Book Review: Novice Dragoneer by E.E. Knight

Novice Dragoneer (Dragoneer Academy, #1)

Paperback, 512 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Ace Books

Earlier this year, I discovered this book and contacted the publisher in order to receive an advanced reading copy as I was extremely interested in reading and reviewing this book.  I’m very happy to report that this was a fantastic read!  The fact that I did receive an uncorrected proof from the publisher does not affect my honest review.

I had originally planned to read this last month so that I could post my review closer to the release date, but life happens and I only just picked this tome up four days ago to start it.  I found myself thinking about it whenever I was unable to read it.  The main character, Ileth, was fascinating in her ability to find trouble and get out of it.  I liked the character development between her and the other characters found within as well as appreciating her own growth.

My favorite parts of this book were the characters and story, which sat in between thick paragraphs of description and world building.  I enjoy world building, and this world of Knight’s was intriguing, but I found myself skimming over almost entire pages at certain points because it was description or how a character would look back on the events later in life.  There were many asides to explain things that I, honestly, didn’t care about.  Like how much the money was worth.  Or the distance between things not relevant to the story in the moment.  Perhaps this was tightened up in the final book, but I haven’t had a chance to compare them.

That being said, I am certainly looking forward to where the author takes the story and these characters.  Certainly, there were some fabulous ideas and cultures.  And DRAGONS!  I’d like to learn more about them and their history.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long for the sequel!


In the first book in an exciting and charming new coming-of-age fantasy series from the author of the Age of Fire series, an impoverished girl enters into a military order of dragonriders, but her path won’t be as easy or as straightforward as she expected.

Fourteen-year-old Ileth grew up in an orphanage, and thanks to her stutter was never thought to be destined for much beyond kitchen work and cleaning. But she’s dreamed of serving with the dragons ever since a childhood meeting with a glittering silver dragon and its female dragoneer. For years she waits, and as soon as she is old enough to join, Ileth runs away to become a novice dragoneer at the ancient human-dragon fortress of the Serpentine.

While most of her fellow apprentices are from rich and influential families, Ileth must fight for her place in the world, even if it includes a duel with her boss at the fish-gutting table. She’s then sent off to the dragon-dancers after a foolish kiss with a famously named boy and given charge of a sickly old dragon with a mysterious past. But she finds those trials were nothing when she has to take the place of a dead dragoneer and care for his imprisoned dragon in enemy lands. . .

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