Title: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragon #1) Author: Marc Secchia
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent
Review Cross-posted on Amazon,Goodreads and personal blog @ https://nihilsedtempus.wordpress.com
Author Website: @marcsechhia
Type of Book: Fantasy
Book Summary: Aranya is to be executed for high treason against the Sylakians Empire. Her sentence: falling to her death into the deadly Cloudlands. It’s not the fate she ever envisioned, neither was her rescue. Evil has a new enemy…Aranya, Princess of Immadia.
First off this story has dragons, an evil empire and kick-ass princesses. So once I knew those things it was love at first read. Second, it has dragons. Say it with me DRA-GONS! If you can’t tell I really love stories with dragons. The piece de resistance is shape shifting princess dragons. Secchia is on my list of authors to watch for this! I was enthralled from the minute we meet Aranya.
This story is good book to get lost in. Secchia entwines enough world building and back story so intricately into the fast paced present. He does it so you stay informed and intrigued. Each Floating island had its own culture, history, and of course alliances.
Not to mention Secchia can write some really awesome princesses. They are strong, capable and definitely my type of princess. No hero needed, these princess will not only rescue themselves but also will take on the injustices of the world. In this story the Sylakians’ are a slowly taking control of the islands and forcing complacency. They do this by taking the island’s princess and locking them up in a tower. Yup you read that right; there are princesses in a well-guarded tower. Lots of them, some giving into their fate and others like Aranya and Zip railing against it. Which is how Aranya and Zuziana (Zip) meet and it is dislike at first sight. But soon they are close friends after a few thrilling adventures. After an incident, Aranya is sentenced to death for treason. Plunging many leagues into the cloudlands, dense clouds of deadly gases, she changes…literally into a fire breathing flying dragon. Although Aranya is going to have to work on that. When she crash lands on a nearby island she meets a former dragon rider. They help her learn how to be a dragon and to come to terms with her dragonequese figure… Once she has that down it’s off to take up the fight and protect the islands from a coming evil and against the Sylakians Empire. She just needs to go rescue her rider. Because a princess dragon needs a princess rider.
I love that each new character that is introduced is well fleshed out and makes them leap off the page. This fantastically created world that you can see and almost feel! I am also glad that while there is a bit of romance, it’s not the main plot. There wasn’t much that I didn’t love. The only thing that comes to mind is I would have liked more information of regarding the Sylakians Empire. I like to know about the so-called enemy.
All in All, I give this 5 princess out of 5. Aranya put Marc Secchia on my Author Map and once I had finished I promptly went out and got the others that he has written. If you like dragons, awesome princesses you will like this book! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. This book released on June 13, 2014. You can order on Amazon for kindle edition ($3.99us) or check the publisher site for other stores to obtain this book! Aranya is 454 pages, and it took me (an avid reader) approximately 4 hours. Depending on your reading speed that time will vary.