Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: High Fantasy
Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.
Life is good.
Until it’s not.
Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.
And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.
Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.
The first book in the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy (because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever).
Oh boy, I’m going to go against the flow of five star ratings on this one. The story just didn’t hold my interest as much as I had hoped it would. And Gary the unicorn’s ongoing snarky monologues weren’t funny to me. In fact, they became annoying. They were long-winded and repetitious and didn’t really seem to further the story at all. Add to that, Sam’s over-the-top and frequently expressed desires for sex with Ryan started to feel clichéd by the middle of the book, and the only two characters I felt were genuine were Tiggy and Kevin, the half-giant and the dragon. I really enjoyed their interactions with each other, with Sam, and with others in the story.
I absolutely detested Vadoma, Sam’s gypsy grandmother, and Ruv, the man Vadoma said was chosen to be Sam’s cornerstone—she frequently stressed that this had come to her in visions, but he was a character that I couldn’t connect with at all. I didn’t like him from the beginning, and at no point, did that change. It felt as if he was just thrown into the story to disrupt the bond between Sam and Ryan, but passively, not necessarily in any overt way.
The premise of the story is a continuation of the saga of Sam, currently an apprentice wizard, who will one day be the most powerful wizard ever known and will banish the dark forces from Verania. The dragon star constellation comes to life and informs Sam of his destiny, predicting that Sam can defeat the dark forces led by the evil wizard, Myrin, but not everyone Sam holds dear will survive. His first task is to gather the five known dragons of the world together for he will need them to defeat the dark wizard. In this installment of the series, he heads for the desert to seek and win support from the desert dragon, Jekhipe. Of course, he’s scary and snake-like and totally ferocious—up to the moment Sam finds out he’s really an emo teen dragon who wants to be called Zero Ravyn Moonfire.
The brilliance of TJ Klune’s mind shines through in this story. I don’t mean to downplay his creativity in any way. And his sense of humor knows no bounds—though to be honest I would have liked some bounds on the humor in this one. But his ability to digress and smatter the pages with humor and trivia and sidebar conversations sometimes became too much for me this time. Four hundred and eighty pages for a story with so little substance was just not up there in my favorites list. It’s not for me.
That being said, many readers will enjoy it. If you’ve loved The Lightning Struck Heart and or the Tell Me It’s Real series, you’ll find similar humor here with plenty of fantasy and plot complexity.