The Dragon's Price
When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one ...more
Today is my sixteenth birthday. I am wearing a gown I can barely walk in, my artfully styled hair is giving me a headache, and I feel like I…moreChapter 1
Today is my sixteenth birthday. I am wearing a gown I can barely walk in, my artfully styled hair is giving me a headache, and I feel like I am going to throw up.
“Hurry! Bend down!” Nona snaps, tugging on my shoulder with frigid fingers. “I can hear them marching down the hall!” I lean forward and she quickly fastens a gold tiara in my hair just as the chamber door swings open. I jump as four armed guards stride in.
“Princess Sorrowlynn, we are hereby ordered to escort you to the opening ceremony of the Mountain Binding,” says the tallest guard, Ornald. It sounds like a death sentence, and my hands begin to tremble, so I clutch the delicate fabric of my skirt in them and square my shoulders.
The guards studiously do not look at me, staring instead at the gray stone wall behind me. I glance from them to Nona, who is slouching in the corner of my bedchamber and chewing on her thumbnail. She stops chewing long enough to nod and wave me toward the guards.
“I don’t want to go.” My voice quivers like I am on the verge of tears, and I take a tiny step backward.
Ornald scowls and stops studying the wall to look at me. “If you don’t come by choice, my lady, I have been instructed to drag you to the courtyard. Please don’t make me do that. That’s no way for a Faodarian princess to make her grand entrance into society, is it?” he asks, his eyes pleading.
“Instructed by whom?” I ask.
Ornald frowns. “Beg pardon, my lady?”
“Who instructed you to drag me? My mother or my father?”
The guard clears his throat and puckers his mouth like he is about to spit, but then stops himself. He tugs on the collar of his red uniform and says, “Lord Damar, your father, instructed me to drag you if you don’t comply. Let’s show him you’ve grown into a lady and can follow orders.” A small smile softens Ornald’s square face. “You look like a lady today, my lady.”
I glance into the mirror. My light brown hair is braided in a crown around my head, the golden tiara gleaming in front of it. The sapphire-blue dress I have been stuffed into is low-cut, and the corset gives me double the curves that I normally have. The eyes staring back at me are on the verge of panic. I do not know this woman I am looking at. I feel trapped in her body.
“Princess Sorrowlynn?” I blink and turn away from my reflection. Ornald holds his arm out to me even though it is forbidden for guards to touch royalty. It is a gesture that would get him demoted if he weren’t already the lowest man in the guard despite his being one of the older men. But somehow that tiny gesture offering human contact sends a bit of courage through my trembling body.
I swallow, put my frigid hand on the red sleeve of his uniform, and nod. “Ready,” I whisper, and together we walk into the shadowed passage.
The walk through the palace goes by too fast, even with me tripping on my skirts every three steps. My mother and father are waiting for me by the palace doors. Both of their gazes go directly to my hand, resting on the arm of a lowly guard, and my father’s face turns crimson. My mother purses her lips and her blue eyes narrow. I quickly clasp my hands behind my back as Ornald steps away from me.
“Who dressed you?” my mother snaps, eyeing my gown. Her perfume is so strong that I can barely breathe.
“Nona,” I say. She is the only person who has dressed me since the day I was born.
“Your corset is too loose. Has she forgotten how to string a corset?” Her eyes flash accusations at me.
Probably, considering this is the first time I have ever worn one in my life, I think, but hold my tongue. One does not talk back to the queen.
Outside, a horn blares, a clarion call announcing the looming arrival of our guests of honor, and the irritation disappears from my mother’s face and is replaced with majestic indifference. She lifts her chin and grasps her silver-and-gray skirt in one hand, and lays her other hand on my father’s proffered arm.
Two guards throw open the massive double doors leading out to the palace’s courtyard, and my mother and father walk outside into evening sunlight. They are greeted by the cheering and applause of a massive crowd. Ornald gives me a small shove forward, and I stumble from the shadows into sunshine. Regaining my balance, I grasp my skirts in both my hands and climb a small staircase that leads to a raised dais.
