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Golden Guard #1

The Crown's Dog

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The first in an Air Awakens prequel trilogy.

A coastal summer is turned upside down by a violent murder, and a quest for lost pirate treasure turns into a hunt for the killer.

Jax Wendyll is the crown’s dog. As punishment for the unspeakable crimes that torment him to this day, his life has been conscripted to the Empire Solaris. However, in an Empire afflicted by peace, his duties are relegated to unquestioningly aiding the antics of the youngest prince, Baldair.

Erion Le’Dan, a nobleman’s son, expects a quiet summer visit to the Imperial Palace, his only agenda to visit with his unlikely friends. But Jax’s discovery of the legendary pirate Adela Lagmir’s old workroom inspires a hunt for her long lost treasure.

The pursuit of Adela’s truth takes the three men to the Imperial summer manor, built along the old pirate mainstays. When Adela’s trident is branded onto a murdered servant, Prince Baldair’s summer amusement of treasure-hunting becomes a hunt to find the killer. But, as mysteries compound, the ghosts of Jax’s past may not be the only things haunting them.

292 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 22, 2016

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About the author

Elise Kova

44 books12.3k followers
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ELISE KOVA is a USA Today bestselling author. She enjoys telling stories of fantasy worlds filled with magic and deep emotions. She lives in Florida and, when not writing, can be found playing video games, drawing, chatting with readers on social media, or daydreaming about her next story.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 180 reviews
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
November 17, 2017
Review also posted on BookNest!

“He was going to burn them.
He was going to burn them alive.
He could do it. He would do it. He must do it. This was his destiny now as the Empire's monster. And what good was a monster if it could not be made useful for killing?”

Long before the last Windwalker embraced her powers, and the Emperor Solaris conquered the North, a golden prince decided to search for a pirate's hidden treasure. In this adventure he was not alone; an ambitious lord the West, the voice of reason, followed him, and so did the Crown's dog, a powerful Firebearer nearly maddened by grief and guilt. A murderer. But their quest was cut short because no one was willing to talk about the infamous pirate who hoarded the treasure - a pirate that supposedly casted a terrible curse - and because a gruesome murder happened. The prince, the lord and the murderer swore to avenge the victim. Little did they know, that the crime and the treasure hunt were deeply connected. And that their summer adventures would bind them for life.
“Go to the coast, they said. It'll be fun to hunt for lost pirate treasure, they said.”

The Crown's Dog takes place a few years before the events of Air Awakens (one of my most beloved book series), shedding light on Jax's insanity and the formation of the mighty Golden Guard, led by Prince Baldair.
If you've read Air Awakens, be prepared for a bittersweet trip down memory lane. You will witness firsthand the sorrow that ravaged Jax's sanity after the horrors of his past, and his inability to come to terms with it, or to forgive himself. The mad grin on his face, the one that hides all the ugly things he keeps inside, appeared for the first time when he, Baldair and Erion decided to search for gold and glory, but nothing went as planned. You will also witness a young Baldair, bold, reckless and carefree, whose only concern was how to antagonize his brother, kept in line only by Erion, the reasonable one who was striving to gain political advantage, but also had a good heart and unwavering loyalty towards his prince. The pirate adventure of the original members of the Golden Guard is told by dual POVs, Jax and Erion's, and is infused with mystery, secrets, hilarious banters and friendship, the kind that overlooks past mistakes and flaws and stays strong and true, no matter what.

If you haven't read Air Awakens, The Crown's Dog is the perfect opportunity to dive into Elise Kova's spectacular world, with its three-dimensional characters, the magic you can taste and the action that makes your heart beat wildly in your chest. You will meet three endearing young men who will be your guide to secret passages and alcoves, to debauchery and fun.

The Crown's Dog was a fun ride, but it also brought to the surface a truth I subconsciously knew the past year. I miss these characters. I miss Aldrick, whose appearance and the tension between him and his brother took me back to the first Air Awakens books (and made me squeal), I miss Jax, and Baldair. I miss the rich world of Solaris, its politics and magic system, and this nostalgia settled in my heart more severely than ever. But that is an author's highest accomplishment, right? The ability to leave their impact on your life, even after you finish their works.

With The Crown's Dog that yearning was deeply satisfied, and I can't wait to read Baldair and Raylynn's story!
Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews700 followers
Want to read
May 21, 2017
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
948 reviews55 followers
May 2, 2022
2,5 / 5
Ana seriyi çok sevmedigim halde Vhalla ve ilişki sorunsalları olmayacagı için bu kitaba bir şans vereyim dedim ama yazar yazmasa ben de okumasam da olurmuş 😕
Profile Image for L.R.W. Lee.
Author 30 books734 followers
November 3, 2016
If you've read Air Awakens, you know the name "Crown's Dog" refers to Jax Wendyll. He's a good-hearted character who is quirky and unbalanced as a result of his past that torments him. We see him in action in this book and his deeds are definitely consistent with his later life. I love this character for he's not afraid to breach convention and we see that on full display as he "deals" with the antics of a 16-year-old Prince Baldair who has yet to make a name for himself. I particularly loved the end of the book where events make him the "elder" identifying with Baldair and Erion's inexperience with their first kills.

