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Ezaara

Riders of Fire, Book One - A Dragons' Realm Novel
Written by: Eileen Mueller
Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
Series: Riders of Fire, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins

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Publisher's Summary

In Lush Valley, it’s a crime to even talk about dragons...

When Ezaara meets Zaarusha the Dragon Queen, she’s swept up in a blaze of color and they imprint, forming a deep bond.   

She must give up her home and family to become the new Queen’s Rider. Ignorant and unprepared, how can she possibly succeed? Luckily, she has a dragon master - although rumors say she might be better off with the enemy.  

Plunged into a world of cutthroat politics and traitors in every shadow, who can Ezaara trust as Commander Zens and his army of bestial tharuks march closer, razing villages and enslaving the people of Dragons’ Realm? 

What personal price must Ezaara and her Dragon Master pay to save their people?  

Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern and Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Cycle will love Riders of Fire.

©2018 Eileen Mueller (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CAP
  • 2019-12-18

Dragons! Caitlin Davies!

Dragons?
Enough said.
You really shouldn't need to know any more.
Get this book now.
Wait, you're still reading?
Okay, fine. Let me come up with some words to say.
A council of Dragon Riders and Elders, struggling to keep the peace of the land, despite how some of the kingdom thinks of them.
A girl, whom is in a city whom thinks dragons evil, is swiped up by a dragon, only to find out the truth.
A boy, whom holds a terrifying past, is trying to overcome what his family has done to destroy his honor and his legacy.
Together, they can save the realm, or let it fall to pieces.
This novel is full of intrigue, action, dragons, excellent characters, dragons, political intrigue, and dragons. So, don't wait any longer and pick up this series. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Also, this series is narrated by the brilliant Caitlin Davies, who also narrates the excellent Dragon Blood series by Lindsay Buroker.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • murphyfields
  • 2019-12-11

Absolutely loved this story

Of the many audiobooks I have listened to, this is the first that kept me awake, not wanting to stop listening. Now I want more!

When I first started this book, I was not too sure that it was for me. Things just happened too quickly for me...one moment the main character, Ezaara, was in her small village with family, the next she dragon rider for the queen of dragons. And then she only has a few weeks to learn combat skills that have taken her peers years to learn. I prefer a little build-up, I want to know about their family and upbringing, what is worth defending with their life?

But once the actual story began, I was hooked. The characters were great, with few characters that were purely good or bad (which I like), the action in the battle scenes was intense, and the sneaking politics set a great tone of fear and distrust

This book deserves a place with the fantasy elite.

I was given a free copy of this book at my request in exchange for a fair review, which I am voluntarily leaving here

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Potter
  • 2020-02-24

An excellent YA dragon-rider coming-of-age tale

Here you'll find great pacing, clever world building, real characters, and a healthy dose of mystery. Opposing these excellent qualities, however, is a level of convenience and coincidence that borders on excessive.

Although I've been hearing amazing things about Caitlin Davies for a long time, this is my first time actually listening to a book she's narrated.

I have to admit to being suitably impressed. It's rare to find a narrator (or any gender) who can believably produce both male and female voices, but Caitlin manages it with flying colors. Each voice in the book is unique and well crafted. Her vocal inflections are top notch, and her tempo shifts throughout are very nearly perfect.

So why only 4 stars for her performance, you ask?
Well, it comes down to choices made that I disagree with personally. In short, the Dragon voices just sound too human.

Yes, there is a school of thought in which dragons sound like people if you disregard the growls and snarls and roars. I do not subscribe to that particular school of thought. It is my opinion that draconic voices should be powerful and either guttural, hissing, or otherwise monstrous.

For me, a dragon whose voice sounds perfectly human is tantamount to if Gollum had spoken in Andy Serkis's natural speaking voice in the LotR films. It would have ruined the experience.

Now, as is my wont, I will largely forego a discussion of the book's plot. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews that will go into that.

The story opens with a fun little snapshot of the titular character that shows how she interacts with those around her. It gives us a strong sense of who she is as a person, as well as the displaying the main strength that she develops and leans on throughout the story (her mind).

After this lovely glimpse into Ezaara and her home village, however, we jump right into an overly convenient encounter with a dragon that, if I'm being honest, almost pulled the rails out from under the story for me.

Clearly, Ezaara "imprinting" on the Dragon queen was the impetus for the whole story. I totally get that and even think it makes sense, given what we learn later. However, the matter of just what the Dragon queen was doing there and how she happened upon Ezaara is never addressed and I think the story suffers for it.

After that minor hiccup, though, we get into some super interesting world building concerning the Dragon nation and its enemies and just what Ezaara's place in all that is going to be.

Now, I'll admit that there are a few 2-dimensional characters that feel like cardboard cutouts. And there are times that I just want to slap Ezaara because she's being a complete idiot, especially as it pertains to her training.

But by and large, the characters are very well drawn and compelling. And while Ezaara's love interest is very clearly "the love interest" from his introduction, he manages to develop into a well-rounded character in his own right.

My one complaint about the romance subplot is that it's unbelievably quick. Ezaara seems to go from hating him to deeply in love virtually at the flip of a switch.

In fairness, something happens that kind of explains that, but I still don't feel that there was enough development for it to make sense.

