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Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons, #1)
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(Shapeshifter Dragons #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Now also available in Chinese language!

Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?

Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands.
Paperback, 454 pages
Published June 13th 2014 by Amazon CreateSpace (first published June 12th 2014)
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Marc Secchia
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Showing 1-30
4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  981 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Patricia Hamill
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of epic length fantasy, magic, and strong female characters.
Recommended to Patricia by: A review group on Goodreads
Magic, technology and lots of humor.

Aranya is the story of a young princess who must face a terrible fate. In the Island-World, one country has been systematically taking over island countries, and now it is Aranya of Immadia's turn. Her father wisely decides to surrender rather than face the sure slaughter of his entire kingdom, but Aranya must pay the price. She becomes yet another hostage of the Sylakian Empire. Her entire life to be locked away in a tower with other royal hostages, like hers
Anna (Enchanted by YA)

***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Marc Secchia definitely has an eye for imagery. All the locations and battles you journey through in this book are portrayed so vividly that you could reach out and touch the stormy clouds. There was also a great amount of world building - at appropriate times (rather than in big chunks at the beginning) which meant you knew the world as well as being able to see it.

Admittedly th
What can I say about this to do it justice!! I think I'll start by saying that between it's wonderful characters and magical story this was an incredibly entertaining read! I loved everything about it.

Aranya was an amazing heroine. She was strong, tough, brave and well able to look after herself. She resigns herself to being a slave to the Sylakian king and intends to stay true to herself, which she does. She stays her plucky no nonsense self which gets her branded a traitor and thrown off a cli
Dusty Holloway
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aranya is a girl, plucked by circumstances out of her control, into the machinations of a kingdom and king intent on subjugating all of the other kingdoms under one tight-fisted rule. In isolation, she meets Zip, a fiery little thing with more than a little chip on her shoulder, Nak, a lecherous, wily old man that will make you laugh, enemies aplenty, Dragonships that I pictured as the old style Zephyrs that flew the skies, adventure, intrigue, and even a little romance.

Through all of the twist
Dhesan Pillay
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewing Marc Secchia’s first installment in the Shapeshifter Dragons series, feels a lot like retelling a beautiful dream and it was a true pleasure reading this gem of a fantasy story.

The story follows a young princess’s brave decision to shoulder the burden of exile for the safety of her family and kingdom. Yet Aranya proves an unwilling prisoner to circumstance. There is a fire within her, both a latent power and an unconquerable spirit, which is admirable and intriguing. This is first glim
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, ebook, lend-a-kindle
Title: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragon #1) Author: Marc Secchia
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent
Review Cross-posted on Amazon,Goodreads and personal blog  @
Author Website: @marcsechhia
Type of Book: Fantasy
Book Summary: Aranya is to be executed for high treason against the Sylakians Empire. Her sentence: falling to her death into the deadly Cloudlands. It’s not the fate she ever envisioned, neither was her rescue. Evil has a new enemy…Aranya, Pri
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, adventure
My favorite part of this first book is the unique and new world Marc created for his characters. There's interesting customs, fashions, technologies and histories to bring the setting to life without being overwhelmingly detailed.

I was further impressed that Aranya is not the typical "I'm so small, I hate how tiny I am!" heroine that is always described as and perceived by other characters as adorable and petite. (Although, in all fairness, the character of Zip falls into this category, and to
J.S. Burke
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aranya by Marc Secchia is an epic adventure that begins with an exquisite map, matching the realistic detail in this unique world of islands with two suns and three moons. Aranya is a fantasy to get lost in with a beautifully imagined world, compelling characters, and a riveting story. It’s the type of story where you have to turn the page to learn what happens next.

