Dragonspire Book Corner: The Last Prince & Lost Isle #BookReviews

Hey everyone, and welcome to the first book corner of 2021!

I have a new review format, which follows a similar layout to my TV review posts: Summary, Genre, Content Warnings, Plot, Characters, Favourite Character, Favourite Scene, Bad Stuff, Dragon Rating, ‘Read if you like…,’ and ‘How did I discover it.’

I’ll never review books I DNF, although I may mention the title and why I didn’t finish it, and I’ve replaced my star rating system with dragons!

This month? The Last Prince and Lost Isle!

Dragonspire Book Corner Lost Prince Last Isle

Disclaimer: I received The Last Prince from Voracious Readers, and Lost Isle via Hidden Gems, but getting free review copies never influences my reviews, I’ll always be 100% honest, and I only give 5 dragons to books I feel really deserve it!

The Last Prince (The Coming of รed #2) by E.G. Radcliff:

The Last Prince Cover
The Last Prince Cover

Summary:

Ninian is already down on his luck when he becomes indebted to a man who’ll kill him unless he repays him. On the streets and alone, he takes a chance that’ll change his life forever and meets someone who is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel given his troubled past. Although labelled as book 2, The Last Prince is the prequel to book 1, The Hidden King!

Genre:

YA Fantasy.

Content Warnings:

Referenced Assault, Alcohol, Violence, Manipulation. Has romance, but not R rated.

Plot:

The Last Prince was a bit slow to start, but once Ninian met Aed I was hooked. The book is in two parts: Part one covers Ninian’s life at age 11, how he ends up in a gang, and how he meets Aed. Part two shows Ninian and Aed’s life at 18. It’s shorter and sets up for The Hidden King. Ninian and Aed are together in part two, but I would’ve liked to see how they got together.

The plot centres on gang warfare in a torn apart city, whose citizens are fearful of magic. There’s not a lot of detail about the magic, or how it works, but it’s believable and fits into the world of the story.

Characters:

The characters were unique, interesting, and all served a purpose. Aed has sandy hair and red eyes, and Ninian has darker hair and purple eyes. I liked the unique characteristics and anyone with purple eyes gets my attention immediately ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s also a non-binary character, the seer Ailbhe, who uses they/them pronouns, an intriguing gang leader, a gruff shopkeeper, and Ninian’s fighter rival Brigh.

My only issue was Ninian seemed to act older than 11 during part one, maybe 15? I could let it slide a little though, given how much he’s been through.

Favourite Character:

Whilst I liked both Ninian and Aed, I think I liked Aed a little more, as Ninian is a very rough around the edges tough guy and I tend to like softies better.

Favourite Scene:

Ninian protecting Aed when he’s in trouble and whisking him away to safety.

Bad Stuff:

‘Telling’ in places where showing would’ve helped me connect more to the characters, especially at the beginning. There were also missing words in part 2, and other editing issues.

Aed and Ninian bonded fast. I still bought their relationship, but more detail would’ve enhanced their bond and shown why Ninian immediately trusts/connects with Aed when he distrusts everyone else.

I also have a bad feeling one of the main characters will die in the next book, because the end of The Last Prince seems to foreshadow it. This put me off reading it as I’m a fragile person who likes main characters to live and hates getting invested in them only for one, or both, to die.

Dragon Rating:

4 Purple Dragons with Purple Stars behind them.
4 Dragons!

As much as I loved the characters, there were a few things that stopped me giving this a 5.

Read this if you like:

Fantasy, magic, street kids overcoming the odds to survive.

How did I discover it?:

I was given a free copy via Voracious readers. The author also included The Hidden King, which I’ll read and review at some point if I can get over my doubts!

Lost Isle by Emmi Laurence:

Lost Isle Cover
Lost Isle Cover

Summary:

Edwin Vlaris is a chart-maker, not a sailor, but when he’s marooned by the pirate crew he was hired to help, with only gruff wind-whisperer Ben for company, on an island overrun with magical creatures, he’s forced to confront truths about himself he never would’ve realised were it not for Ben, the island, and the entire experience, whilst searching for a treasure that may not exist.