Speaking of Baldair, we find him at the awkward age of sixteen with too much testosterone and not enough sense, behaving impetuously. I loved how Kova sets up the tension between he and his older brother, Aldrick, which clearly reveals his motivations and undisciplined behavior. I guess the only surprising thing was the lack of any parental involvement--of course that would have destryed the entire storyline (LOL!). While I doubt he would agree, when my son was 16, he required adult intervention/supervision to avoid doing stupid things that would impact his life longer-term. The Emperor clearly has other things occupying his attention...but what of Baldair's mother? We never see her in action.

And then there's Erion. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him in action. The Air Awakens series alludes to him and then we see him up at the front, but only cameos. This is the first time I saw him in action in a way that allowed me to understand him motivations and I loved it. I really got the sense of his political motivations and how he wrestled with exploiting his relationship with the prince for his own and his family's gain. That, and his ties to the history with his homeland that had been conquered by and incorporated into the Solaris Empire.

All in all, the plot was engaging--who can't appreciate preying on people's fear of ghosts--and the characters made it a very enjoyable read. I'll definitely be reading the next book in this trilogy!

If you enjoyed this review, download the first book in the award-winning Andy Smithson series FREE: http://amzn.to/2egYOG5
Blast of the Dragon's Fury (Andy Smithson, #1) by L.R.W. Lee
Profile Image for rin.
411 reviews488 followers
December 9, 2016
if only it wasn't so boring

also i'm still fucking salty and bitter that

it's not actually a Jax book, but it's not a problem for me, because it focuses on Baldair and his relationship with his golden guards Erion and Jax. It's more or less Jax-centered, yes, but not a Jax book at all. And it's very preciousss! I can't wait for the next book with Raylynn.

Also there is no Vhalla (thanks GOD) and a little of Aldrik (who is not ANNOYING SAPPY MESS), so it's not frustrating. btw, there are glimpses at Aldrik's and Baldair's brother feud and it's actually kinda amusing .

so my final rating is 6 out of 10. would've been more if I enjoyed it but the plot was bbbbboring.
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,401 followers
February 8, 2017
I was sent this book in advance by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Actual rating 4,5 stars.

First of all, you have to know I adored Air Awakens. I was not a reviewer yet at the time I read it, but I find myself thinking back to it and all of the amazing things that happened in those five books. Anyway, one of the many great things about it were the characters, and little did it matter if they were main or secondary ones. Among the side characters, Jax and Baldair were two of my favorites, and I’m glad to say The Crown’s Dog was very satisfying in terms of fangirl love.
It is told in third-person point of view perspective, with the PoVs being Jax’s and Erion’s.
Erion is an Air Awakens character I’ve always been intrigued about, but I felt like we didn’t get to know him fully in the main series. I really enjoyed his perspective here, and it was interesting to see how his cultural and familial background were always present in his mind, in the way he interacted with Baldair and Aldrik (eep! Yes, we get a little scene with Aldrik!) and the way he viewed magic.
Jax was my favorite side character in Air Awakens (together with my cutie pie Fritz). We didn’t get to hear his full backstory until the last book in the series, and that story is mentioned and it is a big part of what goes on in this novel. Some of the events that happen here bring back his memories and we get a glimpse of his…I don’t know if I’m allowed to say almost madness, but that’s what I always thought about him. Some secrets can really mess with one’s brain, and seeing things from his perspective was illuminating and brought me further understanding of his character. We also see him struggling with the South’s prejudices about magic -which he possesses in form of fire- and one of the things I found very interesting was seeing how his Firebearer’s magic felt physically, since in Air Awakens we mostly saw magic through a Windwalker’s perspective.
While we didn’t get Baldair's PoV, he was a constant presence in his story, and we did see some of his, ahem, antics, that eventually (as we know from Air Awakens) got him the title of Heartbreaker Prince.
The plot involved a pirate queen’s curse (I love pirate plotlines!) and a murder in the coastal town of Oparium that our team of three decides to solve. It was very fast-paced, but it allowed many moments of introspection, to better get to know our characters. Although the three have been friends for some time already at the time this novel takes place, this new adventure really sets the foundation for the Golden Guard (thus the series name). I found the relationship between these three characters was very well written, and I liked how they all came to it from different backstories and roles. Their friendship is genuine and knowing how it evolves (if you’ve read the main series) makes it even more interesting to read about in this prequel.

