Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales from Verania #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 30th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Fantasy/Comedy
Page Count: 400 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.
Life is good.
Until it’s not.
Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.
And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.
Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.
The first book in the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy (because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever).
T.J. Klune wrote in a recent blog post: “These books will always first and foremost be absurd comedies. Always. However, there is an emotional heft and a sense of urgency that wasn’t in Lightning.”
I swear I highlight more in the Tales of Verania stories than any other books.
Once again told entirely from Sam’s POV A Destiny of Dragons picks up roughly a year after The Lighting-Struck Heart ends…
I was still only an apprentice. I was still only twenty-one years old. But I could do things that no one else could do. And even though I was sure all the stories spoken about me weren’t true, it would hopefully add to whatever legend of me they’d built in their heads. Morgan had taught me it was better to have people fear you a little than be indifferent toward you. I had never really understood what he’d meant until that moment.
…and Sam’s gypsy grandmother has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars.
“It’s a lot to take in for anyone,” Morgan said. “To find out you have some prophecy hanging over your head.”
“Anyway,” Gary said. “This whole prophecy thing. Maybe it’s made up. Maybe it’s not. Maybe a star dragon did come out of the sky and tell your crazy grandma that you were going to be born and do some shit, or whatever it said.”
“Save the world from falling into darkness?” I said, trying not to be amused but failing miserably.
“Right,” Gary said dismissively. “Saving the world and stuff. Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But you know what is true?”
He looked right at me, eyes impossibly wide and glistening. “You’ll always have us by your side,” he whispered.
While dealing with the whole prophecy business, Sam is also beginning to understand that just as Morgan and Randall are hundreds of years old because of the strength of their magic, there is a very good chance he will remain young while the humans he knows and loves age and die before him.
“He will die, Sam. The one you love.”
“It’s inevitable,” Vadoma said. “The passing. You are a wizard, Sam. Your life… is not your own. The magic in you. It will prolong your years until most everyone you love has passed through the veil and ascended to the beyond. Randall is almost seven centuries old. Morgan almost three. Their cornerstones. They… learned from them what they could. They loved them deep in their hearts. And then the time came in which they had to say goodbye. Because cornerstones are just a beginning, Sam. They build you toward becoming what you’re supposed to be. And then you have to let them go. And when they don’t have magic in their veins, when they’re ordinary, you will lose them sooner.”
Regardless of the weight of all that, the story is very funny, and quite thoughtful, but not as tears-triggering as The Lighting-Struck Heart was. There was no Wookiee cry face for me here (and I’m actually quite thankful for that, really, T.J. – thank you). Usually when there was a moment when feelings could have rushed forward, something would happen that was more humorous to tamp that down.
“Nope,” Gary said. “Fuck no. Fuck this whole thing. Fuck you. Fuck them. Fuck this place. Gary out.”
Obviously it’s only the start of the journey – there’s more to come…more battles to be fought, more lives to be saved in The Consumption of Magic, and A Wish Upon the Stars.
“I have awoken, O human child. In this forest deep, in the dark of the wild. And I have seen what is in your heart. Take heed of my warning: you are not ready.”
“A warning. All of you will not survive until the end. There will be loss, Sam. And it will burn like nothing has ever burned before. You must remember to keep to the light, even when the dark begins to curl around your feet.”
TJ has hinted in several FB and blog posts that someone important in this might not make it out alive, so I am trying to prepare for that to possibly go down.
“Sam,” he said quietly. “What are you going to do?”
When I spoke, my voice was strong, more so than I expected it to be. “I’ve got a douchebag monologuing villain whose ass I need to kick, a kingdom to save, and a godsdamned destiny of dragons to face. You can sure as shit bet I’m going to do everything I have to.”
Bottom line is I loved it. Also…Not going to lie, I basically played this in my mind with Michael Lesley’s character voices the entire time. I honestly can’t wait to hear his Zero voice. But I digress.
So to recap: Sam has a Destiny, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he has his friends at his back and is ready to kick ass. A terrific start to the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy.
Prophecies, no matter who they come from, no matter what they say, are never written in stone. You can change the future, Sam. No matter what anyone else says, nothing is set in stone. You are your own destiny.
NOTE: This is not a standalone – do not attempt to read this without first reading The Lightning-Struck Heart.