The courtyard is filled with nobles and commoners, and like water and oil, they remain steadfastly separate of each other. The commoners, at the far edges of the courtyard, seem to suck the sunlight away with their drab and dreary clothing. At the base of the dais, the nobles reflect the light, making it difficult to look at the white, silver, and gold clothing they favor.
My gaze drifts over their eyes, which are devouring every visible inch of me from the tiara in my hair to the silver-embroidered hem of my dress. Everyone wants to see the youngest Faodarian princess, who has been hidden away in her rooms for most of her life. But they look at the young woman standing before them, in a dress she’s never worn before, with her hair braided in a coil for the first time. They don’t see me at all. They see only what my mother wants them to see.
The whispered words offering and Suicide Sorrow drift through the crowd like wind, and I grit my teeth, fighting the urge to plug my ears. Even whispered, their words seem to batter against me. And then I hear something else, hoofbeats, and my knees start to tremble.
The nobles turn and face the open gates leading from the courtyard to the rest of the world. The commoners quickly copy them. My heart starts thundering in my ears, louder than the horses’ hooves, as the king of Anthar and his party gallop into the yard and part the crowd with their animals. They stop directly in front of the dais and the smells of leather, horse, and sweat compete against my mother’s perfume for supremacy. The horse clan has arrived.
Their animals are sleek and beautiful: rippling muscles, glossy bodies, strong legs. Ribbons and beads and flowers have been braided into their manes, like something I would do to my dolls when I was a child. A smile forms on my lips as I look from the horses to their riders—and then it falters. These dark-haired, strapping men and women are examining me from their saddles like I am for sale. At that thought, my face starts to burn, because I am for sale, in a manner of speaking.
I stare back at them, trying to guess which man I will be offered to, but they all look the same, with long black hair and skin as golden as toasted bread. More disturbing are their women, sitting astride their horses instead of sidesaddle, and dressed no differently from the men: brown leather pants and chain mail that has been shined until it looks like sparkling silver. Curved swords hang at their hips, and strung bows at their backs. Out of the whole group, only one person stands out. He is at the back of the party, and a cut on his cheek has bled trails of red all the way down to his jawline. I shudder at the thought of associating with these barbarians.
“For three centuries you and your sons have been our honored guests. That tradition still holds strong,” my mother, the queen, bellows, practically in my ear. I try not to flinch and take a small step away from her. “I bid you and your family welcome, King Marrkul.”
The biggest man, the one at the front of the group, nods to my mother. He has gray streaks in his dark hair, and a beard that looks like a bird’s nest hangs halfway down his chest.
I shift my gaze from the king to the man on his right. He looks powerful and stern, and at least two decades older than me. When our eyes meet his jaw clenches and he glares, so I lift one eyebrow and look at the next man. He, too, looks powerful and stern and way too old for me to marry. He flashes his white teeth in a grin, and my father hisses into my ear, “Smile, Sorrow!” So I turn to my father and smile. “Not at me. At them.” He rolls his eyes in the direction of the horse clan, and I can see how desperate he is for me to make a good impression. So I do as he wants and turn my practiced smile toward them, the smile that doesn’t show my teeth, that makes me look soft and regal, like my mother.
“I thank you, Queen Felicitia,” the Antharian king says, his accent thick. “May I present my oldest son and heir, Ingvar,” he adds, holding his hand out to the man on his right. My three older sisters all were offered in marriage to this brute, but he turned them down. Now, standing in the exact same place they all stood, and meeting the Antharian heir for the first time, I realize how lucky my sisters are to be married to Faodarian noblemen.
Ingvar looks at me again, his eyes moving up my body, and the smile slowly fades from my face. I can’t smile because a hollow ache has opened up in me, stealing every emotion I have been feeling, but one. For the first time since birth, my name fits. I fight to keep the tears at bay.(less)
Unfortunately, the book is as formulaic as this genre gets. A princess called Sorrowlyn is being forced to marry one of the heirs of a neighboring kingdom to keep peace, or else she must sacrifice herself to a fire dragon. But, really, it's a badly-concealed romance masquerading as ...more
Nothing for the characters, nothing for the romance, nothing for the story. A little something for the writing, but that’s about it.