I really can’t wait for more people to read this and Air Awakens. If you haven’t yet, pick both up!

Three chapters excerpt:
After reading the first three chapters all I can say is that I can't wait for the book to come out!
It made me so emotional to see my dear boys (and you should remember it's a prequel, so they're boys: it's perfectly normal for them to feel less mature than in Air Awakens!) after missing them so much.
The book is going to be awesome \o/
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
447 reviews838 followers
August 31, 2017
"Luck would give with one hand and take with the other when it came to Jax's life."

me @ Elise Kova: so, after 200 pages of feels where is my Jax x Elecia centered trilogy ???
Profile Image for Füsun.
205 reviews85 followers
May 1, 2022
Eeh işte. 2.5-3 arası.

Tahtın Köpeği, çoğu zaman ilgimi uyanık tutamayan ve “ya biz bu hikayeyi neden okuyoruz ki şimdi?” diye sormama sebep olan bir kitaptı. Ana hikayeye, ki burada Hava Uyanıyor serisinden bahsediyorum, hizmet eden tek kısmı, Baldair’in Altın Muhafızlar’ının oluşumunu görmekti ve açıkçası gerek var mıydı pek emin değilim. Hava Uyanıyor serisinde yan karakter olarak gördüğümüz bu karakterlerin, her ne kadar çok bir şey hatırlamasam bile, hatırladığım kadarıyla dahi orada anlatılan hikayesi bir noktada yeterliydi bence: Veliaht prens Aldrik’in daha sonradan tanıdığımız ve sevdiğimiz kardeşi Prens Baldair’e hem arkadaşça hem de muhafız olarak sadakatle bağlılığı ve büyü olmasa da savaş gücüyle bilinen ayrıcalıklı birliği. Hava Uyanıyor serisinde bu karakterlere dair daha fazla detayların olduğunu ve ana kurgudaki rollerini çok fazla hatırlayamasam da karakterleri bu tanımdan daha fazla tanıyıp okuduğumuzu net bir şekilde hatırlıyorum ve tekrar soruyorum: biz bu hikayeyi neden okuduk şimdi?

Üstelik Hava Uyanıyor serisinde Aldrik ve Vhalla dışında umursadığım tek karakter Baldair iken kitapta ona bu kadar az önem verilmesi ve sığ bir karakter gibi gösterilmesi de okurken pek hoşuma gitmedi. Tamam, diğer altın muhafızlar odak noktasına alınmış olabilirdi, belki prensi serinin ilerisine saklama isteğinden belki de ana hikayede anlatıldığı kadarı en azından şimdilik yeterli görüldüğünden, ama adamlar zaten üç kişiydi ve diğer ikisinin bakış açılarından olayları okurken Baldair’i sadece onların gözünden görmek, diğer ikisine kıyasla çok daha sığ bir karaktermiş gibi anlatılması bence doğru değildi. Kitabın içeriği de adı gibi Jax’a ithafen olsaydı bunu bir nebze anlayabilirdim ama hem aşırı genel bir şekilde arkadaşlıklarının bir birlikle mühürlenmesi anlatılırken hem de diğer bir altın muhafız olan Erion’un düşüncelerine bu kadar ayrıntılı girerken, bu birliğin asıl lideri ve ana hikayedeki yeri de daha güçlü olan Baldair’in böyle yüzeysel geçilmesi bence doğru olmamıştı.

Ayrıca bana kalırsa anlatılan hikaye çerçevesinde bu üçlünün başından geçen macera da bence çok ilgi çekici değildi. Anlatılışındaki detay eksikliğinden mi, yüzeysel birkaç olay çerçevesinde dönmesinden mi, yoksa nasıl anlatılırsa anlatılsın olayın basitliğinden mi bilmiyorum ama sonunu görmekten ziyade bitsin diye okudum. Ve yazarın kitabın sonunda tam bir heyecan oluyor dediğim sayılı yerlerden birini daha pat diye bitirmesi ve asla da anlaşılmayan bir olay yazması da durumu benim için hiç iyiye götürmedi. “Bir dakika bu ne şimdi? Niye oldu bu?” derken de kitap bitti zaten.

Hava Uyanıyor serisini, her ne kadar çok detaylı hatırlamıyor olsam da, eksiklerine rağmen sevdiğimi çok iyi hatırlıyorum ve Tahtın Köpeği’ni de sevebilmek, okurken keyif alabilmek isterdim ama maalesef işler düşündüğüm gibi gitmedi.

