DRAGON UNLEASHED (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven: Review

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Author: Grace Daven
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Series: Fallen Empire #2

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it's far more than what it seems. 

Dragas haven't been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They're wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him--unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire's twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire's machinations and his own lethal birthright.

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Dragon Unleashed is a compelling novel that is sure to captivate those looking a sense of adventure, romance, and fantasy.  This author has an amazing ability to weave together a story with enchanting characters, a unique plot, and exceptional world building.  I found the descriptions in the book to be so remarkable that at times I felt as though I was in the novel.  

Halani is a healer in possession of a forbidden magic that she keeps hidden.  I loved her character for her kindhearted spirit and also for that streak of independence that frequently shines through.  Malachus is a man or rather a draga who finds himself in the path of Halani and her free trader caravan as he searches for a priceless artifact that is essential to his well-being.  He is a very likable hero full of compassion and a quiet, commanding presence.  Halani and Malachus are like two tethered souls that make an intriguing, but rightfully perfect couple. Both of them are harboring secrets and what will happen when all is revealed?  What will happen when the hunter becomes the hunted?

This is a slow burn romance, but I also felt that the story itself moved very slowly in the beginning.  The last half of the book showed great story progression as well as further development of their relationship and more adventure scenes.  Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this entertaining read.  I not only loved Halani and Malachus, but I also adored Halani’s mother (Asil).  Her character touched my heart.  

Dragon Unleashed is the 2nd book in the Fallen Empire series.  It can be read as a standalone, but if you’ve read Phoenix Unbound, you’ll love the cameo appearances from Gilene and Azarion.  If you are looking for an engaging romantic fantasy with an original plot or you have enjoyed any of this author’s other works, then you will want to check out this book.

I read an early, complimentary version of this book.

Other Books in the Series:

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Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog. She has loved storytelling since forever and is a fan of the fictional bad boy. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2014 and 2016, and a USA Today Bestselling author.

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