Author: Jada Fisher
Series: The Brindle Dragon #1
Eist is determined to be a dragon rider. Despite losing both of her parents, despite her grandfather’s warnings, she knows this is what she was destined to become. But the academy is not an easy process, and even passing all her classes doesn’t guarantee she’ll end up with a dragon.
This was decent, but a little too straightforward and short. Although it sets up the foundation, it’s only about a third of what I would expect from a book. That means it has enough time to introduce the major characters and set some details about their world and problems, but nobody really has a character arc. I can’t really count the ending as resolving much because even if the title and the cover image didn’t clue you in, nothing really shakes Eist’s belief that this is her destiny and she just has to get there.
The closest this comes to conflict is her periodic confrontations with a bully. Laying aside the fact that it throws some doubt on the moral part of this school’s evaluation when he keeps sabotaging her during events under observation, the teachers don’t seem terribly involved in this struggle on either side. One person looks kindly on a physical marker that showed up after an illness (it feels unnecessary to call it a mark of the gods, though), but otherwise they’re entirely hands off. I don’t mind that Eist has such a firm belief in her own destiny, but the only time her destination is really in question is when she starts missing classes, and that resolves without much fuss.
I did like that the main character struggles with a disability, which will be obvious to the reader very early on, though she doesn’t admit it until the end. The professors having nothing but good things to say about it was a little weird though. She will have issues, especially since dragon riders seem to be part military or police-focused. That’s not to say she can’t also do the job, but it seems premature to say this won’t impact her ability to do the same job if she just works harder. Hard work won’t make a crowded street any less noisy or confusing in the middle of an emergency (presumably the dragon’s senses can substitute?).
Overall I liked this well enough that I would probably read the rest of the series if I had Kindle Unlimited. I’m a bit leery of the more serial format, and I wish there was a bit more to the characters to make them more than “nice guy she likes” and “taciturn girl from a foreign country.” I rate this book Recommended.