Dragonsown

Surface

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
188 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hello!
I am the Indie Author of Dragonsown, a Young Adult Adventure Fantasy. I am currently working on the prequel, The Besieged Unicorn Army of Ryk.
Please follow me on GR for updates!
I write a regular blog post on my website:
www.erikaleighagnew.com where you can also sign up for my newsletter.
Subscribers receive a Dragonsown: Surface "Added Scene".
More about me, I am very passionate about the environment and wildlife conservation. I travel extensively.
I scuba dive, do archery and ride horses.
I love spending time in nature and looking at the stars.
Thanks!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Dragonsown: Surface by Erika Leigh Agnew is the first book in the Dragonsown series. The Kingdom of Ryk has recovered since The War of Black Ash which saw an end to dragons, but now the kingdom faces the threat of a possible invasion that could start from within. Twins Kael – who struggles with a deathly illness – and Keaton are left on their own to figure out what to believe when everything they knew turns out to be a lie. Kael disappears one night and embarks on a journey that leads him to encounter a shadowy figure while Keaton begins to question the existence of dragons when reports of mysterious noises begin to circulate. The brothers uncover secrets that send them on a journey to fix the wrongs of the kingdom that has their family in the middle but when sides are drawn, the twins' involvement may cause another war.

The story weaves between the journeys of the two brothers which is set against the backdrop of discovering dragons and conflict unfolding within the kingdom. The brothers are opposites in personalities with Kael as the more serious one and the one that worries about what others think. This transition and questioning of truth lead him to question everything he's known and everything that he's wanted. Keaton is the opposite personality of his brother with guilt over his brother's illness and a joking attitude that he wears on the surface to mask his deep compassion for those trapped under his father's control. The differences between the brothers create an authentic balance in the story as they each face a decision about the secrets they uncover within their family and the kingdom. The striving for freedom is a theme heavily seen throughout the story from Keaton's desire to free those in his father's control to the brothers striving for their independence to the freedom for all of Ryk.

Poignant moments are incorporated throughout with the twins' father as he lectures them on building civilizations on blood and conquering, not peace and love, and teaches them that history is written by the victors. The coming-of-age story is genuine told through two brothers that are faced with choosing sides and doing so with the knowledge that their choices could create war. The rich storytelling draws you in through authentic characters, a vividly detailed setting, and poignant themes. Erika Leigh Agnew explores themes through Dragonsown that center on freedom, revolution, and status with a blend of dragons, action, and family drama.

JC Minnaar

Life hasn’t been too kind for Kael of Renwick in Erika Leigh Agnew’s Dragonsown. First experiencing debilitating stomach cramps, then suffering from hallucinations of eyes within Core Forest, anxiety from awaiting news whether or not he will be betrothed to his childhood crush, waking up naked in the forest, finding his clothes destroyed, and finally ending in an illness that saps him of his strength. All of these occurrences reach a climax when Kael’s uncle, Arius, arrives and tells him a well-kept secret – Kael, like his uncle, is a Dragonsown; a human who houses the soul of a dragon, and Kael’s dragon, Severn, has finally awakened. Embarking on a journey of discovery, dragon training, and history unveiled, Kael must embrace the destiny that lies ahead.

I very much enjoyed Dragonsown: Surface by Erika Leigh Agnew. Being a fan of the fairy tale anime, I felt right at home with the concept and enjoyed the author’s take on it. Kael is an endearing character who matures from a shy and insecure boy into a more confident young man who’d rather take action into his own hands. I especially loved the comical interactions between the characters and Agnew’s biological explanations mixed with magic to explain the Dragonsown. The plot is thick with deception and truths revealed, keeping my eyes glued to the pages. My only real disappointment came from the book being over too quickly. Dragonsown is the start of a magical journey that has me excited for the next installment.

Natalie Soine

Dragonsown by Erika Leigh Agnew tells the story of twin brothers Kael and Keaton, sons of Lady Danica and Lord Graydon of Renwick. Lady Danica passed away and Lord Graydon married Lady Bria. The Duke and Duchess of Renwick and the boys lived at Renwick Castle, originally built to keep enemies out. Lady Danica’s brother, Arius, promised Lady Danica that he would take care of Kael and Keaton but Lord Graydon had other plans. Lord Graydon relied on Alisten, his smart, harsh, and intimidating head advisor whom the twins avoided. The country’s affairs were in a decline and there was more fighting and crime than ever before. King Jairdan seldom had Ryk’s interests at heart and he was prone to external influences. The War of Black Ash saw the rise of the Kingdom of Ryk which is threatened by Lord Graydon’s greed and lust for power. Keaton and Kael are held accountable and must solve the devastating problems of the past caused by their ruthless father.

