House of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1)
Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call....THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free--he must take what he wants.THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

House of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1) Details

TitleHouse of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 12th, 2020
PublisherRandom House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780525648154
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Dragons, Young Adult Fantasy, High Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Magic, Science Fiction Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

House of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1) Review

  • Bibi
    January 1, 1970
    Pros:DragonsThronesDragonsCons: Plot narrative was too linearI counted, at minimum, 3 instances where Cluess used the dreaded "deus ex machina" The stakes weren't high enough The conflict (and it's introduction) was poorly executed. Overall: 2.5 stars
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received via publisher!
  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    There's no way this was inspired by Game of Thrones.Absolutely no way.
  • Cindy ✩☽♔
    January 1, 1970
    5/12/2020Waiting for my copy to come in the mail!---Think THREE DARK CROWNS meets THE BREAKFAST CLUB with DRAGONS.Wait...what? I'm both excited and confused lol On another note, I love the detailed cover!
  • Tori Kiersten Frost
    January 1, 1970
    The only YA fantasy that people will describe as "like Game of Thrones for teens" that actually reads like Game of Thrones for teens. You've got your succession crisis, your band of secretive misfits, your murder, and of course, DRAGONS. Just tons of excellent dragons. If you've been waiting for a top-tier dragon rider revival in YA fantasy, this is it.
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  • Dannii Elle
    January 1, 1970
    Think THREE DARK CROWNS meets THE BREAKFAST CLUB with DRAGONS.This book sounds like a triple threat and I am so here for it!
  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    if a book says it has dragons in it, I will read it okayalso I want to own all the swords on this cover and hang them prominently on my wall so I can stare at them and touch them and feel epic whenever I want
  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    It's about time dragons made a come-back, especially in a non-epic-fantasy book!
  • elena
    January 1, 1970
    i don't really like ya fantasy anymore but i really want to read this mostly because one of my best friend's mother was a tutor for jessica cluess while she was in collegeanother reason is dragons
  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY! A book with the word dragon in the title that has DRAGONS.Huge thank you to Penguin/Random House for supplying me with this arc after a little bit of begging ;DWhat a wild ride I was just on, you guys. This book starts with a BANG. We jump into the five povs. Yes, I said it. FIVE POV's. But as daunting as that sounds, it wasn't too bad once you get to know the characters. But I digress. This wild ride starts when the emperor dies and the eldest of each of the five houses in Etrusia line FINALLY! A book with the word dragon in the title that has DRAGONS.Huge thank you to Penguin/Random House for supplying me with this arc after a little bit of begging ;DWhat a wild ride I was just on, you guys. This book starts with a BANG. We jump into the five povs. Yes, I said it. FIVE POV's. But as daunting as that sounds, it wasn't too bad once you get to know the characters. But I digress. This wild ride starts when the emperor dies and the eldest of each of the five houses in Etrusia line up for the Call to compete for the throne. But things don't go as planned and the least assuming (bastards, youngest, etc) are chosen. The winner gets the crown. Losers get the Cut. I.E executed. These outcasts, each with their own issues, battle for the throne all while uncovering some secrets and flying DRAGONS!!I cannot stress this enough and I will scream it from the rooftops. I LOVE DRAGONS. This book didn't disappoint in that aspect. Nor the intrigue and violence that I love in competition books like this. I connected to each of the protagonists to the point where I thought I was watching a reality show and kept switching to who I wanted to win. This is a Romanesque fantasy world and there's some violence that had me staring open-mouthed at my Kindle. There are also some pretty strong themes throughout that are kind of brutal for younger audiences. To close off this review I will say that this book sets itself apart and I loved every bit of it. I am so glad my begging paid off. This book is one for the shelves.
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  • Adah Udechukwu
    January 1, 1970
    House of Dragons was spectacular. It was awesome, awesome, awesome. Book 2 is going to be a blast.
