Book Review : The Dragons of Nova

Book Review : The Dragons of NovaThe Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova
Published by Keymaster Press on July 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 487
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Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust -- hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything -- and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills -- and quick-shooting accuracy -- makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.


The sequel to the Alchemists of Loom, The Dragons of Nova, is an excellent follow-up in The Loom Saga. The character development and the world-building in Dragons of Nova is just as interesting as in the first novel. I loved Cverah’s sister, Petra, learning the true nature of the Dragon King’s mate, Coletta, and seeing Florence coming into her own. I was less than thrilled with all of Arianna’s development, but learning more about her origins and watching her realize her feelings for Cverah were true highlights.

The rest of them were chained to something: love of a guild, loyalty to a Vicar, memories of the past. Florence did not live in bondage. She had struggled for so long trying to find a place where she belonged that she had never stopped to the see innate benefits of belonging to nowhere. She could do things no one else could.”

Though the last novel ended with a surprising clash of ideals between Arianna and her student, Florence, I was not disappointed with what happened during their separation. Without Arianna to rely on as a guiding force and protector, Florence soon comes into her own. Sent on a suicide mission to the Harvester’s guild, Florence soon learns that her preoccupation with her guild classification is a weakness–not a strength. I honestly cannot wait to see what actions Florence takes in the next novel, as I was so pleasantly surprised by her development in this one.

I love you, Arianna. And I will  not stand in your way, but I will also not let you flee from this. Reject me if you must, and that will be that. Until you do, I will see my future built with a space for you in it.”

I was also shocked to find Arianna finally admitting her attraction to Cverah in this novel!  Certainly the slow-burn days of The Alchemists of Loom have come to an end in this novel and too quickly for my taste. I was extremely surprised that Arianna was able to get over her distrust of all dragons enough to actually sleep with one in this novel!  And Cverah’s sudden extreme dedication to her and their newfound happiness, his willingness to give her whatever she asked for, and to help her over his own Dragon house seemed a very quick turn as well. I cannot help but feel that these two are headed for a world of trouble, especially with how fast they moved and the fact that they have imbibed from each other. Phrases like this also don’t paint a picture for future bliss:

That woman will be your undoing. If you wish to damn yourself with her, fine. But for the love of Xin, do not damn the rest of us by taking her into the House’s bed too.”

I was also less than pleased with the development of the two strongest females in the novel, Arianna and Petra. Both women are ruthless, bloodthirsty, cunning, extraordinary fighters, and in their prime. Petra, being the Oji (head of the house of Xin), has murdered family members to take her place at her house’s head and even planned Cverah’s rebellious actions in the first novel in the hopes of overthrowing the Dragon King. She has been plotting her rebellion for years, spying on the Dragon King and skillfully toeing the line between subservient subject and open rebellion. Sadly, Petra and Arianna have not just a fondness for Cverah in common, but also the ability to fall into horrendously obvious traps, one right after the other–something that severely lessened my enjoyment of the novel.

I wanted to scream when View Spoiler » Despite being a dragon, Cverah truly has no problem supporting the powerful women in his life.

I can only think that Peta’s death is an important starting point of a chain of events in the next novel. Maybe Petra’s bid to be Dragon King was doomed from the start, as it was obvious she didn’t care much for the residents of Loom, the crutch of getting Arianna’s support in helping her build a Philosopher’s Box. I wonder if the series is setting up Cverah to become the Dragon King and what that will mean for his new relationship with Arianna.

In spite of my disappointment at the limited time actually narrated from Cverah’s perspective, there were new fascinating point-of-views to reel me into the story. I really admired the way the author only had Leona to give her perspective to the Dragon King in the first story, only showing from the Dragon Rider’s perspective what transpired on the Dragon throne. While Leona had hopes of challenging the Dragon King’s wife, Coletta, who is known to be weak and sickly, to be the new mate of the Dragon King, we quickly learn in Dragons of Nova that that never would have happened. From the Dragon King’s point-of-view in this novel, we learn that Coletta is not actually ill, but a deadly shadow master Dragon, who uses poison and cunning to dispose of her enemies, rather than the typical dragon way of brute force. This reveal was very scintillating and I loved the craftsmanship of the author for hinting at this in The Alchemists of Loom, but not revealing it until this novel, when Coletta became a major player in the game.

Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed was the juxtaposition of the Fenthri’s world of Loom to that of the Dragon’s world of Nova. Unlike that of Loom’s, where everything is built for an express purpose, the Dragon’s world of Nova revolves completely around aesthetics and beauty. I loved how Arianna slowly went from being disgusted at ostentatiously crafted rooms pushed in the back at the Xin household to learning to appreciate the unique beauty in Nova.

You’re right, we do not craft engines of steam or write arithmetic that can lift people to the skies. But we understand life, a richer meaning for it than on Loom, and we create joy.”

I also liked that the closer on Nova, one got to the realm of Loom, the seedier the Dragons and locations got. This description, along with that of the caste systems, the transportation methods, the patrons of, and the dress of dragons really painted a full picture of life on Nova.

Although there is plenty to enjoy in The Dragons of Nova, like the character development and excellent world-building, I did not quite enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor. I am still very excited to read the next novel in this series and would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed the first in the Loom saga.


Posted January 25, 2019 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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