Dawn Before the Dark, by Wendy Blanton


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Book Overview

In Slan, men have been cursed with a dread of dragons for generations. As far back as anyone can remember, only women have been chosen to partner with dragons for defense and delivery of messages between Keeps and the capital.

That was how it always was, until one day, Vask, an ancient dragon finds Briant, a boy who doesn’t fear him. Briant knows he and Vask will have an uphill battle convincing the women and the other dragons that he is qualified to join their ranks, but when a group of hunters is kidnapped by stone trolls, it becomes clear that they all have bigger problems.

Trying to recover their lost people is only the start of battle to save Slan.


Author: Wendy Blanton

Genre: Epic Fantasy / YA Fantasy

File Size: 9100 KB

Print Length: 276 pages

Publication Date: September 9, 2019

Language: English




Fast read with an interesting twist on gender roles.

This exciting new entry in fantasy fiction is worth your coin. In the country of Slan, women ride dragons and men cast spells. It's been that way since the Curse of Ailin was invoked centuries before by an abused woman who suffers at the hands of a power-madden king.

But one day, Vask, an ancient dragon, discovers Briant, a young boy who isn't afraid of dragons and wants to ride one. Briant may be exactly what the prophesies say is needed because a terror is brewing on Slan's borders. How Briant and his friends chose to confront this new reality is both entertaining and thought provoking.

The only criticism I have of the book is that it ended too soon.  I'm ready to read what happens next.

(Disclosure: I read an advance copy of the book. I received no compensation for the review and will receive none from the book sales.)



Engaging world with unique ability restrictions.

The world of Dawn Before the Dark is well developed with a rich lore that brings the reader immediately into the story. The characters have strong motivations and push the plot along convincingly. Briant in particular is a likeable protagonist with empathetic traits. The ability restrictions based on gender are a clever backdrop to the story. The magic system has several interesting surprises in store, and the action builds to a riveting climax. The book is definitely a page turner and subverts genre expectations while bringing in many familiar and engaging fantasy tropes. It's certainly worth the read, and I look forward to the sequels based on the cliffhanger ending.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.



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