I love a fantasy book with a map. Second in the Sea
Dragons Trilogy starts with a map of the Western
Archipelago and then we meet Lila as she schools a group of
dragons and their young riders, a group of sailors by
trade, over the blue waves. I had not read the earlier book
and this scenario immediately brought to mind Anne
McCaffrey's Pern series, especially as there are blue
green dragons. This series, however, includes magic.
DRAGON CROWN starts in the aftermath of a battle, in
preparation for more conflict. Lila, rightful Queen of the
Western Isles, has bonded with a dragon called Crux. They
speak telepathically and the large dragon can communicate
with the other dragons, who are choosing to help the
humans. Lila's friend Danu faints and he is used magically
to communicate a message from others in trouble in a
distant land. The narration shifts between Lila and Danu,
who is a mage. Out to the west is an isolated island,
shrouded in fog, called the Haunted Island. That's where
the brave raiders now fly to the rescue -- they hope.
The witches we meet seem kindly, in harmony with nature.
They are beset by strangers who include the undead. I'm not
into zombie stories, but I can take a little in dark
fantasy. A riveting battle occurs, sea and sky, scimitars
and dragon-breath, still early in the story. This author,
Ava Richardson, can certainly write a good battle. Reading
about the long leagues of travel, I realized what a
convenience the Pern dragons had by flying between
locations instantly. No such simple means is available
here, so Lila's flights take as long as they take, and
dragons arrive sometimes exhausted or hungry. Also, because
dragons are only newly partnering with humans, the good
folks don't have much dragon lore and are constantly
learning about the huge beasts, including how to treat
wounds and speak to different species of dragon.
This adventure isn't just fast moving, but constantly
moving, with no time to rest and resupply, let alone have
conversations or romance, before taking flight again and
facing new threats. The first book was DRAGON RAIDER and
the third is DRAGON PROPHECY, which finishes the series
about sea-raiding pirates turned dragonriders. Anyone who
enjoys dragons, conflict, and magic will put DRAGON CROWN on
their must-read list, but I suggest reading the series in
order. Ava Richardson is an American author who says she
grew up loving books about dragons; it certainly shows. The
tale is suitable for mature young adults or adults.
In order to embrace her true nature, a young Dragon Rider
must accept who she is—and where she came from.
Lila knows her people’s way of life is dying, but trying to
get Raiders to become Dragon Mercenaries is no easy task.
Although the world around them is changing, many among the
Raiders still cling to the old ways of piracy. When a
desperate message arrives from the West Witches, Lila and
her new friend, the eccentric, unseasoned magician Danu,
must risk a mission to the island of Sebol to learn what
they can of the new danger they face, a threat that menaces
all the Western Isles.
To face it, Lila must leave her Raider past behind and
become the leader Danu knows she was born to be. Knowing the
crown of Roskilde holds the key to her destiny, and perhaps
the key to defeating the deadly threat that is upon them,
Lila must seize it. But to do so, Raiders and dragons will
have to learn to trust each other—and Lila—as she leads the
charge. Can Lila let go of fear and doubt and face the
future, or will the only life she’s known be destroyed?