Saturday, May 28, 2011

Redheart by Jackie Gamber


Author: Jackie Gamber

Publisher: Seventh Star Press

5 out of 5 stars

Scattered villages pass by below you, with their inhabitants bustling away at their tasks. Your shadow passes over, eclipsing the sun for just a moment. A young boy glances up, but you keep gliding by. The once-beautiful lake sprawls beneath you, but its water level is now low due to the drought. You bank to the left, turning away, not wanting to think about it. The wind whips around you and you try to fly as fast you can to outrun it. This is the life you think, this is exactly how I want to live. A blood-curdling scream interrupts your thoughts. You wonder what could have possibly sounded so frightened, and you glance down to see a young woman cornered by a band of men. A human, you think with indifference. You start to fly on, but then the terrified look in the human’s eyes come back to you. Will you save her? Maybe just this once you think, as you beat your wings to fly downward, hurtling to the earth. 

Kallon Redheart has lived alone, secluded in his cave for years. He feels no need to mix in the affairs of humans, or even his own kind, dragons. Wait dragons? That’s right, Kallon Redheart is a dragon, the last Red dragon to be exact. Everyone thought that the Red dragons had died out years before. With a troubled past, Kallon has cut himself off from the outside world. He has no idea of the worsening drought, the hostile attitude the villagers have adopted, and the corrupted leader of the Dragon Council.

One girl might just be able to change Kallon’s mind. Riza Diantus, a young woman who fled from her tiny village. She felt like she couldn’t be herself, or question, wonder, or live her life confined there. She never would have thought she would get into this situation though. Now she has no one to save her, and no way to call for help. Until, that is, Kallon shows up. Kallon just happened to be flying by when he heard Riza’s screams. But will Kallon do anything about it? Will he take the first step to integrating himself back into the lives of other’s, or will he just watch from the sidelines, never speaking up? Will he ever be able to care that deeply about someone else again? All is revealed in Jackie Gamber’s tale of one dragon’s decision to step up or stay hidden -when he is needed the most- in, Redheart!

Redheart took me on a journey to a far-off land similar to our own, but in many ways different. Jackie Gamber’s writing was so descriptive and her characters were wonderfully developed, each with unique personalities. Adventure, magic, and love were all thrown in, to spin a tale that I’m sure teens and many adults will enjoy. Redheart was given to me by Seventh Star Press for review.* Thank you so much Seventh Star Press!

I absolutely loved Kallon and Riza’s relationship. It started out as a timid poke at friendship but soon grew into a lasting bond of something much deeper. It was so much fun to get to tag along for the ride and watch Riza and Kallon slowly learn about each other, in ways they could have never imagined before. Both of them tested the other’s boundaries and limits, ultimately causing each other to do things they would never have done otherwise.

What was interesting however, was that there was the species barrier. Kallon was a dragon, and Riza was a young woman, but nevertheless, human. How could two creatures bond in such a deep way, especially during a time when dragons were feared and blamed? This caused many problems for the two, and truly displayed the real strength of their friendship. One example of their blossoming friendship is in the beginning, when Kallon would only call Riza by “human.” As he started to care for her, he actually called her by her name, Riza.

Jackie Gamber’s writing truly set the tone for Redheart. Her descriptions were always vivid and stood out in my mind. I was able to capture everything in full detail and I was awestruck by the beauty of their land, the Leland Province. She was able to create a new world that had elements that I was used to, and new aspects that I was introduced to. Kallon and Riza weren’t the only prominent characters in Redheart. There were many others who are sure to play a role in future books, especially considering the vague hints that the author dropped here and there. I can’t wait to see more of them with their unique personalities and colorful backgrounds.

This book was told in the third person throughout, but each chapter tended to focus on a different character. This really brought together the whole story nicely, and many times the reader knew something that the character did not yet know. This also helped me get to know the Leland Province better and truly get a feel for it. However, it would have been nice to see more of the world that Kallon came from. His past was shrouded in mystery, and I really didn’t get to learn much about it. Kallon’s deep past was one factor that held him back throughout the book, but I didn’t get a glimpse at why. That’s one aspect where I was left wanting more. His whole world is still so mysterious with its Dragon Council, and their unique way of life.