  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    the breakfast club meets three dark crowns meets game of thrones. i believe in jessica cluess supremacy
  • Elza B
    January 1, 1970
    *sees a book about people bonding with dragons**hits the want-to-read button* If anyone wonders what I spend my free time doing just show them this review
  • Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5This book was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases! I was DYING to get my hands on it, and was ready to start begging (okay, I kind of begged in buy/sell/trade groups, trying to get someone to trade with me lol), and I finally got lucky enough that the publisher responded to my ARC request with a Netgalley widget! Yay!Did it live up to the hype? Yes and no. Honestly, I was a little disappointed in it overall. I think maybe my expectations were just too high. However, did it deliver 3.5/5This book was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases! I was DYING to get my hands on it, and was ready to start begging (okay, I kind of begged in buy/sell/trade groups, trying to get someone to trade with me lol), and I finally got lucky enough that the publisher responded to my ARC request with a Netgalley widget! Yay!Did it live up to the hype? Yes and no. Honestly, I was a little disappointed in it overall. I think maybe my expectations were just too high. However, did it deliver the dragon action? YES IT DID! Finally, a book "about dragons" WITH ACTUAL DRAGON ACTION! And not just in passing! That was by far the selling point of this book, and my absolute favorite part. I adored the dragons themselves (especially Dog, be still my heart!) and the different types of dragons bonding to different Houses. Absolutely fabulous! (view spoiler)[I especially loved how the chains of bondage were broken and the dragons were actually able to speak to their riders! YASSS! (hide spoiler)]In the beginning, I wasn't enjoying it very much. I wasn't a huge fan of Jessica's writing style, sadly. I was a little bored at times, and I didn't care about any of the characters. The only ones with actual personality were Hyperia, the murderous bitch, and Ajax, who reminded me a little of a very childish and petulant version of Sevro from Red Rising. Emilia, Vespir, and Lucien were all pretty bland in the first half, and I didn't care about any of them. I also didn't care who won or lost, or really what happened to them. I am happy to say that my feelings did grow as the book went on!This book really shines in the last 25%. The action ramps up, the stakes get higher, and we get a little shock of deceit (that I thought was awesome!). Somewhere along the line, the characters grew on me. I started realizing that Emilia was kind of a badass, Vespir wasn't the mouse I thought she was, and Lucien had more to him than just righteous valor (which was frankly a bit annoying in the beginning, sorry). Hyperia even started to grow on me. I think I probably liked Ajax all along, even though he's a pain in the ass. He had the most personality! He does get a little annoying at times, because he's just so...obnoxious? Incorrigible? He's kind of a prick sometimes, but he had a good heart. I adored his relationship with his dragon, Dog! Dog is a lot like Ajax - over the top, obnoxious - but totally lovable and goofy. (Like a dog!) (view spoiler)[It BROKE MY HEART when they gouged his eyes out in punishment for Ajax's idiocy!!! Oh my lord! Poor baby! (hide spoiler)]I don't know how I felt about the ending. It felt a little rushed, and there were some things that didn't sit quite right with me. (view spoiler)[Namely, another competition for "one winner" got changed conveniently so that everyone wins and no one dies. I would have rather seen Lucien win the throne and maybe appoint the other three as a council or something, but still do away with the Cut (because that was ridiculous to begin with - win or die, Game of Thrones much? If dragons are so revered, and it's considered sacrilegious to harm them, why would they willingly kill them off?). It didn't make sense to put them ALL on the throne - especially Vespir, who was not noble born, but a servant; and Ajax, who was frankly childish and unfit to rule (sorry Ajax, I like you, but damn you can be immature, and you don't need to hand that kind of power to a petulant child). I just thought that the ending was a bit too convenient.I also don't know how I feel about the turn that Hyperia's character took. Part of me isn't surprised - I mean, the chick did kill her own sister without batting an eyelash - but another part of me was kind of hoping for some catharsis in her character. Some realization of wrongdoing, since she obviously regretted killing her sister and felt bad about it. I felt like she was making such headway and character growth, then she just went all Dany on everyone and burned the city?? Wtf? Sigh. I mean, I guess it made sense for her ruthless character, but still. Despite her murderous tendencies, I did find her an interesting character. Womp womp.One more complaint: I hate how fantasies eliminate stakes with magical healing of mortal wounds. That drives me BONKERS. Lucien takes a sword thrust to the gut, and would have died, but the emperor and empress stepped in and wham bam he's good as new. NO stakes whatsoever. They had even said at the beginning that sometimes competitors died, and there was 30-40% I think? of death. YET NO ONE DIED. I think that would have really helped raise the stakes and my emotional connection to this book.Sure, Hyperia's dragon died in the end, but honestly who is going to care? Hyperia and her dragon both went pure