ARC Review: The Iron Crown (Dragon Spirits #1) by L.L. MacRae

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.25/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


Fenn’s first and only memory is finding himself in the middle of a forest, face to face with a dragon spirit mocking him, all knowledge gone apart from his own name.

Lost and confused, his only hope for answers is Calidra—a woman living on the edge of the world with her partner. Forced to return home when her father dies, Calidra has put off facing her estranged mother for seven years, and she begrudgingly helps Fenn, forging papers for him so he can avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors.
But her mother is the least of her worries when they discover an ancient enemy is rising again. It should be impossible with the Iron Crown in power—and Fenn is terrified he might unwittingly be playing a part in the war’s resurgence.
Surrounded by vengeful spirits and powerful magic, Fenn’s desperate attempt to find his way home might well alter the fate of Tassar, and every power in it.


I received an advanced reader copy, provided by the author for an honest review.
This did not impact my rating in any way.

The author provided me with a copy of the audiobook, and while I appreciated that sentiment, I struggle with audio’s only, so I decided to buy the ebook as well and follow along with the audio the author provided so that I can get the experience of Whispersync that I love so much.

When I read the novella, The Citrine Key, which takes place 5 years before the events of The Iron Crown, I mentioned that I got a few Elder Scrolls: Skyrim vibes. The vibes that I got came from a certain place and a certain spirit dragon, while the vibe that I got is no longer present, the story was just as fascinating. I mean, griffens that TALK! I was excited about seeing griffens in Thiago Abdalla’s Ashes of Avarin series, but now I get GRIFFENS THAT ACTUALLY TALK! I was pretty thrilled to see that since griffens aren’t used often.

The narration by RJ Bayley was very good, he had some great character voices and one of those had a very familiar sounding voice. Fenn’s voice reminded me a lot of a younger Ewan McGregor, so I instantly loved him. Speaking of characters, there were a few, namely, Jisyel, Sarron, Toriaken and Ashothka that could possibly been inspired by Joe Abercrombie, Tolkien and even… George Lucas?!? Maybe I’m just grasping at straws like I tend to do sometimes, but the do resemble popular characters. I also loved that Apollo and Malora from The Citrine Key novella, not only showed up, but had a part in the story. I really like Apollo and was happy to see him!

There’s a reason this was a finalist in the 2021 SPFBO-7, this was a very enjoyable multiple POV story that had, not only taking griffens as I’ve already mentioned, but as the series name hints… spirit dragons as well! This had such good story telling and characters and I would definitely recommend this to all readers, because MacRae is an author on the rise that should be on everyone’s TBR.

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