Book: Balanced on the Blades Edge (Dragon Blood #1)
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Genre(s) / Theme(s): fiction, suspense, dragons, adventure, light romance, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, adult fiction (it also lists steampunk on Amazon & Goodreads, however I don’t feel like there are enough steampunk elements to scream “steampunk” to me).
Date Read: 18 November 2015
Description from Goodreads:
“Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…
Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.
Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.”
Let me preface this review by saying that I am a regular reader of Lindsay’s novels – I devoured the Emperor’s Edge series, and fell in love with the Flash Gold series…not to mention all the novellas and short stories in between. This is a free eBook on Amazon thatI had downloaded quite some time ago and just never got around to reading it. Part of me didn’t want to start another series, and I’ll admit I didn’t want anything to ruin the good thing I had with Maldonado and Sicarius. I was worried there would be another hunky main man to swoon over, and I really don’t have time for that in my life right now.
The thing I love about Lindsay’s novels is the creativity she uses to develop her worlds and characters. Rather than just another kick-butt heroine, or another macho hero, this new set of characters has shiny new exteriors and backgrounds. They are fresh, but at the same time, you feel comfortable accompanying them on their adventures. While the author has stated that the Dragon Blood is “not related to any of [my] other worlds” I have a hard time distinguishing that in my head as I read – the surroundings all seem similar to me. It isn’t a bad thing, but hard to remember that this is a separate series from the previous novels. (It also doesn’t help that I’ve been listening to the Emperor’s Edge audiobooks for the last couple weeks at work…so things are running together.)
I liked this read, but not as much as Emperor’s Edge or Flash Gold. I will continue to read the remaining books, though, and I would recommend to someone looking for something new to read. If you like sci-fi/fantasy with some light romance (light meaning nothing detailed or lewd, but you definitely know what’s up…if you catch my drift). I hate saying that I liked one series better than the other when the author has pointed out these are not related, so I think I’m just biased. I invested a lot of time on the Emperor’s Edge world & characters and I think it’s hard for me to keep that in mind as I’m reading the other series.
Edited to add – I’m now in the middle of the 4th book, and I the characters and story line is really starting to grow on me…more to come 🙂