evil at the end, which made you want them to die. Which I don't really like, because it felt like a plot device to me. Although, I am curious about how Hyperia's final act - awakening the Chaos House - will run its course in the sequel. (Even though Hyperia HATED chaos and was against it vehemently and it makes absolutely zero sense that she would resurrect it, but okay...) (hide spoiler)]Also, side note: I couldn't help but notice that this book represents all four Hogwarts Houses in its characters, so I've taken the liberty of sorting them (you're welcome lol):-Emilia: Ravenclaw-Hyperia: Slytherin-Vespir: Hufflepuff-Lucien: Gryffindor/Hufflepuff even split-Ajax: Gryffindor with a healthy dose of SlytherinOverall, for me this book was good but not great. I was underwhelmed compared to how much I'd hyped it up in my head, but I am pleased at the important and integral role that the dragons played in the book! So many books promise dragons and I end up overwhelmed because the dragon action is minimal. I'm thankful that this wasn't one of them! I do think that lots of people are going to love this book, and I will definitely be picking up the sequel to see what happens next!This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    Dragons are awesome and majestic, and this book is so full of them that it can only be fun. My only expectation going into this new world was that it should entertain me and I should enjoy my reading experience, and it totally delivered on what I wanted. This was a very plot driven narrative, and it felt different after a long time because I tend to gravitate so much towards character driven stories. The author just throws us right in the middle of chaos and we get to follow along wherever it go Dragons are awesome and majestic, and this book is so full of them that it can only be fun. My only expectation going into this new world was that it should entertain me and I should enjoy my reading experience, and it totally delivered on what I wanted. This was a very plot driven narrative, and it felt different after a long time because I tend to gravitate so much towards character driven stories. The author just throws us right in the middle of chaos and we get to follow along wherever it goes. There are five POVs but after the initial introductions, I didn’t find it hard to tell them apart and I think that was cool. I will not say that this book is reinventing the wheel, because the concept of a Trial (or multiple) to win a throne in pretty common in YA fantasy. So while it was tad bit predictable, it was also fun to follow the contests, guess who might be the winners, predict their motives and just be thoroughly entertained. The world building is certainly limited because we are very much concentrated on the trials, but we do get to know a bit of history in between and I found that sufficient for now. But the best part of this book were the dragons. Many books promise these majestic beasts these days in their titles but they are usually missing from action within the story itself, but I’m so happy that’s not the case here. All the dragons are very much a part of the narrative, have very distinct personalities and their own kind of relationships with their counterpart humans. I loved seeing how they seemed to complement each other so well, and all their bonding moments were absolutely spectacular. There’s a little one called Dog who is the most adorable ever and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting him anytime soon. And coming to the main characters, I liked that we had a spectrum of them ranging from ruthless to power hungry to desperate to resourceful to tortured... all very distinct, who weren’t even sure if they wanted to rule the kingdom but slowly came to realize what was important to them. I also liked how they each came from very different backgrounds and life experiences, which defines the kind of person they are and also gives us a glimpse of what kind of a ruler they might be. They are all competitors but it was also nice to see them reluctantly bond or work together sometimes. I don’t know if I can yet pick whom I like decisively because I really loved certain qualities in every single one of them, except one person whom I wouldn’t wanna spoil. Romance is also not much of an important part of this story and there’s only one relationship, which we only get glimpses of. But I was glad to see it was two women in love and there was no homophobia involved. The adults in the book are nothing much to be spoken about because like many of the YA novels we know, they were on a scale of useless to abhorrent, with maybe one being redeemable. The antagonists might seem predictable to some readers, but I certainly didn’t see the betrayals coming. In the end, I just wanna say I enjoyed this book a lot. While I found it good all throughout and didn’t wanna put it down, I thought the last 10-15% was amazing and I truly did not expect that ending. That was spectacular and I’m already so excited for the conclusion, which I suppose won’t be coming out for another year. All I want to say is that if you love dragons a lot and want to enjoy reading some nice YA fantasy, then this might be just the right choice. If you are looking for something very unique or new that has never been done before, then this is not it. I have seen the comparisons to Game of Thrones in other reviews and they maybe right... but I was never a fan of those books and I certainly like this version because it’s more to my taste.
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  • Vee_Bookish // stan shea couleé
    January 1, 1970
    HAPPY RELEASE DAYI'm really excited for this one.
