Book Reviews

Book Review: When She Reigns by Jodie Meadows

The First Dragon
The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she’ll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.
The Last Hope
Mira’s desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help—for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?
The explosive finale to Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles trilogy is ablaze with sizzling romance and fiery magic as Mira’s fight to save dragons from extinction evolves into a mission to save her world from annihilation.

Title: When She Reigns
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

4.7//5 Owls

Before She Ignites was one of the first books i ever received from my OwlCrate subscription, and I immediately fell in love. I don’t think its a book I would’ve discovered on my own, but I’m so glad I did.

When She Reigns is the final book in this dragon filled trilogy, and it’s everything I hoped it would be.

Mira, the girl who started out as an obedient figure head with no real voice of her own, has become a true leader. One of my favorite things about this story is how natural Mira’s transformation was. Over the course of three books, Mira slowly found her voice – and her purpose. She didn’t just wake up one morning and do a complete 180 personality wise. I loved watching her progression from the (somewhat pathetic) spoiled Princess who cared more about her looks than her brain, to a true symbol of hope with her own ideas and strength to help save her people. Also her ~dragon powers~ get even cooler in this book, which I’m all here for. SHE’S GOT BADASS WINGS Y’ALL.

And with Mira comes Aaru, and my love for him is unwavering. Aaru seems almost simple in Before She Ignites, but as he grows with Mira and find his voice (THERE ARE SENTENCES OF REAL DIALOGUE FROM HIM) he develops his own strength and conviction that is absolutely incredible.

And of course Mira + Aaru = romance.

I really enjoyed the romances in this series. Mira and Aaru don’t go through any enemies-to-lovers, will-they-or-wont-they, crap. They’re love story is slow and full of hope and unfulfilled promises. There are soooo many instances in this story where it seems like their love story is doomed forever, but watching them pull through and consistently find each other in the darkness is heartwarming.
We also have an adorable f/f relationship, and wonderful platonic m/f relationships that I truly believe we need more of in literature. There’s never a moment of if Mira and Hristo are “just friends” or something more. Throughout this book, and the series its easy to see the love and devotion they have for each other, but its always platonic, family love.
I truly think this is something we need more of in literature. Not every m/f relationship has to end in romantic love, or a friendship falling apart because of unrequited feelings. Friend love is a powerful force too!

And to the actual plot of the story – I didn’t expect anything to go down the way it does in this story.

The islands are rising up, people are dying, and Mira and friends are desperate to stop The Great Abandonment. But nothing is quite as simple as it seems, and there’s a lot more loss and tragedy in this story than I was prepared for.
I loved the expanding of the world – with more details about what exactly noorestones are, finally seeing beyond the Fallen Isles, and the First Dragon, this world is expansive and detailed. I do wish we got to learn more about the Algotti Empire and their system of magic, but since the characters had no business knowing these things I understand why the readers don’t get to know either.

Then there’s the DRAGONS. We have our fixtures – Lala and Crystal, the two adorable little dragons who are some of the major hero’s of this installment. There’s a scene towards the end of the book with Lala, and she’s a complete badass despite the fact that she’s a tiny little dragon. I teared up a little, it was so beautiful and powerful of a moment, and my heart filled with pride for the tiny dragon.

Overall, this was a really good conclusion to Meadows Fallen Isles trilogy. There’s more dragons, heartwarming stories, plenty of trouble and unexpected turns, and A LOT of sacrifice.

If you’re looking for a good story about dragons, love, and friendship I HIGHLY recommend this series.

Have you read When She Reigns, or any of The Fallen Isles trilogy? What did you think?

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