This is your typical commercial fantasy YA book. The heroine is *unique* because there’s this whole prophecy about her.
You just know she’s going to be the special one, even though she’s not that intelligent or skilled at much of anything.
I mean, if she were really intelligent, she wouldn’t have chosen to die instead of marrying a forty-year-old ...more
Hey guys! I'm doing a book giveaway (hardback) enter below!
3.5 stars. I loved the story / magic system with the dragons. I kinda liked the love story even though it was instalove. But I have some concerns.
First and foremost- some of the descriptions bothered me a little, and I'm interested to hear what other reviewers make of this because I'm still learning. Basically there are two main kingdoms- the one that our heroine ...more
And man, she was right.
Love love love Sorrowlynn. Sure, she starts out as a pampered princess, but that quickly changes. I truly loved that she took control of her destiny when it came time. As for Golmarr, I don't even know where to start. He's swoony af, but more importantly, he trusts Sorrowlynn completely. He doesn't try to ...more
*** Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins
Book One of the Transference series
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.
When two ...more
...These days that test you to your core, they will refine you, beat out your weaknesses, and turn you into the best version of yourself that there is. —King Marrkul
I was actually quite hesitant to read this book. One of my trustworthy online friends gave it one star, so I wasn't that excited when the publisher granted my request. However, the premise of the novel intrigued me; ...more
A fantasy YA trilogy about the transformation of a sheltered princess who chooses death by dragon instead of a forced marriage to a rival horse lord, and ends up vanquishing the fire-breather, absorbing his power and incurring the wrath of his fellow dragons.
So this story is about a pretty pampered Princess who never really ever.... like ever, was allowed to leave her room, Sorrowlynn (I actually love the name). So when she has reached the...more
The insta-love was bad in my personal opinion. Which wasn't helped due to the fact I didn't love these characters. Also, I felt extremely bored reading this book which I was sad about since I wanted to love this story, certain things kept me interested but overall it was a struggle. It just wasn't for me and although I was anticipating it SOOO badly it did fall flat.
*Got an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
****Thank you to Random House Kids for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review****
This was a big disappointment for me since I was expecting to really love this book, honestly, it was just sort of a big mess. This book is basically one big insta-love romance that just so happens to be in a fantasy world….
The overall premise of the story is interesting and, come on, who doesn’t love the promise of dragons? Unfortunately the ONLY ...more
The Dragon's Price was a fast paced, addictive, romantic, and exciting book. I thought this was a very promising start to a new YA fantasy series!
The main character, Sorrow, was a likable main character. I thought she was brave, determined, and loyal. She also had flaws, which made it easy for me to relate to her. I liked how easy it was for me to grow attached to her throughout the book. My only issue was with Sorrow's character was that she conveniently had things happen to her ...more
Quick & Dirty: Wonderful high fantasy story filled with adventure, great characters and cute romance. I think this was a very promising start to what I think is going to be an amazing series.
Opening Sentence: Today is my sixteenth birthday.
Princess Sorrowlynn has one duty to her kingdom and that is to offer her hand in marriage to the prince of a neighboring kingdom or if she chooses she can offer herself as a sacrifice to the dragon that has ...more
Hoo boy, this book and I were just off to a rocky start from the beginning
Lack of World building - Like this book just barely had any of it okay? It's a fantasy book, set in a world and we don't ...more
When he cuts, the muscles in his arm tighten beneath his warm golden skin. I study him, the way his body moves, the bulge of his bicep leading to angular shoulders, the dip of his collarbone, which slopes up to his neck and his mouth. I study his lips, and my blood grows warmer. They are framed by black stubble and naturally curve up at the corners. My gaze wanders to his nose, which is long and narrow, and...more
I love it when a book captures my attention from the first page. The writing was gripping and the characters were compelling. There was action from the beginning and I just flew through it. The premise sounded right up my alley with a princess sacrificing herself to a dragon instead of being forced into marriage. Little did she know a Prince would follow her into the dragon cave to help her escape. I love dragon stories and this book didnt disapoint.