  • Michael Araujo
    January 1, 1970
    The original review can be found on TheFandom where a review copy was provided in return of an honest review.In HOUSE OF DRAGONS, Jessica Cluess delivers a non-stop thrill ride that dives deep into politics and breathes life into action-packed scenes.Normally, when the Emperor of Etrusia passes away, the Great Dragon calls the eldest child from each of the five Houses to compete in the Trials with their respective dragon. The winner becomes the new Emperor or Empress and they rule successfully u The original review can be found on TheFandom where a review copy was provided in return of an honest review.In HOUSE OF DRAGONS, Jessica Cluess delivers a non-stop thrill ride that dives deep into politics and breathes life into action-packed scenes.Normally, when the Emperor of Etrusia passes away, the Great Dragon calls the eldest child from each of the five Houses to compete in the Trials with their respective dragon. The winner becomes the new Emperor or Empress and they rule successfully until their passing, where the cycle restarts. It’s the same every single time, until now. Suddenly the younger siblings are being chosen, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.When I first saw that House of Dragons was told from five different points of views, I became a little concerned. From past experience, multiple points of views start bleeding into each other and the character’s personalities start blending. I’m no longer able to tell them apart and end up getting frustrated. Cluess makes sure that every single one of her characters are completely different so that doesn’t happen. From the start, I was able to differentiate these distinctive characters. They all varied with their emotions and actions and stand apart from each other. You could literally open the book at any page and within seconds know who’s point of view it is.Their voices mirrored their arc that takes you on this wild journey and you see their progression the further in you go. I found myself questioning every single person and wondering which of them would win the Trials and take the throne by the end. Even the side characters play a large part with their depth and complexities. I found myself wanting to know more about everyone and hoping that we would get more stories out of them. I honestly liked every single character in this unique cast and wanted more.One of my favorite parts had to be the story itself. Because of the Trials, we see the characters doing their own things and going about their business. But the story makes sure that they cross each other and fits them into this larger puzzle. It was almost like a game of chess, where if you take out one characters action, nothing else can happen. The entire time I was reading, I was literally having fun. Through the happy moments, the action scenes, and even the sad times, I was having as much fun as if I were watching a blockbuster movie.I thought the world building was intriguing. While the novel focused more on the characters and their dragons, I thought that what we saw of the world was beautifully done. It made me want more, and want to dive deeper into its lore and cultures. I’m not sure if it’s because I really like the novel a lot, but I want to know about the past, present, and future. I want to see in-detailed passages about all the lands. I just want to ask for too much honestly.While reading, I did get little hints, almost easter eggs, to Game of Thrones. At least I hope they were easter eggs, what with one of the main characters being called Emilia, and especially with the way things ended. It gave me the same vibe except I wasn’t disappointed this time. I was Excited with a capital E. I found myself almost wanting the “villain” to continue with what they were doing.At the end of it all, Jessica Cluess is smart and witty and has easily given me one of my favorite books of the year. She introduces us to this almost modern fantasy world, with current “moods” and “sayings” that sets it apart from others. It wasn’t trying to be this classical fantasy novel, but gave us what we know today. It’s a little difficult to explain but that only means you’ll have to buy the book and read it to understand. And hopefully, she decides to write more worlds set in Etrusia aside from the sequel.
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  • melissafandomworld
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, I’m so happy for the existence of this book! The first thing that I could come up with to describe this book a bit more: Eragon meets Game of Thrones for teens in this great first book of this new ya fantasy story that has Dragons & Dragon riders in it and focuses on 5 different people, originated from all over the world whom are pitted against each other in a competition to win the Crown. Unexpected friendships form, more enemies are made and some of the views on this world will change Oh, I’m so happy for the existence of this book! The first thing that I could come up with to describe this book a bit more: Eragon meets Game of Thrones for teens in this great first book of this new ya fantasy story that has Dragons & Dragon riders in it and focuses on 5 different people, originated from all over the world whom are pitted against each other in a competition to win the Crown. Unexpected friendships form, more enemies are made and some of the views on this world will change forever more. Truly; What a thrilling ride reading this book has been. If you like plot driven books with your fair share of focus on political elements, murder, intrigue, fantastic action scenes, great focus on characters and their development and a lesser focus on romance development, than this is a book that’s going to be to your liking very very much. And don’t forget of course: There are DRAGONS! Magnificent dragons, but also more interesting fantasy elements are waiting for you to get aquatinted with.Each chapter left me craving more and the book gets better and better. It was getting really hard to put this book aside when I got towards the end (I was buddy-reading this one with a friend of mine so we stuck with reading and ‘X’ amount of chapters each day)This was exactly what I was hoping to get in a first book. A solid world building is present, fantasy elements that are truly interesting and I want more and more of, there’s a really interesting set of diverse characters and fantastic character development, a solid story and storyline development and overall it’s such an explosive read. One that left me craving more when I was finished.I fell in love with Jessica’s writing when I read book 1 and 2 of her Kingdom on Fire books some years ago and I’m glad to see the writing was as addictive in this book yet again. She has me hooked on every word, sentence and chapter she writes. Why did I then rate the book 4 stars instead of 4? Well… To me, in general, the story-line development wasn’t really surprising and basically everything I expected came true (there are some exceptions tho. Here and there the author did surprise me with tiny little twists). I would’ve loved it more if it more storyline elements would’ve been unexpected. But as I said; the characters and their development for one, were extremely well written and the overall reading experience has just been fantastic to me. It was thrilling and exciting from beginning till end and I really can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment!
