Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J.F. Jenkins, narrator Corey Snow #AudioReview #YoungDelight

Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J.F. Jenkins, narrator Corey Snow #AudioReview #YoungDelightLegend of the Oceina Dragon by J. F. Jenkins

Narrator: Corey Snow
Series: #1 The Dragons Saga
Genres: YA Fantasy Romance
Published by Audible Studios on February 23, 2013
Length: 5 hours 5 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars      two-flames

This was a re-read for me.  I read the original book a few years back and decided to experience it in audio this time around.

Any story with dragons makes me perk up and take notice so I was eager to dive in.  This is an interesting blend of forced marriage, suspense, magic, and young adult elements.  I enjoy the dragon world that the author created.

The story opens with young Kai thinking she is on the point of being sacrificed to the dragon lord for the purpose of keeping her whole island safe.  It was an arrangement made long ago in that the dragons would act as protectors in exchange for a human girl’s sacrifice ever so many years.  But she is shocked to discover that instead of being eaten, she has been chosen to be a young dragon’s wife.  Loss of everything she is used to and most especially loss of control over her life leaves her antagonistic, betrayed, bitter, and worst of all attracted, but wanting to deny it.  Her dragon husband is kind in the face of her fury and truly does care for her and loves her as much as she wants to deny it.  Kai can’t allow any true feelings to develop because she promised herself that never would she be like her mother who gave her heart and had it crushed.  If only, she wasn’t coming to want and love Darien.

Darien is a water dragon and son of the Great Dragon Lord, Orion.  He is a ‘touched’ dragon in that he possesses more magic and he is also responsible for the death of his mother in childbirth as a result.  Darien’s guilt and the blame from others has left him a little broken and his magic makes him an oddity and others fear him.  This is why when it is his turn to choose his bride, he is careful to watch and observe.  He spends years observing Kai and knows she is the one.  He is excited to finally be old enough to claim her.  But what is the happiest day of his life, soon ends in sadness when she rejects him, wants nothing to do with him, and hates him.  He knows that he needs to give her time and he does.  But as the days and weeks stretch out, he starts to lose hope.

Meanwhile, Darien is aware of trouble brewing.  His father is worried about some vague, unnamed treachery from one of the other dragon kingdoms.  Darien is mystified as to why his father takes him into his confidence and even wishes him there when the leaders meet.  Darien takes an attitude because it brings him away from Kai while he is trying to woo her and he knows he is behaving horribly in the face of his father finally recognizing him, but he can’t stop.

And then his whole world crashes down on him.  Will Kai stay by his side or will she flee?

The story has much going on.  Right about the time young Darien is only thinking about Kai other things are going on the greater world around him.  His destiny has arrived.  This is an interesting coming of age story.  While it has strong YA elements particularly the way Kai and Darien go about their stormy courtship, there is a complex worldbuilding, family dynamics, and politic intrigue in play that give this story nice layers.

I was only meh about the romance probably because of my age and the romance was a young one even if it was a permanent marriage.

But the part that I loved was the strong dragon presence and seeing Darien come of age and come into his own.  He starts out thinking his father hates him for being the reason his mother is dead, thinking his mother must have resented having to make the choice between his life and hers, and hating his own extra gifts.  He is unsure and fearful.  But then, Orion works to make Darien see things differently.  Loved all that.

And the political intrigue going on with the dragons was fascinating.  I like the set up for what is to come.

The story ends abruptly on a high note, but foreshadows more troubles.  It’s a cliffie and leaves a lot more questions than answers.  These are always hard for me and I have to think of it as the first installment in a larger, longer story.

The narration was well-done.  It was my first encounter with Corey Snow.  I thought he did alright with the various voices and kept my interest on the story.  It was somewhat amusing when he did Kai’s voice because she is a young girl, but it wasn’t too bad.  I would definitely listen to more books he has done.

In summary, this was a good beginning to a series.  The romance is okay and I think younger folk would appreciate it more than me.  The worldbuilding and intrigue were strong and engaging components as was the coming of age of Darien the hero.  I can easily recommend this to any age YA audience because it is a sweet romance and there is no language and only one moderately violent scene.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #20 YA
Literary Pickers #20 tropical island
Audio #2
Mt. TBR # 12

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • This sounds like a great start to the series, I haven’t read many books about dragons. The politcal intrigue and suspense elements sounds done well. And the plot with how she’s sacrificed to the dragons and then has to become their mate and deal with that, sounds like it makes for an interesting plot amidst the other issues. I am sorry to hear the romance was a bit meh, does that improve in the later books? At least I assume this series keeps following this couple?

    • I have only read the second book that switches to another set of characters from a different dragon kingdom, but I noticed the third book picks up Darien and Kai’s story along with continuing the story from book two. The series even dips into their children’s generation since it’s a saga. So yes, it does continue their story eventually. 🙂

      I think I found the romance meh was b/c I probably wasn’t in the mood for a YA romance at the time though I was in the mood for the fantasy elements. If that makes sense.

  • I’m not really drawn to dragon books, but still enjoy them when I do read them. Sounds like a good series.

    • Totally the opposite here, haha. I see ‘dragon’ and my interest perks right up. 🙂 But at least you enjoy the ones you’ve read. I actually haven’t read that many, but my wish list is full of them.

  • J.F. Jenkins

    As always, thank you so much for your wonderful review. <3 You really need to read that third book! I also am going to be finishing up that blog story you were reading soon. hehe. 😉 I haven't heard the full audiobook yet, so I'm glad it turned out well! I do have another dragon related surprise coming soon, but I'll tell you about that one in private on FB. 🙂

    • Well hey, look at you, popping in for this special surprise. You are so right that I need to get busy and finish things. I have them to so there is noooo excuse. 🙂
      I like your dragon surprises so I will happily read the rest of the prequel story and get excited over your dragon news. 🙂
      Yes, you have a good narrator. I’ve slowly been trying more and more audio books so I have a pool of comparison. I think he matches well with the tone of your story.

      • J.F. Jenkins

        I love audiobooks! I’ve always got one going so I’m really glad it did turn out well. 🙂