African and Caribbean mythology with dragons.
Yenni Aja-Nifemi is an 18-year-old princess of the Yirba people. With a reputation for being unladylike due to her interest in hunting, combat, and studying runelore, she is in no rush to settle down and marry, as her royal responsibilities require. Yenni wishes to find a way to save her father, the chieftain, whose health has been failing with no diagnosis, much less cure, in sight. She is granted permission to go to Cresh, making the pact of Orire N’jem, to seek answers that will help her father get better. During her year abroad, she meets Weysh—a dragonkind, or human with the ability to change into a dragon—whose first moments with Yenni leave a bad impression. To Yenni’s dismay, he has taken a special interest in her and tells her that she is his Given, the one destined to be his mate. Ultimately, Weysh turns out to be more help than hindrance, and Yenni develops feelings for him despite her best efforts. But romance takes a back burner to her other problems as she navigates life in this new world where the magic and culture are so different from those of her home. The captivating worldbuilding of magical lands and well-paced plot and character development combined with intriguing twists will have readers looking forward to more. Major human characters are black.
Enjoyable for readers interested in diverse, modern, lore-based fantasy. (map) (Fantasy. 12-adult)