Behind the Dragon's Veil

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

the author has created a magical world and has a wonderful way with words which made it easy to delve deep into the book.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher.
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I enjoyed the concept of this novel but the execution was not to my standards. Nothing was explained well and the pacing was clunky. It read like the author did not know where she wanted the story to end up. 



I received this book as an e-arc from Netgalley. This does not affect my opinions.
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I had a really hard time with this book. I was confused from the start and got so frustrated that I didn't finish the book.
The cover is gorgeous and the premise sounded fascinating, but the pacing is off, we don't get any explanation as to how this magic machine system works and I couldn't keep up with the characters as I wanted more details.
I still believe this could be a good story with more editing.

Thanks Netgalley for providing me with an eARC.
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From the cover to the synopsis this book drew me in completely! 

Based in the fictional world of Andrandria, Behind the Dragons Veil follows the tale of Queen Annarae who hosts a tournament in order to find a champion to kill the dragon that decimated a fishing village. The tournament takes a personal slant for the Queen who must then marry the champion to appease her loyal council and retain her throne. Filled with magic and intrigue, Behind the Dragons Veil promised to be a captivating read. 

Despite my enjoyment of the basic plot, I found the narrative structure to be confusing. It takes a while to figure out what’s going on and I often found myself reading back because I had misunderstood something. In one case, the appearance of a gift had not been explained and while I understand where it came from in the abstract, I read the same chapter several times before concluding that it had not been mentioned.

Also,certain parts of the narrative read awkwardly.  imagery was good in some places and weird in others. ‘Almost every hole in the spectators faces was ajar.’ 

I found that vital information was provided too late, which left me frustrated. For example the  Lazareans had been mentioned many times before we find out that they are normal humans. The world building also needs some work. We know that this world has magic, but there are also references to technological advances in the form of automatons and the society in general is very patriarchal. While I like the elements individually I do feel that some continuity between the different aspects is needed. There were many recognisable elements to the tale. The Maginari and the Lazarean are basically like wizards and muggles. The Murka is a form of dress that resembles the burka. Instead of drawing me in, the similarities we’re putting me off. 
 
I did not finish this book. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy to review.
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I adore the concept of this book and what it aims to achieve- steampunk fantasy is always a genre I am willing and excited to see more of- however, I am rating 'Behind the Dragon's Veil' as a 2.5/5, because I struggled to connect with the characters and the writing style.

For me, the style of this book felt slow and clunky at times, even in the first half, which feels more polished and revised. Plus. critically, I never got so invested in the story or characters enough though that I could forget I was physically reading the book and this did impact my overall enjoyment.
Overall, I would still recommend it to lovers of Fantasy and/or Steampunk and I love the overall premise, there are some really good ideas here- but for me, they felt buried under repetitive phrases and some rather predictable twists.
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Y'all, this book gave me so many Queen of The Tearling vibes I was THRIVING. You get dragons and magic and intrigue oh my! I can't quite put my finger on it, but despite my having such a strong comparison this also felt extremly fresh. Perhaps it was the writing style, I couldn't really tell you. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
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Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book. I found this book interesting, the magic system was very interesting to me and something that I have not seen in a book for a while but the plot fell a little flat for me, and the I didn’t really enjoy the characters. I gave this book a 3.5 stars.
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This novel was an enjoyable read, about a woman who has been hidden most of her life and now has to rule a kingdom. However, nothing is as it seems, for there are those who have secrets. Annarae is an artificer and after the recent death of her parents, has become the queen of Andrandria. The council wants her to marry, to secure the line, but Annarae is more concerned about her people and gathering allies to her side, for she cannot trust the council. She decides to have a tournament, in which the winner will marry her, but she has other plans. Fallagiocrus, known as Fall, has made a grave error and plans to atone. Kilin is a battle mage, but has lapses in his memory, for what is beneath the skin is more dangerous than anyone could imagine, There is also the mysterious Reign, who has been watching out for Annarae for many years under the direction of her father. All these individuals will come together to discover the truth about the dragon attack and find away to live in peace. Action, Adventure, dragons, magic, and much more come together in the riveting tale!
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This book greatly confused me. I felt like I was reading a fantasy sci-fi. (Though in all fairness I selected it based on its qualifier Steampunk Fantasy.) It seemed like I was reading a book with no shelf to call home.

Andrandria is a country of kings and queens and knights. The main villain is an evil sorcerer. The landscape is pictorial. And there are dragons! Totally high fantasy. 