Dragonsown is an incredible story, filled with action, intrigue, and surprises. Erika Leigh Agnew creates the most beautiful creatures and characters which she describes down to the finest detail, including those which may not exist in our world. The unusual localities depicted in the story are stunning, from landscapes to castles and forests. I especially love the relationships between people, friends, family members, and animals, something all readers can relate to. The story is smooth flowing and a comfortable read. Dragonsown truly is a terrific novel, highly recommended to children and adults, and would make a perfect holiday gift.

Amazon- Don S and TeamGolfwell

I enjoyed reading “Dragonsown: Surface” by Erika Leigh Agnew who in my opinion is an exceptionally talented and gifted writer. She writes in a highly professional manner and describes the scenes extremely well making me feel I was actually in each scene with all of the mysteries, discoveries, drama, and much more.

I felt the storyline and the language used were excellent for the young adult reader and in my view, I felt it also helps expand the vocabulary of a young reader as this author has an excellent command of the language. Also, I enjoyed the characters learning and developing throughout the story - just as the young adult reader develops during the teen years.

I found myself becoming fascinated with the characters, the plot, and the fast-moving action and high drama. To show you what I mean, here is a brief excerpt,

“In the farthest corner under stacks of old hay and mice feces was the hidden trapdoor. He had to climb up the wall beams first as the key was hidden in the stable rafters…

“The key wasn’t easy to find because it was cleverly made to not look like a key. It was disguised as a bolt in one of the wooden ceiling arches and had to be wound out… Lit torches were kept in the passageway giving Kael enough dim light so he could run through the tunnels.”

I also like this writer’s use of similes throughout the story, and her style of writing all of which I felt made the story an exciting and entertaining read. For example,

“He was content to rest within the safe abyss of his mind— forever if need be. In sleep, he could pretend the horrors of their past were just nightmares. Yes, it was best they stay asleep, but Siah persisted, and soon other voices joined hers, some in agreement, some only angry at being awakened.

”Stubbornly, Severn blocked them all, determined to return to his slumber, but Siah refused to be ignored. Her thoughts stabbed his mind like human spears, bringing back painful memories.”

Finally, I felt the story and the way it was crafted shows discretion, bravery, self-control, and expands the thoughts of the young reader, or for that matter, any reader who enjoys an amazing adventuresome, and courageous story. I think young readers will enjoy talking about this book in their own circles - it's just that good in my opinion.

All in all, very creatively done and highly recommended!

It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this exceptional book.

Amazon- SwBs

Won on Goodreads giveaway.

Nicely written story with great characters and plot. Great take on Dragon lore. Anyone who like dragons should read this.

Amazon- Sultonna

Two young lads, twins, caught up in events begun before they were even born struggle to make sense of it all. I found the first chapter a little slow, but loved the book. I will definitely buy the sequel. Loved it!

Amazon- Cody Clouser

The writing is done well, lots of character development. I was drawn in to the story with the boys empathizing with them and their struggle and progression, and feeling anger and disgust against their father for his actions. With how the author describes the dragons, particularly Seraii, I wish there were pictures because they sound gorgeous! There is definitely more room for another story in a sequel, and I sincerely hope there is more. I really enjoyed this book. I highly suggest giving this book a read, you won't be disappointed!

Amazon- GXPsyRose

Interesting storyline and read with a different take on dragon shifting as well as the dragons themselves struggle with past histories.

Amazon- Ann Carson

This is a great read! I loved the setting, the era, the characters and the adventure. A most intriguing story-line with notable and believable characters, how they evolve and survive the challenges that are put in front of them. I like the way the story moves along which keeps the reader satisfied, but still wanting more. I couldn't wait to see how events in the book were going to resolve, but when they did, it was very exhilarating. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel for more imaginative adventures for the main characters....dragons included!

Amazon- WENDY A FLOWERS

Loved this book, quick easy read with twists and turns to keep you guessing. The description of the locations are so vivid, I feel like it’s a place I’ve been before. Incredibly imaginative, my son hasn’t put it down since he got it. We can’t wait to read the next part, as there are a few “nuggets” the author needs to explain.

GoodReads- Bobbi Jo

I was very impressed by this short novelette, I just wish it had been much longer. Erika Leigh Agnew has made me very hungry for more of the Twins Kael and Keaton and all of their Dragon fellowship! I am so hoping this is just the beginning of their story.