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  • Taschima
    January 1, 1970
    This was SO good!!! 🖤At first I read the summary and was like, okay I can dig it.Then I saw the cover and drooled all over my keyboard.THEN I READ THE BOOK...And I know what you are thinking, then why did you give it 4 stars instead of 5? Well, that was because of some story choices at the very end that I struggled to reconcile with the rest of the book, and the ending felt a bit... weird to me, but that doesn't mean you are allowed to skip this one. It is so worth the read if only for the chara This was SO good!!! 🖤At first I read the summary and was like, okay I can dig it.Then I saw the cover and drooled all over my keyboard.THEN I READ THE BOOK...And I know what you are thinking, then why did you give it 4 stars instead of 5? Well, that was because of some story choices at the very end that I struggled to reconcile with the rest of the book, and the ending felt a bit... weird to me, but that doesn't mean you are allowed to skip this one. It is so worth the read if only for the characters themselves!I am usually not a huge fan of MULTIPLE POVs--it can get kind of, dare I say, chaotic when there are so many different voices competing for the spotlight. And, well, some authors just can't pull of multiple POVs.Jessica Cluess is not one of those authors.Every single one of her characters has a unique voice and background. I never had to double check who I was reading because it became obvious in the first few sentences. I loved some of these characters (Emilia, Vespir, occassionally Lucian), I was seriously conflicted about one in particular (Hyperia), and the last one I just, why Ajax why. They are all so complex and layers upon layers of vulnerability. Their past definitely comes back to haunt them, as none of them can claim to be completely innocent (well, except maybe Vespir, my girl).The magical system is interesting. There is chaotic magic (Witcher vibes!), and orderly (? am I saying that right) magic. Order has prevailed for a long time, it defeated chaos a long time ago and Emilia is an abomination on legs. Throughout the story we get some background pertaining the war between the magics, through I felt like the magic took a backseat to the main event-->Dragons.The dragons were magnificent! I do wish we could have gotten a drawing of each dragon, that would have been the cherry on top. By the end of the book some new doors are opened in the relationship between rider and dragons, something I can't wait to see fully explored in the sequel.There is not a lot of romance in the story to be honest. Vespir is in love with Antonia, and we get some of their relationship, but they spend a lot of the time apart obviously. There is another romance that started to spark, but nothing major. Possibly more to come in the second book? I hope so! Will definitely be pre-ordering that one!(view spoiler)[I kind of felt cheated we don't get to know who was ACTUALLY chosen. My money is on Vespir; I really hope we get an actual answer on the second book.Also Ajax has no business being emperor. Emilia, Vespir, and Lucian? Yeah, they each have their role to play and together make up a pretty effective team. Then there is Ajax, which could grow up to be a great assassin IF HE DIDN'T LIKE THE SPOTLIGHT SO MUCH. Other than, he is practically useless in matters of the state. (hide spoiler)]
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  • julia ☆ [owls reads]
    January 1, 1970
    2 stars.*House of Dragons delivered on the dragons by having so! many of them in the book and actually making them important parts of the plot. They weren't just there for the dragon aesthetic and even had their own personalities. There was also quite a bit of action that involved them, as well as some really cool reveals at the end, so if you were looking for new YA Fantasy books with a heavy focus on dragons then you should check this out!Everything else was a fail for me.I think my biggest th 2 stars.*House of Dragons delivered on the dragons by having so! many of them in the book and actually making them important parts of the plot. They weren't just there for the dragon aesthetic and even had their own personalities. There was also quite a bit of action that involved them, as well as some really cool reveals at the end, so if you were looking for new YA Fantasy books with a heavy focus on dragons then you should check this out!Everything else was a fail for me.I think my biggest thing was that the writing was too... modern? The way the characters spoke and how the narrative developed didn't match a Fantasy world to me. It all sounded very simple and a bit vague at times. The style just really didn't work for me, personally. All of the 5 POV characters also had a tendency to sound the same