I was ...more
The Dragon's Price has such an alluring tale, a girl who chooses to be fed to a dragon rather than marry a foreign prince. But that plot is so misleading. This book is slightly sexist and racist and mind-numbingly boring.
The characters are ...more
The Dragon's Price completely surpassed my expectations. It is truly a mix of The Wrath of the Dawn and Talon, both are one of my favorite series ever. I can't stop thinking about it!!
The plot is true to the summary. Sorrowlynn choses to face the dragon rather than marry a barbarian prince. But we soon discover that everything is not what it seems. The real treasure is not anything Sorrowlynn and Golmarr ever expected. ...more
Let me make something perfectly clear: THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A ROMANCE.
THIS IS A FUCKING ROMANCE.
Got it? Good. This is not a book about dragons. In fact, dragons make an appearance exactly three times in this entire book. Yes, three. THREE. IN THREE HUNDRED PAGES. Literally the rest of the book is ooey gooey, in your face, vomit-inducing romance.
If you dig romance, you'll love it.
Me? I am not a fan of romance as most of you probably ...more
I'm always on the lookout for a good fantasy and dragons are always interesting to me.
In The Dragon's Price, Princess Sorrowlyn of Faodara has to make a choice now that she is of age. The peace between her reign and Antharian's kingdom is at stake. Years ago, the two kingdoms were at war and one of them used a dragon as a weapon. When the dragon got out of control and before he could destroy both kingdoms, it was captured and secured in a cave. A spell keeps the dragon in the cave. ...more
first read of 2018! hurrah
real rating: 3.5 stars.
the dragon's price was a fun, short novel that you can easily fly through. it has its moments, but i also found the writing to be a bit... childish at times. some of the dialogue, especially for the dragons, really didn't make them seem like ancient creatures with a wealth of knowledge. same went for some of the characters--i just couldn't imagine someone saying what they were. their dialogue was a bit more ...more
*MY FOURTH BEST BOOK OF 2017.*
Part of me feels bad for rating this book as highly as I did, as I know technically it has a lot of potential problems, and I would be lying if I said I didn't see why a lot of people had problems with this book. But the other part of me genuinely liked this book and thought that it was unique, fast-paced, and enjoyable.
I liked seeing the main character grow from a spoiled, useless princess at the start to a triumphant, useful warrior who ...more
This was a great book. It had romance, fighting, and, of course, dragons. Sorrow has the choice of offering herself in marriage to the 'barbarian' horse clan or being fed to the dragon. To everyone's surprise she chooses the dragon. But, what do you know, horse prince Golmarr to the freaking rescue. I loved him from the very start. He's funny, genuine, loyal, and fierce. How can you not fall in love with that combo? I liked ...more
Yeahhhhhhhhh no. The names are so so so bad, which is always a sign in fantasy that I'm not going to like the book (seriously, the heroine is named Sorrowlynn—I am eagerly anticipating her debut country album), and the first scene is so clearly ripped from GOT with Daenerys being sold off to the Dothraki. And the chapter ends with this brilliantly clever line: "For the first time since birth, my name fits. I fight to keep the tears at bay." This is not a Christina book.
*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
I started this book as one of those books just to read before bed one night until I fell asleep, except that I fell completely under its spell from the very beginning ...more
I love it , I love it , I love it!
OMG! I love it so much!
Where can I get myself a Golmarr? My list of book boyfriends just keep on increasing! 16% of the book and I'm already falling for him! <3
This book needs to be hyped up more! The premise , the characters , the magic - ...more
It's - well kindly put- not exactly going to draw all the cover sluts out there.
BUT please simply ignore it. Because the book is much better than the cover leads to believe (a cover slut like me anyway)
I can proudly and rather smugly say, that I chose this book, due to the summary.
I've never read anything by Wiggins so I wasn't sure what to expect.
The entire book is told from Sorrowlynn's POV in first person. And at the beginning ...more
When you read something that makes you feel so many strong emotions you fall in love with everything regarding those words. The characters are your family that you'd die for and cry for. The places are your home. The animals and even the innamate objects (those swords, the daggers and that bed! bfs for life) are your friends. And the one who made them all ...more