Umarım seri daha güzel ilerler de devam edebilmek için yeterli motivasyonu sağlar.
Profile Image for Sena Nur Işık.
Author 4 books890 followers
April 6, 2022
Severek okuduğum Hava Uyanıyor serisinden sonra o evrene ait bir kitap okumak keyifliydi. Altın Muhafızlar her zaman ilgimi çekmişti. Onlara ait bir serinin olmasından mutluluk duydum. Elise Kova, kalemi sağlam bir yazar. Onun elinden çıkan her kitabı gözüm kapalı alırım.
April 25, 2017
4 stars

Anyone whose been following me for the last month or so knows that I've been going through my 'Elise Kova Awakening'. I read the entire 'Air Awakens' series in little more than a week and am now midway through shipping the entire series from the States, because I need the hardback copies in my life.

You could read this book if you haven't read 'Air Awakens' but, honestly, it would make so much more sense and be so much more rewarding if you read AA first. So much of this book is about characters, especially relationships that we saw from a distance in the series, and how they were formed that I just think it's worth your time and energy to wait until you've finished Crystal Crowned.

So, 'The Crown's Dog' is a classical murder mystery, pirate treasure romp. It's really fun to read, you don't feel the heart rending fear that you experience through the AA series, it is the book equivalent of having a nice cool cider on a warm summer's day in a park.

It's actually set four(?) years before the start of AA, so we meet the characters as teenagers/adults at the age where you can, in no way shape or form, call them adults. It focuses on the friendship of Baldair, Erion and Jax, and what ends up being the formation of the Golden Guard.

Jax was always one of my favourite characters from AA. Who can avoid falling in love with a sharp tongued character, whose carefully constructed swagger is all to hide a breaking heart within? I really enjoyed seeing Jax's internal dialogue through this story, how it exposed his fears and self hatred, but also his fierce loyalty to his friends. I would really really like to see more of Jax and Aldrik's friendship in later books, dear Lord, I bet they have some stories to tell...

Likewise, it was really interesting to learn more about Erion and why he put so much of his reputation at risk to save Jax from his crimes. Straight-laced Lord and loose cannon Mage is my favourite friendship dynamic, oh so help me.

Also, obviously, Baldair, because who doesn't like Baldair (?), though the antagonism between him and his brother in the early stages of the book hurt my soul. Kiss and make up, guys, please, kiss and make up.

This book was really fun. It's not going to rip your soul in two like AA, but it obviously wasn't meant to. It's about friendship and character building and going on madcap treasure hunts to find long forgotten riches. It was excellent and made me want to read AA all over again.

Profile Image for Lauren.
342 reviews25 followers
November 4, 2016
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

When I woke up the other day to this book sitting in my inbox, to say I was excited was an understatement! I was reading the last of Crystal Crowned at the time and I absolutely loved all of the books in the Air Awakens series. So, to be getting novellas, aka, the chance to revisit this world before the events of AA, I was sold!! I couldn't wait to find out more about the founding of the guard - in particular Jax!

I found it extremely easy to forget about the fact that this book was only a novella rather than a full sized book. It was easy to get lost in the story itself and the characters. I loved witnessing the interactions between the founding characters of the Golden Guard, as well as the brief glimpse we get of the relationship between Aldrik and Baldair and how it was previously. It definitely helped to highlight how far they had come in the AA series as a whole!

What I also love about this book is the fact that we got to see Jax and more inside of his head. We meet him at a time when he is extremely vulnerable and struggling to deal with what he had done etc. It was easy to feel sorry for him - I just wanted to wrap him up in bubble wrap and never let him go! I loved being inside of his head, and I hope that we get to see more from his perspectives in the next novellas to come!

I also enjoyed being inside Erion's head. We didn't really get to see enough of him in the AA series, despite the fact that he seems to be the person to keep most things (including Baldair) on the ground. He is the voice of reason, but still can't avoid an adventure with Baldair. His constant thoughts of what was right and proper did seem to get a little irritating after a while, especially because his parents weren't with him! At the same time, I guess it is something that had been ingrained into him, so its a habit!

Baldair. I really do love him, you know. I wish he was real. He seemed like the same Baldair here, as he was in the AA series. He probably grew a little more series in the AA series, but the main frame of the character remained the same. He was the same charming character that we all love with an amazing sense of humour!

I do feel like the plot suffered a little bit to focus on the characters. It was, in places, a tad slow and I feel like some things could have maybe been fleshed out a little more... although its supposed to be a novella. I did enjoy the plot overall and the conclusion was AMAZING!! I was not expecting to happen what happened!

