The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions, #2 by Michael R. Miller

32944833Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow.

The Three Races must work together if they are to survive, but they have another problem – Castallan. The traitorous wizard has raised a deadly rebellion and declared himself King of Humans. He believes himself safe in the bowels of his impenetrable Bastion fortress, but Darnuir, now King of Dragons, intends to break those walls at all costs.

To face these threats, all dragons, humans and fairies must truly unite; yet old prejudices may undermine Darnuir’s efforts once again. And as the true intentions of all are revealed, so too is a secret that may change the entire world.

I love-love-loved The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King and I was looking forward to the sequel. So, let’s get stuck in…

Plot

Veiled Intentions stays on course by following the natural course of events after The Reborn King. Dranuir seems to be a better version of himself after been given a second chance and he fully backs the belief that only by leaving the old grievances in between the Three Races behind, they will be successful in defeating Rectar. The Shadow that lingers over the world with the threat of demons.

The title of the book is an accurate one, as every leader’s motivations and true intentions emerge. Most attitudes are driven by past events (some as old as hunderds of years), some driven by hunger for power, some driven by wanting to see a different  future. Even though Darnuir, The Dragon King is really the most powerful and highest in terms of hierarchy in terms of the Three Races, simply ordering people- human, dragon or fairy- around with a vision for a united front, isn’t something that automatically guarantees peace, loyalty or long term willingness to exist side by side. The Three Races may share an enemy, but some leaders choose to believe that this need to unite forces is only temporary, rather than something which could bridge a new future and a way of life for all involved.

As you can see, I’m being pretty vague in terms of revealing any specific plot events, and there are quite a number of big moments throughout this book. With plenty of political intrigue, relationship dynamics and battle scenes, Veiled Intentions delivers a strong waterproof plot. Being quite honest though, personally, I felt the story was dragging at times. Was it the many POVs in those various locations with those differing endgames that all needed a conclusion which made my reading experience a bit more laborious than I would have liked? I don’t know. That being said- all that happened in the book, needed to happen so it’s likely that my impatience got the better of me.

Characters

 

With quite a lot of chesspieces on board fighting the dark forces in differing locations, Miller manages to bring the whole picture together through the POVs of all of the main players (Darnuir, Blaine, Garon, Dukoona, Cassandra, Brackendon). Veiled Intentions is very much a book of hardships from start to finish; and even though it seems the obstacles will just never end for the characters, the strong vision, hope and a ‘never give up’ kind of attitude has been built into each and every one of them, which really helps the reader to live into the story and experience the highs and lows as they come thick and fast.

Writing

Miller doesn’t leave anything to chance or open for debate. Every dialogue, scene and description is written with a purpose. Every emotion was delivered on beautifully, so I could feel the joys, the defeats, the hurts. And this is something I always respect with good writing- the power to get me invested in all the feels.

Because there is a whole lot of battle scenes in this book I need to mention that while they very well written (succinct, not confusing, always with a clear outcome), I did feel, towards the end of the book, that I was as tired of fighting as were our characters in the book. Not sure if author intended for this exact effect, but it felt fitting for me to become bogged down, bruised and battered by the battles.

Overall

For some reason, I didn’t love Veiled Intentions as much as I enjoyed The Reborn King. However, with a great number of twists and all the veiled intentions now revealed, I trust the next book will be a stunning addition and ending to the trilogy. And that ending… Book #3 will just be epic, I think! Yes, the constant battle wore on my morale and made me a tired soldier, indeed, yet I still enjoyed the adventure and I look forward to catching up with some of my favorite characters again. 4 stars.

21 comments

  1. I am going to be very rude and completely ignore the review … purely because Michael has been kind enough to give me a review copy of the audio book and don’t want spoilers. Love the cover on this. The cover for the first one was a work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember discussing this series with you recently on FB and I am excited to have added it to my TBR. It sounds like while the first might have delivered a bit more, but this still did not disappoint so I am down! Is it most certainly concluding with book three that you know of?

    Liked by 1 person

    • oooh, yay…
      I took a look at other reviews for the book on GR and many found the second book a lot better and an improvement on the first one… hands down, solid fantasy though and good storytelling… I am quite certain that it will be a trilogy and I would suggest you read the series when the third one is out as well, to leave as little time in between each book as possible… with all the fantasy we read and all the worlds and characters we encounter, sometimes facts and tidbits become muddled so I think having each book fresh in mind while reading the series is a good thing in this case 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the end of your review. How the character’s exhaustion coincides with your own. I also can’t tell if it’s done on purpose, but if it was, I hope there was some sort of “relief” that the battles are done, otherwise I fear it might not be a good thing that you’re that exhausted! 😀 Also like the sound of writing with a purpose. That’s always GREATLY appreciated! Great review!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are making amazing progress through this series. Well done! I totally understand what you have to say about getting exhausted of the fighting. That’s my biggest struggle with fantasy. I sometimes get bored with he repetition of it all- but character development keeps me invests most of the time. I look forward to seeing what you think of the series as you progress. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 🙂
      Yes… the balance of action scenes and character development is an important one… and even though sometimes it exhausts me, the way some stories evolve through battles, etc, I gotta face that at times, it’s just necessary for the story… I do have very high hopes for the next book 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  5. Shame you didn’t enjoy it as much as the first one- I do get what you mean about repetitive fight scenes- they can get tiring! (even if we’re not technically participating… 😉 ) but I’m glad it had enough twists and turns to keep you entertained- I really need to get on and read this series! It sounds awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you… Yes, the more I think about it the more I think it was author’s intention to really bring across the emotion and exhaustion of the battles which is good, it didn’t feel mechanical but my, it was tough! 😀 ha… yeah, give the series a go… I liked that the dragon’s are in human form and the magic is not your usual power just to be used as an endless supply without consequences.. so, you might just enjoy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Despite not having entirely delivered, I’m glad this book gave you enough to want to keep going! I admit I have trouble with the genre when it has too many POVs and places, I keep muddling everything and it takes away the fun! Also, I am guilty of skimming over fight scenes when there are too many or when they involve Celaena but that is another story :p
    That was a great review!

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