With the length of these books, I would have been much happier with a slow burn romance that takes several books to really manifest.

Elsewise, however, I have no real critiques. The writing is smooth and skillful. Although certain world elements do feel just the tiniest bit short-sighted, it's all very well crafted. And while there isn't much about it in this book, what there is of the magic system seems fascinating.

Which brings is to the climax of the book.

The author clearly put a great deal of effort into crafting this ending, and it really pays off. Everything comes together brilliantly, and while it feels like there is a lot going on behind the scenes (so much, in fact, that it feels almost as though there are POVs missing from the climax), everything that happens feels like a consequence to something that has come before. You'll find no Deus Ex Machina here.

In the end, although this book is guilty of a few of the things that I tend to dislike about YA, it was minimal enough that I could still get invested in these characters and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wilnise
  • 2020-01-08

DRAGONS!!!

OMG what a book, what a story, so many lies and deceit, politic at dragon realm is really something. Run, run and go read/listen to this epic book. Caitlin, I cannot get enough of your narration you are absolutely amazing, I hope you do more fighting books because you, my girl have the magic voice for them.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • meitniear
  • 2019-12-28

Love the World Building!

Ezaara was a great adventure into a new world filled with dragons and adventure. The book got into the action quickly and was filled with new characters and worlds to learn. This story is filled with politics and traitorous plots that Ezaara must sort through while learning how to become the dragon Queen's Rider.

I really liked learning about the different worlds in this story. Ezaara grows up in a village where even talking about dragons is forbidden and soon finds herself swept up into a world filled with dragons, Dragon's Realm. This is a place filled with politics and secret plots. Ezaara has her work cut out for her figuring out who to trust and learning the skills necessary to be the Queen's Rider before Zens attacks.

The characters were interesting, even though they frustrated me at times. Ezaara can be quite naive, but she is quite young, so I tried to keep that in mind. The other characters seemed to be quick to jump to conclusions and blame each other and believed things that could easily be cleared up if they bothered communicating with each other more. Overall, these are minor complaints that I easily moved past, even if I had to roll my eyes from time to time. Learning about Dragon's Realm was far more fascinating to me and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

The narration was done well. I enjoyed listening to Caitlin Davies and no complaints with her voices or narration speed. This was my first audiobook read by Caitlin, but I would listen to more.

I was given a complimentary copy of this audiobook, but am leaving a voluntary review. My thoughts and my opinions are my own.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zora Marie
  • 2019-12-19

An Enthralling Listen

I'm glad I didn't attempt to listen to this one during the semester... it is addictive, exciting, and has several twists along the way. The love, passion, and hardships throughout the story are very well done.

I don't want to give anything away, so I am going to leave it at that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dragonis
  • 2019-12-07

Didn't expect this

This story took me by surprise. It may have been my mood or just the right day but I was entranced by this book within the first 10 minutes. The exhilaration of dragon riding that was felt resonated with me for sure. The love and betrayal along with the action made this a great story. The narration just made it even better as it was performed perfectly for my ears. I look forward to more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 2019-11-16

Best Dragon Story Since Eragon!

The only thing wrong with this book was that I lost sleep over it because I couldn't stop listening. The story was perfect; the narration was perfect; the characters were perfect. Not since Eragon, have I loved a dragon or a dragon rider so much.

Ezaara was bored with her small-town life and fascinated with dragons, so when she met one, it was no surprise that they so quickly bonded. Zaarusha is not just any dragon, she just so happens to be the dragon queen, as well as a dragon who has waited long for a rider. Together, the two return to Dragon's Realm where Ezaara meets dozens of dragons and their riders and other humans who work alongside dragons. Ezaara's master trainer, Roberto, is challenging and she struggles to become a rider worthy of the queen, although Zaarusha never doubts her fitness.

But there are traitors in Dragon's Realm and Ezaara has to discern who to trust. Her adventure leads her beyond Dragon's Realm into more dangerous lands both with and without Zaarusha. There she discovers enemies more deadly than she had imagined, as well as unexpected friendships. This beautiful story can be read alone but leaves plenty of room for an entire series, which I am thrilled to discover that Eileen Mueller has already begun to write. I can't want to see what's next for Ezaara and Zaarusha and the rest of their friends.

I was given a free copy of the audiobook by the author and am leaving this review voluntarily.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • droodles
  • 2019-11-10

Loved reading, and now listening to it

A great story of a nobody becoming great. We follow her as she struggles to live up to the expectations on her, the romances, the disappointments, the betrayals, the deceptions and the friendships. Who can she trust? Who will be there for her? Who is she really? I did find a one or two of the characters voices a little "forced", but it must be very difficult to have complete control over so many characters, but overall Caitlin Davies does a great job... I certainly wouldn't want to do it!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jaclyn679
  • 2020-02-03

Great dragon story

Among all the dragon fantasies out there, this one truly stood out as something special! The main character, Ezaara, is so strong and passionate! I love a wonderfully brave woman lead, and Ms. Mueller totally gave us a heroine to stand behind! The story moved quickly, but also had enough detail to allow the listener to feel they were a part of the story. I loved all the battle scenes, the training, the different relationships and all the twists and turns. A definite must read and I will absolutely be looking forward to book two!