Title: Novice Dragoneer
Author: E.E. Knight
Series: Dragoneer Academy
Publisher: Ace Books – Imprint of Penguin Group
Read: November 2019
Length: 16 hours 14 Minutes
Rating: 4 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warnings: Misogyny, Suicidal Thoughts, Slut Shaming, Stutter not accurately portrayed*
*I feel that the stutter was handled well and portrayed accurately, but I do know that some people felt that it did not accurately represents an individual with a speech impediment.
In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of theAge of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won’t be as easy or as straightforward as she expected.
Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she’s dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer. For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine.
While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She’s then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past. But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands.
I am so excited to be finally done with this book. It took me 15 days to finally finish this book, and I will admit that at times, I thought of DNFing it merely because it tended to drag on at moments. Though the book dragged at times, I did enjoy it. I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley, but when I realized that I had no time to read it, I bought the audiobook of it, and I’m glad that I did.
The narrator did an excellent job of making the characters come to life and did a fantastic job at Ileth’s stutter. One of the incredible individuals I talk to on twitter did state that they thought the stutter was not an accurate portrayal, which is why I included this in the TW section of this post. I will say that I thought it was correct. One of my close friends has a stutter, and from my experience with him, I felt that it was portrayed well and accurately. The reaction to the stutter was also accurate, which made me want to throw the book at multiple times.
The shining star of the book was the narrator. Nicole Poole truly made this book enjoyable. The plot was fascinating though I have to admit if I might have DNF’d the book if I was solely reading it. At times, this book dragged. Heck, this book took me 15 days to finish, which is unheard of for me. I think what caused me to take so long in reading it is the fact that there was little to no plot. The book’s sole purpose was to show the life Ileth lived. It was fascinating to read about her from the age of 14 to 16, but I would have liked a plot instead of following her on her journey.
Though It dragged, I still am giving it a solid 4 Caffeinated Star reading. Watching Ileth grow and move up in the world was a fascinating time. This would be an excellent novel for people who enjoy a good biography. This book felt like I was reading a biography that happened to have dragons in it. All in all, if you’re looking for a fast-paced book with dragons, I would skip this book. If you want a book that reads like a biography with dragons sparkled in, the Novice Dragoneer would be a great addition to your library.
Want to try this book out yourself? Here are the buy links!