Reading Level: Young Adult
*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Amira, a young, self-centered, and lonely immortal from the mythical island of Penglai, rescues a handsome mortal, Raiden, from angry sea spirits and returns with him to Dragon Hollow in the mortal lands. There she learns the hardships and dangers mortals face as warlords and bandits battle in unending warfare. Powerful dragons have protected Dragon Hollow for millennia, making it the only safe haven in the land, but Amira's arrival upsets that balance as she slowly learns the dragons' secrets.
Confronted with perilous choices, she struggles to understand what it means to live with and trust other people. Are others befriending her only because they need her help, or because they find her beauty alluring, or is it because they truly care for her? Can she trust and even love Raiden, or is he deceiving her to achieve his selfish dreams? In the end, she must decide whether or not to risk her own destruction to save her friends in Dragon Hollow, and she ultimately discovers hidden powers and passions, long dormant within her.
Honestly, at first I wasn't sure about this book. It didn't look like my kind of book and it seemed a little weird. And it was but in a good way. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved it.
When we meet Amira in the first chapter she is an immortal and around five hundred years old. She seems old but in a more aged by the world kind of way. We learn that the world she lives in is damaged because of her. She has a lot of regrets and the Spririt Mother gives her the chance to go back in time three hundred years and do it all over. But without the worldly knowledge she has now. When we meet her the second time she lives with only animals to keep her company on the secluded island of Penglai. When a flying turtle named M'lan* comes to her island and says that the Spirit Mother wanted her to come with him and help a shipwrecked crew. Even though she loves her safe home she wants adventure so she agrees. They only manage to save one person from the wreckage. A young man named Raiden who was the leader of this expedition to Penglai to get a famous fruit said to heal to save his father. They set off to take Raiden to his home in Dragon Hollow. On the way there they run into a lot of trouble and Amira learns that the mortal world is angry, warring and a lot different than where she comes from. Most mortals would do anything for money. Amira decides to say in Dragon Hollow one of the only safe places and face her destiny. Along the way she learns there's many different kinds of love, the meaning of friendship and powers she didn't know she had.
Despite being two hundred years old Amira is very naive. She doesn't know much about the mortal but she acts like she does and it gets her in trouble. More than once it seemed like she was making the same mistakes and blaming other people. I know she was supposed to learn but she annoyed me at times. But I still liked her. At the end you could really see a change in her. She was brave and made smart choices. I really liked Raiden he was always there for Amira and he was very responsible. There was times when his loyalty was questioned but I always knew he was a good guy. I didn't want to wait for Amira and Raiden to get cute because I knew it was going to happen. She had a big crush in him she just didn't know what to call it. I loved all the other side characters. All the ones in Dragon Hollow and the ones that showed Amira that the mortal world wasn't all bad. Especially the twins Lotus and Lily.
The last 50 pages or so were action packed. There was a huge battle and a ton of twist and betrayals. I didn't know what was going to happen on the next page and I couldn't stop reading. I wanted everyone to have a happy ending but I was afraid they wouldn't.
Overall I loved this book a lot more than I tought. I would it was cute and funny and I never knew what would happen next. The characters went through so much and grew a lot. I'm sad to see them go.
*Yes I said flying turtle. He's made of awesome. I love animal sidekicks. This is kind of what I picture him as:
|The baby turtle on his back is Amira obviously :)|