Book Review: Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

voices of dragons cover

View from the window seat:
The border divides two very different lands: on one side is the modern world where humans live, on the other is the wilderness occupied by dragons. A delicate truce was made between the two species after a costly war sixty years ago and has held so far, as long as no one crosses the border from either side. Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt risks arrest by rock climbing near the border, but she just wants to find somewhere new to climb. When a dragon named Artegal accidentally saves her life, a friendship is born, one that defies all current beliefs about the relationship between humans and dragons. But some still fear and hate the dragons, and as the tension builds, Kay must find a way to prevent a war that could end up annihilating everyone on both sides.

I love a good dragon book, and unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. Mostly what I found was that the story lacks enough depth to make the reader really connect with the struggle and the tension between the two species. The title, Voices of Dragons, is in fact a misnomer, as we only ever know the voice of one dragon: Artegal. I did appreciate that Artegal wasn’t a stereotypical dragon with unfathomable wisdom, etc. He’s very young, like Kay, and acts as such: curious and even frightened at times. The best aspect of both Kay and Artegal is their unwavering desire to do what they must to prevent a war. They risk a lot for the slim chance that they can make a difference.

That is about the most complex I can say the story ever gets. There is so much potential for a riveting narrative told through the extreme distrust and fear humans and dragons have of each other. This potential is never taken advantage of. Instead we get a stereotypically bigoted military general as the villain and some brief skirmishes that have little impact on the reader. We’re told of the fear and the fraying relationship between the two sides, but it’s only shown a little on the human side. We don’t get any insight into the dragons at all, except for a few sentences from Artegal.

Overall impression:
Voices of Dragons could’ve been so much more, but it only touched upon the most interesting parts of this divided world.

Rating:
4

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