because of this.There were also obviously a lot of things lifted from or that were inspired by Game of Thrones, but Cluess did manage to give them a unique spin in her story and made them her own. I have a spoiler-y list on that at the end, if you want to take a look. Even so, the world-building in general was a bit of a mess? It seemed like the book was trying to be too many things at once and didn't have enough time to develop some of its magical and dragon-y aspects. There was just a lot going on in the background that was left a bit up in the air or explained super quickly because the focus had to be on the Game.I also didn't care much for any of the characters? They all had very distinct personalities and different obstacles to overcome, but their inner monologues and dialogue sounded too similar to each other. And it was obvious from the start that the stakes weren't as high as Cluess was trying to make them out to be, so a few very tense scenes with the characters didn't impact or shock me as they should have.Personally, House of Dragons was disappointing. I loved all the dragon bits and fights and twists, but that was not enough to make me okay with everything else. I'm sure a lot of people will love this, as the narrative is easy to follow and there are tons of dragons, but it didn't work for me.(view spoiler)[Blood of the dragon. Lots of important dragon people with golden hair and skin fair as milk. Dragonspire vs Dragonstone. The War of the Sixth House vs The War of the Five Kings. Dragon melting a symbol of a house (sword vs throne) with fire. "Faceless people". Lord Tiber having 987594759345 bastards like Bobby B but with added rape. Vows to the brotherhood, giving up family titles and connections with Sacred Brothers vs Nightswatch. Hyperia is a watered down Cersei without the incest bits but with the thirst for power and the violence. Reluctant/tortured leader who is chosen by the people and also a nice dude Lucian vs Jon Snow.Literally a game for the throne. Except no one dies. (hide spoiler)]*Series: #1 House of Dragons series.POV: Told from Emilia, Lucian, Ajax, Vespir, and Hyperia's POVs.Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[None. (hide spoiler)]Instalove: (view spoiler)[Eh. (hide spoiler)]Love Triangle: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]Cheating: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]Cliffhanger: I'd say no.HEA: (view spoiler)[Not yet! (hide spoiler)]Up Next: Untitled.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    Fun dragon-forward fantasy with a competition plot line. RTCRead more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Fun dragon-forward fantasy with a competition plot line. RTCRead more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram!
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  • Alena
    January 1, 1970
    This was wildly entertaining. A good, diverse cast of characters coming together to form a found family of sorts, a fast-paced plot that kept me guessing, and DRAGONS. Loooooved the dragons, especially with the twist at the end.
  • Ana
    January 1, 1970
    3.5! I really liked this. It was a solid beginning to a new fantasy series. I think it’s a mix of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Hunger Games (except not as good as those lmao). I thought the premise was quite interesting, the characters I loved, though I’d have loved more background info. The best part was the dragons though, especially in the end. If you have read it, you know what I mean. My favorite by far was Dog 😍 truly, an angel. Anyway, I struggled with the pacing a little b 3.5! I really liked this. It was a solid beginning to a new fantasy series. I think it’s a mix of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Hunger Games (except not as good as those lmao). I thought the premise was quite interesting, the characters I loved, though I’d have loved more background info. The best part was the dragons though, especially in the end. If you have read it, you know what I mean. My favorite by far was Dog 😍 truly, an angel. Anyway, I struggled with the pacing a little bit, i thought the middle dragged, and i wanted more character development. It’s definitely a plot-driven book. Other than the dragon factor, i dont think this book added anything particularly new to YA fantasy, but i still enjoyed it and im looking forward to read the next one. *slight spoilers* there’s some dragon physical abuse in this book, and it’s quite explicit. I didnt have an issue with it because the dragon was fine in the end, everything turned out okay. Im only mentioning it because some people dnf’ed this book after that scene and even though i understand why, i wish they had kept reading bc it gets resolved pretty well imo. That’s all im gonna say! Happy reading!
