I picked up Karalynn Lee’s Heart of the Dragon’s Realm expecting it to be full of dragons and sword-fights. I was looking forward to an epic story of love and magic. Sadly that was not what I found. There were a couple of sword-fights and a dragon or two appeared but this was mostly a tame romance novel. I finished it but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next book if Karalynn Lee decides to continue her series.
Princess Kimri is used to betrayal. Her brother sold her to a king in exchange for swords to defend his lands. King Tathan’s reputation is as fierce as that of his mountain kingdom—where dragons are said to guard the castle walls—but the realms are unstable enough without angering the mountain-king, so Kimri reluctantly agrees to the union.
When she arrives in Helsmont, the king promises her a year of courtship before marrying—or parting ways. Before long, Kimri thinks she may find comfort, and perhaps eventually love, with the stoic king.
But the realms are more unsettled than Kimri realizes, and she soon finds herself caught in the middle of a war between the kingdoms. Can she count on her betrothed to take her side? Or will his loyalty to his kingdom come before his loyalty to her?
Kimri had potential in the beginning. I loved her attitude and her survivalist streak. Don’t think that just because she’s a princess she’s also a wilting flower. She is willing to sacrifice her future for her kingdom, she knows how to fight and she was fun to read about in the first few chapters. Unfortunately that was pretty much the only think I liked about Heart of the Dragon’s Realm. After the first few chapters she became predictable. She did the same thing over and over again. I kept waiting for her to do something unexpected; and when she finally did do something exciting, I was expecting it.
Kimri’s love interest Tathan was an enigma. He was interesting in the beginning and then I was bored with him. We never got to found out what he was thinking or what he did. I think the intent was to make him a mystery but he was really just part of the background. There was some conflict with Herrol, a prince from the kingdom warring with Kimri’s, but again it was predictable.
The world was medieval but there was no magic and dragons were only mentioned at the very end. There was only a bit of political intrigue and it all revolved around a war that was never explained. There were no plot twists that I hadn’t already anticipated. Everything was just very unsurprising.
Heart of the Dragon’s Realm was not a great book but it was an easy read. If you are looking for high fantasy with dragons and magic plus epic adventure this is not the book for you. If you just want a romance that is easy to read in an afternoon, then Heart of the Dragon’s Realm will do.