Official Rating: 4/5
Note: I received the Series Starter Bundle which came with “The Golden Cage” (Dance of Dragons #0.5) and the first official book of the series (“The Shadow Soul”).
The Golden Cage (Dance of Dragons #0.5)
“In the land of Ourthuro, cruelty is a way of life. The king rules with an iron fist and no one dare defy him–no one except his daughter. Princess Leena is keeping a dangerous secret, she has fallen in love with a soldier and it would mean both of their lives if her father ever discovered their affair.
But Leena will risk it all to be with the man she loves–her heart, her life, her freedom. And when her brother’s birthday celebration takes a dangerous turn, Leena is forced to make a decision that will change the fate of her nation and eventually the world.”
The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons #1)
“When Jinji’s home is destroyed, she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to–until she meets Rhen, a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores. Masquerading as a boy, Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart. But traveling together doesn’t mean trusting one another, and both are keeping a deep secret–magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh.
But while they struggle to hide the truth, a shadow lurks in the night. An ancient evil has reawakened, and unbeknownst to them, these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat. Because their meeting was not coincidence–it was fate. And their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time, an age of myth that is about to be reborn…”
I loved both the book and the short story and I’m sorry that the whole collection wasn’t free, otherwise I would have continued it. I bought this book thinking that it was about dragons, but for the most part, a dragon was only mentioned once and it wasn’t in the fire-breathing-angry-dragon way I was expecting. Nonetheless, Davis wrote this book in a graceful way, using magic and deep secrets that the two main characters possessed in a way that I was hooked. I loved how Davis gave the reader a short story that gave a tiny background for some of the characters. Once I connected them to the second book, I gasped on the inside.
I also adored Rhen and Jinji’s relationship. Jinji had a certain spice to her and Rhen had a careful love to him. I liked the secrets that Jinji held specifically from Rhen and how he never knew the truth until the very end (which I will get back to later). There were plot twists and I couldn’t guess any part of the book, it was completely original, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I recommend it.
I still gave it a 4/5 instead of a perfect score because of how the ending was delivered. I realize that in order to lead the way to the second book, you need a cliffhanger, but it felt rushed and “empty”. As if Davis ran out of the usual descriptive and engaging writing style she usually had and went with a rather stale ending.