I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins
Series: Transference #1
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on 2017-02-21
Length: 304 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2017, 2017 New Release Challenge
When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.
Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.
As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .
If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?
There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.
I had really, REALLY high hopes for The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins. Honestly the name says it all….dragons. Dragons are my favorite in high fantasy. There are so many ways an author can take dragons. Dragons can be mean, like to snack on cattle and humans, or they can be wise creatures who protect humans. Neither is the case in this book. Basically, two kingdoms who hate each other and have very strong prejudices towards one another come together when the princess of one kingdom reaches a marriageable age and “sacrifices” her to the prince of the other kingdom in marriage OR the princess can choose the dragon. Sorrowlyn chose the dragon.
Okay I get it. But WHY does she choose the dragon? Sorrowlyn is the youngest daughter of the kingdom and it was predicted at her birth she would die by her own hand. Basically this girl thinks she is invincible since she isn’t going to kill herself. She is labeled as headstrong and fierce, yet what I see of her is a princess who can’t make it one day without crying over her lot in life. Granted she has every reason to cry in the beginning (seriously, the first four chapters are basically her crying). Her father beats her, her mother will not see her, and everyone whispers about her. NOW she is being forced to offer herself in marriage to one of the princes of the barbaric kingdom. Notice I said offer NOT actually marry.
Then there’s Golmarr. He is the youngest prince from the supposedly barbaric kingdom. He is not the man she must offer herself to marry. But he is kind and happens to fall head over heels for Suicide Sorrow (yes that’s her nickname and YES it is horrible!). Golmarr tries talking sense into Sorrowlyn before the ceremony, telling her to go through with the ritual and she could go back to living her life. But the stupid girl doesn’t listen and sacrifices herself, then stupid boy jumps in after her. Really he did (and no I’m not spoiling anything this all happens at the beginning of the book AND is in the blurb).
The story then follows Sorrowlyn and Golmarr as they traverse underground to find the dragon holding their kingdoms hostage. Or are the kingdoms holding the dragon hostage? The saving grace of this story is the author’s world-building. I actually really enjoyed the world built around Sorrowlyn and Golmarr. Sorrow learns about the prejudices of her kingdom, the injustices done to Golmarr’s people, and the truth behind the dragons that rule the realms.
Overall the story was ok. I liked Sorrowlyn and Golmarr but had a hard time buying into their romance. The world-building carried the book for me and I’m curious to see what will happen with the dragons in the coming books. And that cliffhanger….it was awful! Be forewarned 😉 If you enjoy light, YA fantasy, I highly recommend this book. If you are looking for the dragons, I’d say pass.