In Picard’s fantasy novel, a young woman is destined for greatness, but when the end of the world draws near, she may be forced to sacrifice what’s most dear to her to save humanity.
Kavi Kindra, who has magical powers, has grown up with knowledge she is the heir to the guardianship held by Amthorn, a dragon who protects the earth from outside threats. One day, she’ll take up the role of Guardian, who, according to her society’s mythology, watches over all of creation. Her foster mother’s mistreatment, and her own feeling of being very different from others, lead Kavi to turn to Amthorn, her oldest, dearest mentor, for advice. However, Amthorn’s motivations aren’t so clear, and the creature’s goals may force Kavi to make a very difficult choice. Her conflicts with her family and community rise to the surface with the reappearance of her childhood friend, Gideon. He’s made terrible mistakes working for the dreaded scientist Zmey and has put their community in danger. Kavi also deals with her old romantic feelings for Gideon, even though human relationships seem to be out of reach for dragon heirs like her—but they may be the only thing that can save the world. Over the course of this novel, Picard effectively presents a large and engaging cast, and she escorts the reader into what proves to be a complex world. However, the initial introduction of the various story elements feels a bit bumpy, and although the characters are pleasingly diverse, their development, and, by extension, the story’s ultimate resolution, leave something to be desired. That said, Picard does showcase a clear, cohesive theme regarding the importance of human interaction, which runs through every conversation and plot development.
An often absorbing, if unevenly executed, read for those who enjoy tales of dragons.