I really enjoyed this novella and I cannot even wait for the next two! I really want to meet some more members of the Golden Guard and find out how they were recruited into the exclusive guard! I gave this book 4/5 stars!
Profile Image for Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt).
575 reviews52 followers
February 21, 2017
I was lucky enough to Beta read this story for Elise a few moths ago but I decided to wait until after it was published so I could review it more fairly. I spent all of today rereading it and refreshing my memory so I could finally upload this, so here we go!
This is the first installment in the prequel trilogy that focuses on the Golden Guard that we originally meet in the Air Awakens series. This story is dual POV and follows our beloved Jax and his good friend, Erion. Jax is the flirty male character with a super dark past while Erion is battling his own guilt over his role in his friendship with the Crown.
This novella was a highly welcome breath of fresh air into my life. I rarely get to read a novel/novella that is told in only male perspectives so I ate it all up like there was no tomorrow. We follow these two main characters along with our wonderful Baldair as they get into trouble that always seems to follow them wherever they go. I was completely intrigued to say the least by their dynamic and the weight of their loyalty for each other. It seemed to seep into their every word and their every action. Also, I will never turn down the chance to get a deeper look into the side characters that made the Air Awakens series as unforgettable as it was. I even enjoyed the cameo of a certain Crown Prince that I can't, and will never, get out of my head (and heart).
Elise Kova has done what she does best yet again. She sucks you in from the very first word, forcing you to forget entirely about reality. She reopened old wounds while also creating new ones with every flip of the page. The humor in this book was so perfectly woven in that I was in tears from laughing so hard. This story was deliciously suspenseful and arose so many more questions that have yet to be answered. I need to get my hands on the second book because I'm dying to know more about this setting. We are introduced to new places in the continent that we didn't get to see in the original series and Kova seamlessly managed to explain it all with such vivid detail that I felt like I was in the middle of all the action. Speaking of action, we get it throughout the book almost nonstop, but the end was the best. It was more than intense and it had my heart almost hammering out of my chest.
The book itself is absolutely gorgeous, just like the others. The interior design is as breathtaking as the exterior which does immense justice to the story within. We also have a couple new maps to drool over in order to follow the story even better. If you love murder mysteries and pirates, I highly recommend this novella for you! I also hope you read the original series because there are so many emotions running rampant through me right now as I revisited this world that I'm sure will hit you as well.
Profile Image for Öznur (kendimizeaitbiroda).
371 reviews43 followers
August 21, 2022
Tahtın Köpeği, Hava Uyanıyor serisinin yan karakterleri Prens Baldair, Erion ve Jax’in hikayesini, Altın Muhafızlar’ın başlangıcını anlatıyor. Her şey Jax’in Solaris İmparatorluğu kulesinde gizli bir oda bulmasıyla başlıyor. Adını anmanın bile laneti çağıracağına ve bir dizi uğursuzluğa sebep olacağına inanılan lanetli Korsan Kraliçe Adela Lagmir’in odası olduğunu anladıklarında Baldair, Jax ve Erion’u yanına alarak kayıp hazinenin peşine düşüyor. Hazine arayışları onları Oparium’daki yaz sarayına getiriyor ve tam umudu kesip arayışı sonlandıracakları zamanda kendilerini gizemli bir cinayetin içinde buluyorlar. Sonrasında da neler yaşadıklarını okuyoruz.
Ben henüz Hava Uyanıyor serisini okumadım fakat bu seri onun öncesindeki dönemi anlattığı için bununla başlamakta bir sakınca görmedim. Zaten Hava Uyanıyor’un ana karakteri Prens Aldrik bu kitapta karşımıza o kadar az çıktı ki, neredeyse hiç görmedik diyebilirim. Yani bu kitapla başlamakta hiç problem yok bence.
Baldair, Jax ve Erion’u sevdim ben aslında. Jax ve Erion’u tanımamız için, bir giriş kitabına göre, gayet yeterliydi ama aynı şeyi Baldair için söyleyemeyeceğim. Onu kitapta daha fazla görmeyi isterdim. Jax ve Erion’un yanı sıra onun bakışından da okuyabilmek daha iyi olurdu bence.
Ayrıca Baldair, Jax ve Erion arasındaki dostluğa, birbirlerine olan sadakatlerine, inançlarına bayıldım.😍❤️
Hem çok kısa hem de seriye giriş kitabı olarak baktığımızda ortalama buldum diyebilirim ama serinin devamında üçlümüzün neler yaşayacaklarını merak ediyorum. Umarım devamındaki kitaplarda Baldair’i daha fazla okuyabiliriz ve karakterlerin hikayelerini daha derinlemesine görebiliriz.❤️
Profile Image for Ann (annreads).
243 reviews314 followers
April 14, 2017
“I’m exotic?” Erion raised his eyebrows.
“Dark hair, bright eyes—what a blend of South and West!” Baldair’s voice went shrill in a poor imitation of a maiden’s as he brought the back of his hand to his forehead in a swoon.
“Careful, I think he’s falling for you,” Jax cautioned.
“I think you’re the one who should look out.” Erion started along the alley for the paved street ahead. “You’re the one who has to live with him all year, and he clearly has a thing for Westerners.”
Jax waggled his eyebrows at Baldair. “And where will you be, handsome?”

