A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that's perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman. Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia-until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor's coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory-the emperor's mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she's been having about a beast deep underground. With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
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"Catherine Ho delivers an emotional performance of this queer young adult fantasy. Maren is an ordinary girl leading a quiet life when her girlfriend, Kaia, is taken by the Aurati. Now Maren will do whatever it takes to save Kaia, even steal a dragon. Ho's narration changes over time, beginning in a wispy timbre with a higher pitch and a relaxed pace. As Maren builds up her courage and risks her life, Ho transitions to a purer timbre, a tense tone, and a quicker pace. While Ho's female voices are well done and distinct, her male voices come off less naturally. Nonetheless, Ho pulls at the listener's heartstrings with her poignant narration. A.K.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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