Do you like fast paced stories? Do you enjoy fantasy? Have you ever wanted a book about elves, shapeshifters, magic, druids, dragons and gay main characters NOT dying? I have the perfect book for you.
Title: Cloaked in Shadow
Series: The Dragori (#1)
Author: Ben Alderson
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart.
Heartbreak becomes a distant concern when Zacriah is taken to the Elven capital of Thessolina, where he is forced into King Dalior’s new legion of shapeshifters. But Zacriah isn’t a shapeshifter. In truth, he doesn’t know what he is.
Zacriah joins forces with new friends and they soon find themselves embroiled in a clash between the three Elven continents. With war looming on the horizon, Zacriah must learn to use his latent power to fight and protect those he loves before they are destroyed.
He is super special and has secret powers and isn’t very good dealing with emotions, he is obviously a main character. I don’t resent the clichés, though, I enjoy reading YA stories because they have a familiar base but it can take thousands of different shapes. I loved when he lost control, and the way he controlled his magic at the beginning vs in the ending was great. I would have liked to see him confront Petrer, that sudden forgiveness because he accidentally almost killed him was NOT good enough. The guy was an asshole and Zac shouldn’t have given him an inch
I needed more of her, we see her being a dependable friend and really kind and strong but I’d have liked to see a bit more of their friendship. They are instant friends, which can happen, but it feels like Zac isn’t as invested in getting to know her.
Hot fire-dragon elf prince. He falls in love and wants to protect Zac. There isn’t much more to him? He likes to go to a shady bar and loves books.
I’d like to get some back story on her, why was she such a bitch? Was he in league with the druids? Why did she hate Hadrian? Has she always treated her prince with such contempt? Her death was too sudden and I hope we get more answers on the following books.
I don’t think I understood his character very well, especially at the end. He was possessed? Or was he really angry? Why did he react so strangely when Zac told him he knew he was cheating on him? Also, why didn’t he try to talk to Zac while they were living on the same room to find out why he was avoiding him? He feels more like a plot device than a character.
I know he has a name (something with D) but I don’t remember. Same that with Alina, I didn’t understand his motivation. I know he was evil and a druid so he wanted to… go to war? against himself? And to kill his son, or was he not his son? I’m unclear about that but it’s obviously something that will be talked about in the future.
The story. It was the typical story about the chosen one with super especial secret magical powers but it wasn’t.
The claw/weapons that Zac uses. They sound super impractical but badass all the same
The seemingly unimportant queerness of the characters. This may seem counterintuitive but the fact that no one cared about the prince being with a guy or that Zac had been with Petrer was so refreshing. That wasn’t a plot point, Zac’s parents didn’t hate him and none of them were repressed because of their sexuality.
The flow of the story and the pacing. You don’t get a dull moment, even when they are explaining stuff there’s a rhythm to it. It was action packed and I really liked when magic and shifters were described.
EDITING, or rather the lack thereof
This could have been a perfect book. As I said, it had everything I like. My problem though was the editing job, in the sense that there wasn’t any-
I caught quite a few typos and sentences that were grammatically incorrect, not to mention the times where they mixed up your and you’re. I understand if that happens online when you are writing too fast and don’t see it but we are talking about a published book.
I got the Kindle edition so I don’t know if they corrected that stuff in printing, but I doubt it.
Another thing that could have benefited from a good editor is the characters. There were times when they went through too many emotions in a single page, they are joking and suddenly they are angry or they get sad and there’s no connection between those feelings. It gives you whiplash.
I got two very different quotes for this. One is hilarious and the other one lovely:
“YOU LOOK LIKE…” “A dragon?” he answered for me, his wings flexed behind him. “I was going to say something more along the lines of a bat-goat hybrid, but sure, dragon works.”
“They say that fire is nothing without the air that fuels it. You are my air, without you I would just stop. I need you, I want you and I will get better and be there for you.”
I’ll give it four air-breathing dragons