I received this book in 2012 as ARR. I am just getting around to reviewing it & would like to apologize to the author for the delay.
I thought that I was over my swords and sorcery phase but this book managed to pleasantly surprise me! However, some things did detract from the enjoyment of reading the book, such as:
Editing issues. I started marking the instances to make sure that I wasn't just thinking that because the book's an indie. I wasn't!
The book started with a pile of info dump as huge as Mt. Tibidabo. While it was done in a smart way, it is still an info dump. This also included some unnecessary details about a dragon's waste canals and egg-laying!
The concept of names having power was discussed in the beginning but both Delno and Geneva gave away their names too freely later. May seem like a minor issue but it bugged me.
There was way too much explanation when it came to certain things, such as the blacksmith explaining how he crafted the sword. It seemed as if the author wanted us to know that they had done their research on sword-making.
The MC suggested that they use a dream-state that dragons could enter to communicate with each other. It seemed implausible that no other dragon Rider had thought of that before.
The love interest of the MC was a woman several millennia older than him. When she first appeared, she was shown to be the flirtatious type. Later, the flirtatious type was written to mean the same thing as being immature. She started behaving out of character and immaturely once she entered into a relationship with the guy. It does not mesh well with the image of the woman that the author tried to create. She fought well and was a Rider herself who was constantly underestimated by others because of her gender. Why she started behaving like a teenager was beyond me.
The dragons who had bonded to the other members of the group started taking orders from the dragon bonded to the MC ever since he had accepted the leadership mantle. This had two issues:
a. It goes against everything that the author said previously about dragons-Rider relationship. The dragon does not consider logic when it comes to their Rider. Both can't be true at the same time.
b. This was sprung upon the reader. If introduced slowly, it would have been more dramatic.
What I liked:
The logical way in which a dragon Rider's longer lifespan and magic were explained. They both came from the dragon and reduced how long she would live.
That Delno took the role of the leader when there was another much more seasoned Rider who could have led the group. The author explained it later and the explanation made sense.
A joke that I was reminded of while reading these lines:
"It was so warm inside of the dragon as to be almost uncomfortable"