Princess Aranya of Immadia watches her people surrender to the overwhelming Sylakian army, knowing she will be offered to Sylakia a
Shoshana Hathaway
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had read and enjoyed the Pygmy Dragon so much that the author very kindly gifted me a copy of this book. I enjoyed it just as much, and for many of the same reasons. First of all, the world building in both books is superb. The author creates his own world, complete with geographic features, civilizations, and history. it all works together to enmesh and then captivate the reader. Yes, one can trace certain inspirations back to the Earth we know, but those inspirations are merely jumping off p ...more
Dianne Astle
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) was a very enjoyable read. Aranya is the Princess of Immadia. As the story begins she is taken as a hostage by the Sylakians who have conquered most of the known world. Right from the beginning you know that there is something special about this Princess. Aranya is not a sit in the castle and wait to be rescued by Prince Charming kind of Princess. Aranya is a Princess more than willing to fight her own battles, but more than that she is willing to fight on be ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read this book as a lover of dragons but had not yet found anyone who was able to combine humans and dragons with shapeshifting (that I liked). I found this book combined the changes well and kept the personality aspects in identifiable contexts. It was fast paced, with the story continually advancing. At no time did I find there was a slow period in the story line and the best part was that there were unpredictable moments where I was surprised by what transpired. This is becoming a more rare t ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Aranya is a fun and well written book. The world building is unique and very creative. I like the main characters, Aranya and Zip, they are 2 fierce princess who really kick-ass. There's a lot of action through Aranya and Zip's adventure and journey sprinkle with romance. Overall the book is good but just too young for my liking.
Terri Wilson
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this audio form of this book in exchange for a review.

I love dragons, but I haven’t read many books with dragons. When I saw this one I knew it was a book I would enjoy. Yes, I know we shouldn’t judge books based on covers, but look at the cover! It’s beautiful. This story is as beautiful as the cover. The author created a completely new world with such detailed description I wanted to book a vacation to this mysterious land. His combination of Victorian, steampunk, and
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aranya-Zip banter and Aranya's brooding often made me want to knock a star off the final rating, but that's a bit harsh. There's a lot of solid adventure in this book, it's just a bit immature imho. Shrug, it's YA.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Wall of text

Sooooo many words. So many new things to try and pronounce. Oldish way of speaking that I sometimes struggled to.follow. Lots of telling not much doing. feel.for.the characters. And.way to long about.Dragon basics..
Carrie Slager
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

As with a lot of books I seem to read, I was a little skeptical about this one from the blurb. It had the potential to be either a totally awesome book or really suck. Good thing for me it was the former and not the latter, right?

I am just blown away by Aranya. The plot, the world-building, Marc Secchia’s incomparable writing and the vivid characters all come together to make this book o
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The beginning of Aranya is slow but the story does pick up. The beginning of the story starts with Aranya being sacrificed to protect her father, the King of Immadia and her people from the Sylakian invasion. The story picks up when Aranya discovered that she can changed into a dragon. From this point, Aranya defied the Sylakian Empire for Immadia's freedom with the help of her friends.

What the story did cover is 1) the Island World and the inhabitants that live on each of the islands that Arany
Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Mark for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review to get him known in the UK.

I had neither heard of this book or the author but the book cover and the synopsis really grabbed me. This is why I was so pleased when the author sent me a copy of the book. This is the first book in a Young adult Fantasy Series and I feel that the language that is used in it is aimed at the YA audience.

Plot/ Storyline:
This was a easy read although it was slow going to begin with but I
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Could the day get any worse than being tied to a rock and thrown from a great height? Maybe not worse but most certainly more interesting. Aranya finds that life for her had just gotten a lot more interesting. She gains so much more than internal freedom and self-awareness and insight. The sacrifice that were made by her people will fall on her hands to atone for and make all the wrongs right at the least better.

There were rich, intriguing, involving, well-developed characters. The content and
Kyra Dune
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Aranya is traded to the Sylakians as a condition of her people's surrender to the conquering nation, she believes her fate is set in stone. Little does she know what future lies in wait for her.

Dragon shape shifters. Fierce princesses. Evil Princes. Magic. Fate. Hidden destinies revealed. Epic battles. Pygmies. Romance. Betrayal. All this and so much more can be found within the pages of this sweeping fantasy tale. Once you start, you won't want to stop.