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  • Breanna
    January 1, 1970
    THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksThank you to Random House Children's for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley!3.5 stars ✨What is this book about? After the Emperor dies, five young men and women are selected from each of the royal houses to compete to be the next Emperor or Empress. However, the five that are chosen are unexpected choices and unprepared for the battle for the throne.What did I like? Any book that boasts five separate POVs is going to be either hit or miss. In House THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksThank you to Random House Children's for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley!3.5 stars ✨What is this book about? After the Emperor dies, five young men and women are selected from each of the royal houses to compete to be the next Emperor or Empress. However, the five that are chosen are unexpected choices and unprepared for the battle for the throne.What did I like? Any book that boasts five separate POVs is going to be either hit or miss. In House of Dragons it works; each character has its own distinct voice and it was easy to tell them apart without feeling lost or confused. And speaking of the characters, I really loved the diverse cast of characters created and their various backgrounds and personal struggles.Emilia – second child of the Aurun family. She’s quiet, reserved, booksmart, and is holding a deadly secret: she’s able to wield the outlawed chaotic powers. She was probably my favorite character!Lucian – younger twin of the Sabel family. He’s been trained his whole life to be a soldier and has led successful campaigns, however, he’s wrought with guilt over the war atrocities he’s seen and committed, and vows to never pick up a sword again. He’s got the brooding soldier thing going for him so obviously I loved him as well.Vespir – servant of the Pentri family. She’s a very skilled dragon trainer and is in love with the Pentri family’s daughter, Antonia. I enjoyed her character arc as she become more assertive and sure of herself.Hyperia – firstborn daughter of the Volscia family. She’s been training her entire life to one day compete for the throne. She’s confident, aggressive, and bloodthirsty. She will stop at nothing to get what she wants.Ajax – one of many, many bastard sons of the Tiber family. He’s the youngest of the bunch and his immaturity shows. Of all of the characters, he was my least favorite. But his dragon was my favorite of all the dragons!Another thing I really liked about House of Dragons was that it didn’t shy away from the violence. There’s gripping action, bloody scenes, and moments of pure brutality. It was much more vicious than I had been expecting for a YA fantasy book. I also enjoyed the dynamics that formed between the different characters, and how they eventually created a sort of found family.What didn’t I like? Sometimes the book had trouble holding my attention and I found myself skimming sections. The pacing wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be so I think that’s where the issue came in. There were also a few parts that came across as very juvenile–which is totally fine for YA!–but compared to the maturity of the content of the rest of the book it just felt out of place.Overall thoughts: House of Dragons was a gripping, entertaining fantasy story perfect for fans of A Game of Thrones who are looking for a YA book with similar aspects. I think a lot of people are going to end up sleeping on this, but I’m here to encourage you to give it a try, especially if you enjoy dragons, messy families, and a quest to win the throne!
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  • ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
    January 1, 1970
    They got me with just the word DRAGONS!!! They got me with just the word DRAGONS!!! <3 And that snazzy cover
  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    ”From this day until his last, he swore he would never again take up a sword, never raise his hand to another living creature.” I’m so glad this book lived up to my expectations! It was action packed from start to finish and I enjoyed MOST of it. There wasn’t much world building but that didn’t take away from the story or it’s interesting plot. Dragons! We actually had DRAGONS! I loved how they were tied to their owners soul, and connected to them.There wasn’t much similarities between this b ”From this day until his last, he swore he would never again take up a sword, never raise his hand to another living creature.” I’m so glad this book lived up to my expectations! It was action packed from start to finish and I enjoyed MOST of it. There wasn’t much world building but that didn’t take away from the story or it’s interesting plot. Dragons! We actually had DRAGONS! I loved how they were tied to their owners soul, and connected to them.There wasn’t much similarities between this book and Game of Thrones besides the Dragons, and the fact that Hysteria turned into a Daenerys Targaryen at the end. I also got major The Breakfast Club vibes from this book. A group of misfits put together always makes for an interesting outcome..The characters were like able but all had their moments that made me want to scream at them! Mainly Ajax although I can understand his actions. If you like fast paced, competitions, and multiple POV stories then this is the book for you!4/5 🌟’s
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  • nivedha
    January 1, 1970
    this book is...okay.the dragons were cool, and i like how they were a major part of the characters' lives and not just accessories.the rest of the book, however, is mind-numbingly boring.i don't care about any of the characters in this. not one.i don't like the way the conflict was resolved, and i was skimming through the pages through the end.(view spoiler)[also, are we not gonna talk about how hyperia is basically cersei lannister, or...? (hide spoiler)]this was just not for me. this book is...okay.the dragons were cool, and i like how they were a major part of the characters' lives and not just accessories.the rest of the book, however, is mind-numbingly boring.i don't care about any of the characters in this. not one.i don't like the way the conflict was resolved, and i was skimming through the pages through the end.(view spoiler)[also, are we not gonna talk about how hyperia is basically cersei lannister, or...? (hide spoiler)]this was just not for me.
