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 http://www.jackiegamber.com/.
Redheart is available from Amazon here.