I think I could literally read a million books about this characters and I'd never get enough of them!❤️❤️❤️
The bromance between Jax, Erion and Baldair it's honestly the best thing in the history of golden trios and now I need like ten more books about them and their adventures! *cries*

Profile Image for Aneesa.
191 reviews17 followers
December 12, 2016
OMG!!! Could this series get any better?

First I felt like I was tortured from hell and back, next I felt my heart being ripped apart and then shredded in to a million pieces, I couldn't stand the pain. I didn't think it was possible for me to feel anymore pain, nope. But I did. How Elise manages to do this even in a novella is beyond my comprehension. I feel for anyone who is experiencing my pain right now *air hugs you* one million times.

ANYYYWAYYYSSS....time to get down to business

This one was very heard to read because of Jax Wendyll, if you have read the Air Awaken series you will understand the reference to "The Crown's Dog". Jax and Aldrik are more alike, both haunted by their pasts and they both put on a act of being tough. Jax with his smiles and Aldrik with his silence.

I really loved that I got a glimpse inside of Jax, Erion and Baldair's head, it was nice to see how all three of them are different yet strange enough they form a unbreakable bond and trio. I loved seeing how they cared about one another, especially Erion which I was quite surprise about. Baldair was full of surprises too (he was the most painful one to read about).

Jax, Baldair and Erion set off on a journey to discover about the legendary pirate Adela, since all of this stems from Jax escorting one of Baldair's ladies out of the Imperial palace without being noticed, they soon stumble upon the tapestry in one of the rooms in the Tower. It was so good to be reunited with Aldrik, I kind of wish Vhalla was there too but these events happened before they met.

It was very surprising learning about Adela and her so called treasure, although that woman who helps Jax, I would have liked to know her name and what connection these two had (it's given the impression that Jax knows her but he can't remember who she is).

I've always loved Elise's writing style, no one can quite compare to her not in the way she writes anyway. Every word, every sentence is poured with emotions. Although this is short novella, I can't wait for the next book.

I am off to order the book, if you haven't started this series yet now is the perfect chance to do so.

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Profile Image for Nicole Burton.
84 reviews10 followers
October 7, 2019
I loved reading more about my favorite boys! I can't believe I waited so long to read this.
Profile Image for Jessica.
771 reviews98 followers
June 26, 2017
This was a fun short story of the adventures of the golden guard as 16 year olds and how it came to be formed. It has quite a different feel to it than the Air Awakens series because the protagonists are so young so bear that in mind. Overall love a good murder mystery ghostly pirate adventure!
Profile Image for Tilly.
1,289 reviews150 followers
April 26, 2022
4 Stars

I loved reading this extra story, especially after reading Vortex Visions first!
Not going to give anything away!
Elise Kova is such an amazing author. Never fails to suck me into each story and care about the characters. Looking forward to reading the next of these long novellas.
Profile Image for Kami.
170 reviews21 followers
November 11, 2016
I didn't hate this book, I just didn't love it.
Full review to come.
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,256 reviews54 followers
June 16, 2022
This was quite a short read, and a bit of fun. Prince Baldair is off searching for pirate treasure with his personal guard and a friend, but they get bored and wind up drunk instead. And find a murdered girl in one of their beds.
It doesn't seem to matter whether or not you've read the original series (I have honestly forgotten everything that happened) and does hold completely on its own.
It's not particularly a lot of action or plot in this book, but it was still really enjoyable and a great switch off sort of read. It doesn't end on a cliff hanger, and there's already been some subtle character development shining through, which is pretty impressive in such a short timeframe.

Profile Image for Jade Klinger.
67 reviews7 followers
June 9, 2017
I plan to do a more indepth review of "Crown's Dog". But as always in every review I've done of Elise's books, she always blows my mind. I loved reading from the perceptive of Jax. It's been quite sometime since I've read it so all of my facts are scrambled, but Crown's Dog is extremely worthy of 5 stars, which is what I gave it! I hope to be rereading this book as well as continuing on with the rest of the trilogy, very soon.
Profile Image for Luna.
249 reviews30 followers
March 30, 2021
“Go to the coast, they said. It’ll be fun to hunt for lost pirate treasure, they said.”

Me encantó este libro!! No era lo que esperaba, pero igual me gustó mucho.

“You have to fight. You must fight for yourself, fight to live.”

Este libro es una precuela de los eventos de la saga Air Awakens, centrado en Jax y Erion, y como fue que surgió su amistad con Baldair y se creó la Golden Guard. Todo comenzó cuando los tres amigos se fueron al Palacio de Verano del Imperio en lo que parecía ser una simple búsqueda del tesoro pirata. Pero las cosas se tornaron serias cuando una sirvienta apareció asesinada con la marca de Adela, la pirata maldita, y los chicos se dan cuenta de que quizá los fantasmas del pasado de Jax no son los únicos espíritus que los atormentan.