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  • Chloe
    January 1, 1970
    *Spoiler free*I heard dragons and I was on board. Then I saw the cover, with all those swords, and I was totally on board. And then I learned that it was about five people fighting for the chance to become emperor, all with their own secrets and struggles, and I was ready to scream with how awesome this book sounded. Trigger warnings: grief, rape (kind off page, not explicit) violence, gore, blood)Wow, this book absolutely delivered on everything that it promised to be. A group cast, trails to b *Spoiler free*I heard dragons and I was on board. Then I saw the cover, with all those swords, and I was totally on board. And then I learned that it was about five people fighting for the chance to become emperor, all with their own secrets and struggles, and I was ready to scream with how awesome this book sounded. Trigger warnings: grief, rape (kind off page, not explicit) violence, gore, blood)Wow, this book absolutely delivered on everything that it promised to be. A group cast, trails to become emperor, swords, and tons of tons of dragons. It's seriously incredible.First off, this is exactly what a New Adult book should be. It's frustrating that it isn't a category, because this one would fit so well in it. The content is on par with an Adult book, but the writing really feels YA.This book is BRUTAL. In Hyperia's first chapter, something truly violent goes down. I can't say more than that without spoilers, but I will say that it's blood soaked. This book has blood running through its pages and violence dripping from it's words. There's sword fights and there's war and there's so many types of pain.Every single one of the five main characters is struggling with their own demons and their battles. I loved how it was done. It was messy, but I couldn't help but fall in love with all of them. Ajax is kind of a jerk and I don't agree with a lot of his decisions, but I could understand where he was coming from. Even when someone made the worst decision, I could kind of understand and I couldn't help but root for them at least a little bit. Sympathy was pulled from me and I can't help but admire that. And each of their struggles are completely unique. Someone is struggling with wanting be something in a world where they've always felt like nothing and someone else is struggling with feeling like a monster because that's all they've been told. It was extremely well done.Speaking of the character, I loved all of them so much. Even the ones that are irritating and brutal and sometimes jerks. They all have a way of pulling you in and making you root for them. They're all incredibly unique and I love them all.Their character development, when looked as at a whole, a group, feels really strong. They are unit, because they were pulled together, and it feels really incredible when they're looked at all together. They all push and pull and compliment each other. But, when they're looked at separately, I felt like I wanted more out of a lot of them. Five POVs is a lot, along with everything the world holds, so I guess there's room for only so much. Still, I wanted more out of some character's emotional development.ALRIGHT DRAGONS. I feel like I'm really finicky with dragons; I love them, but it takes a lot to make me love them. Or a lot of them fall flat for me. BUT I LOVED THESE DRAGONS SO MUCH. They were freaking adorable and I loved the bond they had with their riders. They fit their riders personalities so well and I loved how they worked with each other. They were adorable and they were like best friends and it was so amazing.This world was one that was also done really well. It's brutal. Everything in this book is brutal haha. There's an empire stuck in what it's always done. I thought the trials would be bigger and more drawn out than they were, but still, I liked them. There was monsters and politics (that didn't make my head hurt!) and horrible secrets and how humans crave and fight for power. Plus, there's a forest with a basilisk and castle that shines with gold. Also, the magic was subtle, but so awesome. I loved how it worked and I loved how it played into the plot.I kind of thought this book could be a standalone, but I was also hoping for it to be a series. I'm not sure where it's going to go and I'm not quite sure how I feel about the ending. But I definitely know that it's going to be interesting no matter which way it goes.All in all, I really loved this book. It was incredible characters, ones you don't think you'll root for but ending up rooting for them anyway. There's so much violence, but there's also a dragon who just wants to play and snuggle. It's really good.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Full review at novellives.comJust go read the book.
  • Lenni (whenimetabook)
    January 1, 1970
    This baby is flaying its way to me! I'm very excited for this collaboration! 💖The book sounds pretty good, I hope I'll like it.
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