon, Ash, will need to grow in strength and power as quickly as possible.
I’m a fan of the good old peasant to hero cliche, so the kitchen boy turned dragon plot line was enjoyable, if predictable. I also like dragon rider/dragon bond stories, so that was another plus. For those who enjoyed the bond between Eragon & Saphira, Holt & Ash have a very similar vibe. While those were fun cliches, the characters, world building, and magic system were nicely fleshed out in an original manner, making this a fresh and original read.
The magic system is a mix of cultivation and traditional dragon rider bond magic, taking the best from both. I enjoyed the complex relationship between Talia, the princess, and Holt, the kitchen boy. They didn’t become friends overnight, and even once they did, like any real friendship, it had its ups and downs and needed to be worked on.
Additionally, it wasn’t only the humans who had all the character development. Almost every dragon had their own voices and their own relationships with each other and with Holt.
The plot wasn’t simple either. There are some politics, betrayals, and secrets nicely interwoven throughout. It was a good magical character journey with the promise of more to come. I recommend it for middle grade readers & up.