It was the man who needed the most help who stepped in to save them all.

Aunque amé la historia, me lleve una leve decepción porque sentí que fue muchísimo más simple que la compleja trama de Air Awakens, y aparte se me hizo muy corta y al final hubo cosas que quedaron inconclusas, o algunos cabos sueltos, que no voy a mencionar para evitar spoilers. No se si esto será así a propósito o tendrá alguna conexión con la saga principal que no pude encontrar (a pesar de que sigo buscando alguna), pero hubo temas, principalmente dos situaciones, que quedaron demasiado sueltos e inconclusos, y que quizás con un poco más de detalle por parte de la autora se podría haber resuelto o explicado mejor.

”I’m exotic?” Erion raised his eyebrows.
“Dark hair, bright eyes—what a blend of South and West!” Baldair‘s voice went shrill in a poor imitation of a maiden’s as he brought the back of his hand to his forehead in a swoon.
“Careful, I think he’s falling for you” Jax cautioned.
“I think you’re the one who should look out.” Erion started along the alley for the paved street ahead. “You’re the one who has to live with him all year, and he clearly has a thing for Westerners.”
Jax waggled his eyebrows at Baldair. “And where will you be, handsome?”

Definitivamente lo mejor de esta lectura fue leer sobre este Golden Trio. El bromance que hay entre ellos es lo mejor, y pudimos aprender muchísimo sobre estos tres amados personajes. Está el encantador Baldair, todavía en su juventud, donde su único problema era acostarse con mujeres y pelearse con su hermano Aldrik. Luego está Erion, la mamá del grupo, de quien no sabíamos mucho y demostró ser alguien con grandes aspiraciones políticas, pero también un gran y leal corazón para sus amigos. Y por último tenemos a Jax, un personaje fascinante y además mi favorito, y en esta precuela podemos verlo sufriendo por el crimen que cometió muy recientemente, lidiando con el dolor y aprendiendo a vivir con ello. Acá es donde empieza a dejar de tener el dolor a flor de piel, y tratar de reemplazarlo por su característica sonrisa socarrona.

Leer sobre estos personajes cuando eran tan jóvenes nos permite apreciar mucho su evolución a lo largo de la saga Air Awakens, cuánto han cambiado y lo lejos que han llegado.

It wasn’t personal. Politics never was. And the world was one big political game.

En fin, fue un libro bueno. Pero aunque disfrute de la historia y de leer más sobre personajes que amo, igual siento que le faltó algo. Quizá más detalles y construcción del entorno no hubiera venido nada mal, y que la acción pase un poco más despacio para darle lugar a otras cosas como profundizar en los personajes me hubiera encantado. Y también está el tema de los cabos sueltos y situaciones sin explicación e inconclusas. Pero a pesar de todo esto me gustó la lectura, la trama es ligera y rápida, y la investigación del asesinato y la búsqueda del tesoro fue súper entretenida. Más que nada amé leer sobre cómo fueron los inicios de la Golden Guard y de unos de los personajes más queridos de la saga.

A genuine excitement he hadn’t felt in a long time began to grow in him. It was the thrill of learning something new, of finding something out that he didn’t already know.


Releído en Marzo de 2021: Releí este libro porque quería recordar cómo era la historia de Adela y su tesoro pirata, y al final terminé haciendo teorías y escribiendo en los márgenes como una loca, y disfrutando esta relectura mil veces más que la primera vez que lo leí. Lo que me parecían cabos sueltos y cosas que no me gustaron la prima vez no es culpa del libro, es culpa mía por no haber leído Vortex Chronicles antes. Y ahora que leí el primer libro, no pude dejar de hacer teorías y buscarle conexiones con Vi y toda la trama rara de Vortex.

Seguramente lo relea otra vez luego de que termine la saga Vortex Chronicles, para ver si mis teorías eran correctas. Mientras tanto, me quedo con la info de Adela y mis teorías locas y vuelvo al mundo de Vortex a ver que pasa ahí.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Gaelle ✨ (asparklingchapter).
283 reviews101 followers
November 14, 2018
I want to start the Air Awakens series, I've heard great things about it. As Golden Guard is the prequel series, I've begun The Crown's Dog. I love the main characters and will definitely continue the series. The story was also interesting. 3/5 stars.
Profile Image for Christa.
860 reviews67 followers
February 26, 2017
I love this world and this series but I would have enjoyed this book if it had come out between earths end and waters wrath. It's really hard to read prequels when I already know how the story ends.

It is well written but prequels aren't my thing. I still love this world and the magic woven into it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michelle (In Libris Veritas).
1,936 reviews79 followers
February 7, 2017
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
The Crown’s Dog was an audio that basically took up my entire day. I ate, worked, and even slept (oops) while listening to it because the mix of engaging story and Zachary’s reading was just too good to hold off on.

