Review: Redheart (Leland Dragon Series #1) by Jackie Gamber

Book Blurb

Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies
have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe
drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the
darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who
seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon
named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and
humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a
young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow
confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the
only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront
his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites
readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Kallon Redheart is the last of the reds.  He lost his mother and father at a young age.  As a result he has turned his back on the dragon nation. In fact everyone thinks him long dead.
Riza has left her family behind.  She refuses to accept the role in life assigned to her.  She knows there is more in store for her.  She travels far to find a new life.
Their paths crossed when Riza is surrounded by three men determined to cause her harm.  Kallon steps in and rescues her taking her back to his cave. Riza stays with Kallon for the night.  The next day he no longer wants her around so she leaves looking for the town.
The dragon hunter has entered the area and hears the locals talk of a dragon.  He learns of Riza and her encounter.  He uses the town’s people to find her.
Riza gets very lost after leaving Kallon’s cave and wanders around after dark.  She hides in a barn and Armitage, the dragon hunter, finds her.  He helps her get a job as a cook in the town’s tavern.  She does her job well and gains friends in the owner and the regulars but she has those who watch her.  Armitage waits to confront her about the dragon.  When the town’s people demand she be punished for consorting with a dragon, Armitage must save her from the mob.  Then Kallon must then save her from the dragon hunter.
More is going on than any of them know.  Intrigue is running rampant at the dragon council.  The wizard, Orman, and Riza get caught up in a dragon’s plan for power.  Redheart has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save them both.
I love dragons and was excited to read this story.  Kallon has placed himself in exile after losing everything.  He is a grumpy, lonely dragon.  Then Riza stumbles into his life.  He saves her and then doesn’t know what to do with her.  You can feel his indecision.  You can just picture the scene as he purposely makes her leave.

Riza is a great character.  She is strong willed and open-hearted.  She accepts there is more to life than what she was viewed as.  I love that she set out to find it.  Her bravery was front and center the whole story.  She refused to let Armitage tell her what to do.  I can just imagine the glares she would give him.  She was caught up and used as a pawn in the dragon intrigue that involved the dragon possibly going to war with humans.  The author created a great villain that was conniving and manipulating.  He thwarted Kallon’s attempts at every turn.  Kallon had to accept help from the most unexpected places and believe in the unknown to make things right.  It was a good read.  I give it a 4 out of 5.

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