I would read this book again just so I could be shocked by the ending once more. My jaw literally dropped when I read what had happened! So many things suddenly changed, and new obstacles had suddenly arisen. I can’t imagine how things will change in book two of the Leland Dragon series, Sela!

All in all, Redheart is an amazing tale of true friendship at work. With betrayal, love, risks, and unforeseen surprises, Redheart is sure to please those who are looking for the familiar and comforting adventure found in old fantasy books, but told in a brand new tale. Join Riza and Kallon, as they step out of their comfort zones and explore the world they never knew in, Redheart!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

*I received Redheart as a review copy in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you so much Seventh Star Press!

I also received these awesome collectable Redheart cards, and a Redheart bookmark.  The cards feature artwork by Matthew Perry that is also in the book.

Check out Jackie Gamber's website at
Redheart is available from Amazon here.


  1. I also got this book from the publisher. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds awesome. You wrote an awesome review. I enjoyed reading it.It definitely makes me want to read it soon. :)

  2. That sounds just like the kind of tale I would have read when I was in school. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I love your review of it. I can tell how much you loved it and were excited by everything in it. I love to see that in a review.

    Great review!


  3. I've never heard of this one but OMG DRAGONS--I want to read it, it sounds amazing!!

  4. AngelicNytmare- Thanks! I hope you read this one soon, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed :)

    Buried In Books- Thanks so much! So glad this one sounds interesting, and that it's something you would have read when you were in school. Haha, I really did like this one a lot, and I hope yo enjoy it too!

    Laura (All of Everything)- Haha, go dragons! The dragons were a really cool aspect in Redheart, and they weren't your typical gold hoarding, greedy mythical creatures. They had their own world basically, and all in the Leland Province. Glad I could introduce you to this one and that it sounds good!

  5. Agree with Laura: Dragons!! What really interests me about this one is the relationship between the dragon and girl that you describe. Definitely intriguing. I'm also loving the artwork a lot. Great review!

  6. It was so cool to watch Riza and Kallon's relationship form and blossom. I think you'll really like that aspect of the book. Oh, isn't the artwork amazing! It really added to the story, and it was very cool to see someone's interpretation of the dragons. My favorite is the one of Riza screaming with Kallon in the background :)

  7. This seems like a great read indeed! I've never read a book about dragons so I'm definitely gonna check this out. I also love it when the main characters are slowly falling for each other instead of love at first sight. Great review and thanks for the lovely comments and stopping by our blog! New follower here and happy reading!!

    Teen Readers' Diary

  8. This is a great book to read with dragons, especially if you haven't before. This will introduce you to them, but at the same time it won't bombard you with magic, and what dragons are like. Oh, I know, I loved that too! It was nice to see a change where it wasn't head over heels for one another right when they saw each other. That was probably one of the best parts, getting to watch their relationship grow. Thanks so much for following!

  9. Tessa, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to Redheart. What you do here on your blog is so important! Getting books into the hands of readers is what it's all about; with the wonderful smorgasbord of authors and stories, there's something for everyone.

    Thank you again!


  10. Hi Tessa!
    Great review! This book sounds good! It'll be going onto my wishlist. ;)
    I love your ideas for a guest post! I'm keeping the chance open for a little while longer, but I love the sound of blogging for younger people. I'll email you by Monday 13th! :)
    Thanks Tessa!

  11. Jackie Gamber- Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm so glad my review could be helpful! Again, thank you so much for checking out my blog. That means a lot to me!

    TheBookAddictedGirl- Thanks! I'm glad this one sounds interesting! Oh, and I can't wait to see your guest posts, and who you pick. Hopefully I'll get to be a part of it!

  12. I love books about the relationship between humans and dragons and I never knew that's what this book was about! It's sounds exciting, especially because of your review! I'm definitely excited to check it out. Your reviews are always so captivating to me, I love how you really delve into the mind of the character in the beginning. And those illustrations are insanely cool! Great review! ;)


  13. Thank you very much! I always love different authors' takes on dragons and humans interacting with one another. This one is a lot of fun to read, and it was so interesting to see Kallon and Riza's relationship grow. I really hope you like this one! And the artwork added to the story a lot too :)


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