BUT--those dragons are inter-dimensional beings that travel through space and time. That weaponry? Futuristic and sci-fi for sure.

Oh, and let's just throw in some steampunk airships and automatons for the giggles.

The thing is--it worked. The elements all managed to jive together harmoniously. All the genres were living in one big, happy world together.

I just wish I could say the same for the writing continuity. The first half of the novel was really polished. The author pulled out all the stops on using antiquated verbs to really capture that intellectual feel.

However, the second half seemed like it had never seen the editor and suddenly had profanity out of no real necessity. I was confounded.

The ending also had an overload of "but wait, there's more" twists (which really weren't surprising). It was overall a very perplexing emotional state while reading, and I'm still not sure if the story was strong enough to keep me reading the series. Time will tell when the next book is published.
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This story has all things awesome: dragon shapeshifters, powerful scorcerers, steampunk contraptions, overthrown queens, exiled kings and tons of twists! 

The story unfolds gradually, and is told through 3 different POV. Some characters have secrets, so their narrative is full of hints and not-fully explained thoughts, which confused me a bit, especially at the mid-way point where a lot of the action takes place and some pretty significant revelations are made. Also, the shift in POV was sometimes jarring, and I'd have to re-read a bit.

I liked the growth of our MC Ann, and how she was strong and brave, but not obnoxiously so. Finding out about the other characters and how their identities added to the plot was interesting, too.

The main conflict was resolved, but there are still loose ends to deal with for the second book. I made the mistake of reading the excerpt of the second book, and it left off with a cliffhanger! 

Overall, this had some unique characters, which I'd like to learn more about, and interesting plot ideas. Although a bit confusing at times, this was an entertaining read.  3.5 stars
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I realized my reading tastes have changed over the course of my life. I had no expectations going into this one. But this is a book I've always dreamed of reading. Riveting from start to finish. I was there with these lovable characters, in this immersive world, and that was all that mattered. I will reread this and I can't wait for the next one!
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Written by Christina Jolly, Behind the Dragon's Veil is a steampunk novel about a princess who was hidden away to protect her from The Hunter, and a dragon that is out terrorizing the country.

This novel was very, very confusing. The setting was confusing (and I have read other steampunk novels, so it wasn't the steampunk-ness), the world itself was not described to a point where the reader really knows where they are. There are references to machines that are kept very vague and because of that don't seem to add anything to the story.

This was a novel that I really wanted to enjoy, but working through it the lack of clarity kept bringing me out of the story and, overall, made it very hard to read.

If you enjoy steam punk and read a lot of it, perhaps this could be a book for you as you might have a better bases to make it through. Otherwise, this will be a tough read.

I did receive a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A strong first fantasy story that keeps a good pace, has great use of language, and great characters. The plot is the main draw, which is imaginative and engaging. Recommended.

I really appreciate the NetGalley copy for review!!
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I really wanted to read this one based on the cover.  And the story did not disappoint.  It was a tale woven though a lot of characters and its one that I couldn't out down.  I read this in one sitting and can't wait for more! This one reminded me things like The Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, The Wizard of Oz, and others where there's a journey.  This was one epic story! Solid Debut!
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Annarae has lived by herself for 17 years.One day she is crowned queen.Her advisors suggest that she get married to secure her throne but she does not trust the council.
She decides to organize a tournament and to marry the winner who will also have to slay a dragon that is trying to attack her kingdom.
This story follows a few of the fighters and their stories intertwine in this steampunk fantasy.
A good,well written book.
Thankyou Netgalley for this ARC
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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This novel was an enjoyable read, about a woman who has been hidden most of her life and now has to rule a kingdom. However, nothing is as it seems, for there are those who have secrets. Annarae is an artificer and after the recent death of her parents, has become the queen of Andrandria. The council wants her to marry, to secure the line, but Annarae is more concerned about her people and gathering allies to her side, for she cannot trust the council. She decides to have a tournament, in which the winner will marry her, but she has other plans. Fallagiocrus, known as Fall, has made a grave error and plans to atone. Kilin is a battle mage, but has lapses in his memory, for what is beneath the skin is more dangerous than anyone could imagine, There is also the mysterious Reign, who has been watching out for Annarae for many years under the direction of her father. All these individuals will come together to discover the truth about the dragon attack and find away to live in peace. Action, Adventure, dragons, magic, and much more come together in the riveting tale!
Was this review helpful?