Dragon Darth Elise Kova is coming up with not only one, but TWO new series! Every new novel she publishes in a single series comes out around every three months, which is an incredible fact on its own, but to think she will actually have two series coming out at the same time with this pacing is purely jaw-dropping.
Today I will talk about one of them, because I was lucky enough to be able to read it in advance. Furthermore, today is cover reveal day for this novel, so make sure to keep scrolling down! Let’s give a few info first (I enjoy creating suspense):
Title: The Crown’s Dog (Golden Guard, #1)
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Author: Elise Kova
Genre(s): Young Adult, High Fantasy
A coastal summer is turned upside down by a violent murder, and a quest for lost pirate treasure turns into a hunt for the killer.
Jax Wendyll is the crown’s dog. As punishment for the unspeakable crimes that tourment him to this day, his life has been conscripted to the Empire Solaris. However, in an Empire afflicted by peace, his duties are relegated to unquestioningly aiding the antics of the youngest prince, Baldair.
Erion Le’Dan, a nobleman’s son, expects a quiet summer visit to the Imperial Palace, his only agenda to visit with his unlikely friends. But Jax’s discovery the legendary pirate Adela Lagmir’s old workroom inspires a hunt for her long lost treasure.
The pursuit of Adela’s truth takes the three men to the Imperial summer manor, built along the old pirate mainstays. When Adela’s trident is branded into a murdered servant, Prince Baldair’s summer amusement of treasure-hunting becomes a hunt to find the killer. But, as mysteries compound, the ghosts of Jax’s past may not be the only things haunting them.
If you’re familiar with the Air Awakens series, you might have realized by now that this new series is a prequel to it. And I’m sure if you’ve read Air Awakens you must be squealing in excitement right now, because Jax, Baldair and Erion are some of the fans’ favorites (and believe me, there are many in Air Awakens), and what can be more exciting than a prequel seeing them as the main characters? Well, maybe having them as real-life BFFs, but I guess the technology for that hasn’t been invented. YET. *rethinks life goals and career path*
So, ahem. Anyway. Are you ready for the cover? *drum rolls*
Isn’t it beautiful?! 💖 Isn’t HE beautiful? Look at that half man-bun. Of course, the guy on the cover is Jax, “the Crown’s Dog”. I was so excited tonight when I got to see this cover. I was very curious to see if the art was going to match that of the main series, and I was not disappointed. Merilliza is such an amazing artist, and captured Jax perfectly in my opinion.
As I mentioned, I was sent this book in advance for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.
First of all, you have to know I adored Air Awakens. I was not a reviewer yet at the time I read it, but I find myself thinking back to it and all of the amazing things that happened in those five books. Anyway, one of the many great things about it were the characters, and little did it matter if they were main or secondary ones. Among the side characters, Jax and Baldair were two of my favorites, and I’m glad to say The Crown’s Dog was very satisfying in terms of fangirl love.
It is told in third-person point of view perspective, with the PoVs being Jax’s and Erion’s.
Erion is an Air Awakens character I’ve always been intrigued about, but I felt like we didn’t get to know him fully in the main series. I really enjoyed his perspective here, and it was interesting to see how his cultural and familial background were always present in his mind, in the way he interacted with Baldair and Aldrik (eep! Yes, we get a little scene with Aldrik!) and the way he viewed magic.
Jax was my favorite side character in Air Awakens (together with my cutie pie Fritz). We didn’t get to hear his full backstory until the last book in the series, and that story is mentioned and it is a big part of what goes on in this novel. Some of the events that happen here bring back his memories and we get a glimpse of his…I don’t know if I’m allowed to say almost madness, but that’s what I always thought about him. Some secrets can really mess with one’s brain, and seeing things from his perspective was illuminating and brought me further understanding of his character. We also see him struggling with the South’s prejudices about magic -which he possesses in form of fire- and one of the things I found very interesting was seeing how his Firebearer’s magic felt physically, since in Air Awakens we mostly saw magic through a Windwalker’s perspective.
While we didn’t get Baldair’s PoV, he was a constant presence in his story, and we did see some of his, ahem, antics, that eventually (as we know from Air Awakens) got him the title of Heartbreaker Prince.
The plot involved a pirate queen’s curse (I love pirate plotlines!) and a murder in the coastal town of Oparium that our team of three decides to solve. It was very fast-paced, but it allowed many moments of introspection, to better get to know our characters. Although the three have been friends for some time already at the time this novel takes place, this new adventure really sets the foundation for the Golden Guard (thus the series name). I found the relationship between these three characters was very well written, and I liked how they all came to it from different backstories and roles. Their friendship is genuine and knowing how it evolves (if you’ve read the main series) makes it even more interesting to read about in this prequel.
I really can’t wait for more people to read this and Air Awakens. If you haven’t yet, pick both up!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).