Genre:

M/M Fantasy Romance

Content Warnings:

Sex, blood, violence

Plot:

Lost Isle contains many of the things I love: M/M romance, pirates, magic, magical creatures, and a main character who grows throughout the story. You’re thrown right into the action: Edwin wakes on a small boat in the middle of the ocean after being abandoned by pirates, with Ben staring at him. We learn about Edwin, and what happened to him, gradually through the story, and the pacing is perfect.

I could never really guess where the plot would go next. Normally with books there’s a moment I’ll put it down for a few days because there’s a lull in the action, but Lost Isle kept throwing more intrigue at me so I struggled to put it down. Looking back there was plenty of foreshadowing of events, but it’s subtle, so you’re not expecting the twists.

I also loved the fantasy aspect: The island is full of magical creatures: Griffins, and birds that have all kinds of abilities, fire, ice, and more. There are also fierce, dangerous, things lurking in the shadows!

Characters:

From Captain Nirothe, to Jym (Ben’s rival Wind-whisperer), to the crew: Mick, Lee, Terrance, Ecker, Abraeme and Riley, each character had a unique personality and abilities. I even remembered their names without flicking back through the book: That’s how impressionable they were!

Favourite Character:

Edwin. He grows so much throughout the book, and I’m a sucker for characters that change and achieve their potential, even if it scares them a little! I also really liked Jym: I can’t even pinpoint why, but I did, and at one point I was shipping Edwin/Jym a bit!

Favourite Scene:

Where Edwin was alone with a Griffin in a storm. I won’t say more, as I don’t want to spoil it, but it gave me real How to Train Your Dragon vibes! Also, the scene where Ben and Edwin were on top of an arch over the sea together was epic, and there are lots of other memorable scenes too!

Bad Stuff:

Nothing, from my point of view. If a lack of female characters bothers you, you might want to give it a miss, but I didn’t notice until I started writing my review!

Dragon Rating:

5 Purple Dragons with Purple Stars behind them.
5 Dragons

I know, it’s rare for me to rate a book a 5, but I adored Lost Isle, and if a sequel came out I’d want to read it right away. It was a perfect blend of fantasy and romance, and I feel like there’s so much more to explore in this world ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and there was no cliff-hanger, which was a HUGE bonus!

Read this if you like:

M/M romance, A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Fantasy romance, fantasy creatures, pirates.

How did I discover it?:

Via the author’s blog, which I’ve been following for a while. The first chapter is free too!

What’s next?

Huge pile of books

I’m not sure yet. I have a free trial for Kindle Unlimited, which I’m waiting to activate, and a huge list of books to read once I do, but I might read The Hidden King, and a few other books I’m behind on reviewing from last year, first.

Any recommendations, let me know. For more on my reading preferences, I made a mini FAQ post: What Type of Reader Am I?

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

Have you read either of the above books? Read anything similar, and equally awesome, recently? Let me know in the comments!

9 comments

  1. Awesome reviews, Louise! I like the format. Comprehensive and I like how you include what you like and dislike and separate sections for both. The characters make or break the show, yes? Like you, I prefer softies too. I can like those who are tough, but sometimes that can bother me (especially if they are jerks), so, like you, I prefer softies more lol. I also like the dragon rating system.

    Great reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome blog post again. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah characters are super important. No matter how good the plot is if I don’t like the characters I don’t enjoy the story, but if it’s the other way around (bad plot, good characters) I’m usually okay with it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anytime. Same here, characters can make or break a story for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you read a book or seen a show in recent years where you disliked the plot but liked the characters? :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Not a book or a show, but a video game, Tales of Vesperia. The characters are awesome and their development is great, but the plot really falls to bits about midway/two thirds in. Still one of my all time favourites though ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

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