Our story focuses on two point of views, Jax and Erion. Jax is a sorcerer who has been conscirpted to the service of the youngest prince. He has a past that haunts him, which we do get to see bits and pieces of, and throughout this story he is struggling to overcome the doubts and pain that it brings him. Despite his gloom he is really witty and has plenty of dry humor to go around. Erion is the more refined and quiet man in the group, he is more at ease playing the gentleman than the brash fighter. He has wit but he’s mostly focused on keeping the other two from allowing their quick wittiness from getting them killed. I really liked the hints at a strong friendship between Erion and Jax, but I really want to see more. They have a past together and it would be great to have that foundation, because Erion spends a lot of time worried about Jax’s current mental state. Baldir has a lot going on as well, he’s a playboy who is fighting the reputation he’s rightfully earned.Put all three of these men together and it’s like the perfect trio of humor and thanks to the narrator amazing accents.

I really loved the mystery element to this as I wasn’t expecting to play such a big part, and I loved getting to know more about the kingdom through the clues and inquires through out. However there were some elements that I wish I had learned more about, like the Crystal wars which are mentioned several times. It does seem like we might get more info on that in the next book though, so I’m hopeful. The magic is fairly cool as well and it’s interesting to see how it’s taken culturally depending on region.

Zachary Johnson’s work is phenomenal! He does a variety of really convincing accents AND even sings a bit! He has excellent pacing and his reading is animated, he really seems to get into character and it makes for an fun listen.

This series shows some real promise and I’m looking forward to further installments!
Profile Image for Esther Haddie's Haven.
902 reviews56 followers
February 7, 2017
Winner read. Right off the bat. We get a deeper look into characters that we already know and love. Or I should say adore, because I know I adore them. Getting to see more of Jax, Erion, and Prince Baldair. We even have a run-in with the Fire Lord. As usual, Elise Kova gives us a reason to grin, chuckle, cry and everything possibly in between. Having read and loved the Air Awakens series (except Crystal Crowned, as I have to finished that one), I truly loved to come back and revisit this world and its characters. We get a good look at who Jax is before Vhalla really comes into the picture. I do believe we catch a small glimpse of her, but I'm not gonna tell you my suspicions because I don't want to spoil the tale.

I am quite the fan of pirates. I love how that detail works into the story. It is adventurous; Baldair is a teenager, so you can imagine how he gets, due to the prospect of solving a mystery and possibly finding hidden treasure. Who wouldn't be intrigued? Well, Erion, apparently. The bantering that transpires between the characters is so entertaining. You just feel for Jax and what he goes through. He's always looking back at his crimes and he doesn't care about much anymore.

The audio version of this book is so diverting. The narrator, Zachary Johnson, does a really great job of bringing in the different accents of the Westerners and the Southerns to life. When I listen to an audiobook, I look for a very animated, motivated, style of narration. And Zachary Johnson definitely brings that to this book. Reading the e-book and having it narrated to me made my experience with this story so vivid. I could see the characters acting before my eyes. That's what I look for in a book, and Major Kova knows how to do that with her writing. And to think this is only the beginning of the Golden Guard. I strongly look forward to the next book in this prequel trilogy, and I highly recommend that you check out, as well as the Air Awakens series.
Profile Image for Sabrina .
109 reviews49 followers
November 16, 2016
My full review will be on my blog soon, however before it gets there I'd like to thank Elise Kova for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the story and plot to this prequel book. I for one believe it was a nice lead in into this Golden Guard prequel series. It was amazing getting back into a series I so much enjoyed. It also showed how much I really did miss these wonderful characters.

However a few minor things may have bothered me about about the actually voices of the characters whilst reading. I love Elise Kova and her writing abilities. They're strong and she has shown she knows how to show through and decipher which character is leading the chapter. However something about the overall voicing felt off. It's suppose to be set in the Air Awakens world, and yet I wasn't quite getting back into it, or it was more like I didn't get to reach that level I had felt before.

Overall however another brilliant book, and of course we get to see our favourite sassy little character Jax, so that was awesome. I can't wait to read the rest of the Golden Guard series
Profile Image for Em.
416 reviews52 followers
March 11, 2017
In the Air awakens series I always loved Jax. This just showed me more of his past, his pain, and his loyalty. The friendship between these three men is amazing. Even though this is a prequel story I would not read it before the Air Awakens series, because you might not appreciate the character development in the it if you read this first. It is a great look into characters I already knew and loved.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
November 5, 2016
A strong opening to this prequel series to the Air Awakens books. I will say that only having male POV's would normally turn me off from a book but since I know all these characters and am already invested in their lives I didn't mind! I sure hope we get a female pov and some romance in book 2. But overall I loved this and the whole Pirate mystery.
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