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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Dragon Speaker (The Shadow War Saga, Book I) by Elana A. Mugdan centers on 14-year-old Keriya Nameless, who is born without a family name and without any magic. Treated badly by the people of Aeria, she gets the opportunity to prove her worth when the goddess dragon Shivnath chooses her to be a dragon speaker – to save the world’s last living dragon and face the evil Necrovar. Unfortunately for Keriya, her quest is made more difficult as everyone wants to use the dragon as a weapon in a longstanding war.
The system of magic is fascinating and apart from the dragons, shadowbeasts and demons roam the world of Dragon Speaker. Mugdan successfully gives a fresh premise for the classic dragon theme and an intricate plot, where good and evil is not so black and white. Characterization is good as Mugdan created complex characters with believable strengths and flaws in their personalities. It’s easy to sympathize with Keriya’s plight, but in the beginning her own naivete is her undoing.
Nevertheless, Keriya grows wiser as she struggles through obstacles in order to become a hero, proving Shivnath’s choice is not wrong. Yet trust is an issue, and in the end she’s not sure if she can even trust the dragon goddess and her cryptic words. I gravitated a bit more towards Roxanne Fleuridae, the self-proclaimed Hunter who could magically communicate with animals. That said, I hope she will be less harsh to those around her in the next book. All in all, this is a solid debut for the series.