I love all of the characters in thi
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
Aranya is the first book in the Shapeshifter Dragons series. In it, we meet the lead character Aranya as she prepares to become a hostage due to her island's surrender to the Sylakians. Aranya is tall, athletic, and strong-willed. Although she succumbs to a small pity party, she is soon pulled out of it by her servant, Beri. She makes the best of the situation she can, and actually saves the live of her captor. Once she makes it to the tower, her life changes completely. After a very rocky start ...more
Kathryn Theulen dailey
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aranya was very entertaining. I started out feeling so sorry for the poor little princess that had been traded to save her kingdom. Than as the storyline progress's. She gets to be a stronger and stronger character in the book. Until you can't recognize the poor little traded princess anymore. She becomes a larger than life heroine.
The author takes us to a land that has been at war. I keep thinking it was something like the middle ages type land. She has been taken to the king that has conquere
Lisa Fallon
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
first things first this author doesn't mess about when it comes to description, he makes sure that everything is spot on and that we are there with aranya and zip, I felt the love, friendship, hurt, betrayal, pain and joy of this journey, Mr Secchia definitely has a gift when it comes to imagination.

from picking up this book I was automatically pulled in, I loved the first few pages when aranya and her father are having a moment and are accepting of the situation that's about to unfold even thou
Michael Andrews
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
‘Aranya’, the first book in the Shapeshifter Dragons series is an imaginative tale, full of battle and heroism, romance and betrayal. Set on a world of Sky Islands, it tells the story of a princess given up as hostage in surrender. Sent to the Sylakian prison tower, she meets Zip, a Remoyan princess who is also a prison hostage. The two forge a friendship that transforms themselves and the world around them.

I found the story to be well written and conceived, with enough twists in the plot to kee
William Peters
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aranya by Marc Secchia is an epic fantasy adventure and coming of age story about a shapeshifting dragon-princess named Aranya. She is a teenage girl forced from her home kingdom by the Sylakian empire under a ruler intent on controlling all of the other kingdoms. She befriends Zip, a fiery little princess, Nak, a former dragon rider who will make you laugh, and others. There is plenty of adventure, action, intrigue, and even a little romance. I am not an avid reader of fantasy but this story an ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

This is the 1st of my "Free for Review" books so there was a little trepidation as I was quite literally picking books by their covers. But seriously, there's a dragon, how can anything with dragons go wrong? I'm happy to review that it can't and having read quite a few different author's books,series, and trilogies with dragons, I was quite surprised at the different angle the author, Marc Secchia, took! I would say I was about
Siv Therese
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rarely do I read every book an author publish. Not only does not every genre and heroine/hero blend well with my flavour, but well. not all books are that well written. Having read Pygmy Dragon, and earlier on read Aranya. I desided to reread Aranyas story. And damn, this book just gave a whole new perspective of both author and storytelling.

This book will suite you just perfectly if your fan of dragons, character development, betrayal, strength of both body and character, well written world bu
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Like really loved it. Aranya is just the kind of heroine I've been wanting to read about lately. Shes tall, smart, funny and best of all, shes physically strong. Granted she is a dragon but still, she snaps an iron wood staff (not easily broken I gather) and is described by a male, appreciatively, has having abs, maybe a "female warrior monk" (shes not btw). Its nice to have a strong of body as well as spirit heroine. Also I love that shes tall because I'm tall :)
Her b
Carrie Vaughn
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aranya is Princess of a land overtaken by another nation. To spare her family, Aranya is taken prisoner and put into exile. And that's just where the story begins.

The writing doesn't disappoint. My only complaint is the passive voice in certain sentences. I was drawn into the story pretty well right away. The action begins right off when Aranya, who is still in shackles, mind you, slays a windroc bird that happens to fly into the cabin of the air ship. She's not your average girl running away f
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Marc is the bestselling author of 19 fantasy novels, including 7 rip-roaring dragon fantasy adventures. He's also the author of a bestselling African historical fantasy series set in ancient Ethiopia. All of these books are available on Kindle Unlimited, so come along and try them out.

Look out for The Girl who Loved the Whales, the second book in my IsleSong series, due on March 18th. After that I

Other books in the series

Shapeshifter Dragons (4 books)
  • Shadow Dragon (Shapeshifter Dragons, #2)
  • Song of the Storm Dragon (Shapeshifter Dragons, #3)
  • Beautiful Fury (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 4)
“Still lay the Island-World beneath the whisper of a Dragon’s wings.” 4 likes
“Go burn the heavens, Dragon and Rider.” 3 likes
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