Goodreads- Ashley

This was a great escape from reality. If you are a dragon lover this is a must read. Betrayal, twists, turns, politics, mind-reading dragons - what else could you want?

Goodreads- Sheri Spencer

This was a highly enjoyable read! It was a fun, light-hearted adventure with some good humour sprinkled in, and likeable characters. The first few chapters sort of get you introduced, and then you're off and swept up on the ride.

Goodreads- Sven

Erika Leigh Agnew is a Young Canadian lady who loves to travel and is committed to nature and animal conservation. She has an obsession with dragons, horses and sharks.

She used that obsession with dragons to write the book Dragonsown. This story was initially written for the Amazon Storyteller UK contest.

A war that was fought long ago and that meant the end of the dragons. Now the brothers Keaton and Kael must separate truth from fiction and see what they believe themselves. Everything they thought they knew changes in one second. When Kael suddenly disappears after an illness, Keaton is left alone to see his questions solved. Why are the Nyaris attacking Ryk? Why did his brother disappear? Are the dragons really completely gone? Once the twins have their answers, they have to put some things right, but can they achieve the impossible or not? Or is this the start of a new war?

The book is not too thick and this is a bit of a shame. I was sorry I came to the end so quickly. Sometimes you have those books that you don't want the story to end.

The story is very nicely put together and was written in an English that I am not used to. It struck me as old English if you know what I mean. That feeling came from the use of words and the way the dialogues were set up. But the fact that it feels old fits perfectly with the story. I must say that during the dialogues I sometimes heard Sean Connery in the role of Ramirez, from the Highlander films, talking in my head. It's crazy how you can sometimes link a voice to a book or character.

I really like the way she shapes the dragons. In a way that I haven't read much before. The other creatures she mentions in the story are also nicely described so that you can form a picture of them.

Her characters are very intelligible and evolve nicely throughout the book. They grow into their roles and their characters mature. For example, I could sometimes get angry at Kael and a few pages later I felt sorry for him.
The ending of the story, as already mentioned, comes way too soon. I didn't want it to stop. It soon becomes clear that this will form part of a series and I'm happy about that.

Conclusion
For a debut this is a very good story. Good growing characters, beautiful creatures. Dragons that are presented to you in a different way than usual. A story I'm glad I read.

Goodreads- Ila Quinn

Dragonsown is both gripping and fun to read. If you like dragons, then this might just be the book for you

BookLife by Publishers Weekly

https://booklife.com/project/dragonsown-63381

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-

Agnew dazzles with whimsy and adventure in this debut coming-of-age fantasy about deception, trust, and the danger of holding family secrets. Fourteen-year-old fraternal twins Kael and Keaton spend their days avoiding their cold, abusive father, Lord Graydon, a duke in the kingdom of Ryk. Graydon’s anger derives from losing his wife in childbirth and the aftermath of the War of Black Ash, a devastating battle with dragons who burnt the land. Kael is afraid to tell his father about his worsening health—strange pains, sleepwalking, waking naked in surprising places. One day Kael awakens in the woods to see his uncle Arius– who had been presumed dead–and a small dragon. Arius tells him that the beast is Seraii, Kael’s wyvern guardian, and that his pains are because a dragon’s soul is possessing him and transforming his body. “We refer to ourselves as the Dragonsown. We live everywhere but belong nowhere,” says Arius.

Agnew creates a rich mythology of the power of dragons and of the truth about the War of the Black Ash. As Arius teaches Kael how to fly and breathe fire as a dragon, Kael learns that Severn and Siah, the partnered dragon leaders, actually wanted peace with the humans. Kael is dismayed by humans’ lust for war, ulterior motives, power, and greed. He has a decision to make in his new life: Where does he fit with the Dragonsown? He is torn between his two ancestral families—his father’s grandfather Kelton hated and killed dragons, while his mother’s grandfather Darragh befriended the majestic beasts.

This expansive fantasy world provides fervent readers with an undersea city, invisible dragons, merfolk, and battles with fire breathing dragons. Kael and Keaton are likable brothers who work together to right wrongs. There’s also heart, acceptance, and overcoming animosity to understand others. The text at times can be dense, but it’s vivid and exciting—and builds to a twist. Fantasy readers will eagerly look forward to more adventures in the Dragonsown series.

Takeaway: A fast-paced fantasy with the magic of dragons that tugs at the heart and provides a message of understanding.

Great for fans of: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo.