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Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1)


(Songs of Chaos Book 1)

By Michael R. Miller

My stars: 5!

Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean.

Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within.

But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows.

Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon’s magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.

Summary from Goodreads

I was recommended this book by Rachael over on! Here is her review of this book: Ascendant (Songs of Chaos, Book 1).

Also, take a look at an alternate cover idea: 😍

I liked that the rider-dragon relationship is not just one-sided/benefiting one or the other. The dragons and riders are reliant on each other in multiple ways. The dragons are not just the riders’ methods of transport but their sources of magic and friendship. The dragon counts on the rider to help their bond- and thus their magic- grow. 

Ash and Holt are both so new to the world of dragon riders that you can learn along with them. There is a very detailed magic system, which I appreciated as it helped me understand that world more. There was one time where the detail got a little heavy (when they were talking of the amounts of dragon core the rider can use at the different levels) and I had to reread that and let my brain figure it out later. I think that Miller’s magic system has several different aspects and spells to make it unique from many of the other dragon rider stories. I was impressed with the creatures he created to make up the “scourge.” I cannot remember reading any books with monsters like those; at times the insects grossed me out!

And I loved the use of the family cookbook as a plot device. Holt carries around everywhere as a landline to his family. I almost feel that it became a part of him. Sometimes I was wondering, “where did that book go? Did he lose it?” 😀

I was also impressed that the book is rather family friendly. Very little language- “D***” was used only a couple of times, and “b*****d” was used a few times referring to a character who actually was illegitimate- and nothing behind friendly hugs and one peck on the cheek. Overall, an impressively clean book with a fantastic plotline! If you loved Eragon, you will probably love this book too!

Now, time for a nerd moment: Which dragon would I want to be?

If I were one of the four types of dragon in Ascendant’s world: Earth, Fire, Storm, Mystic, I would be a storm dragon. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating, and magical feeling standing outside, arms flung wide and face upturned, with the wind whipping around you, and the first drops of rain begin to fall. You stand out there, laughing at the clouds and the cold spatterings of raindrops. Maybe you even twirl or splash through puddles. The rain speaks of freshness, renewal, and nourishment, and it is wonderful. 

However, if I could make up my own type, I would definitely choose a solar dragon, whose power comes from the sun. Almost without fail, every time I go outside and there is even the slightest hint of the sun, I will try to absorb its rays. Flinging your arms out wide, you turn your face up to the sun like a flower. It feels so warm and soothing, you wish you could take it into you and hold onto it for future gray and rainy days; sometimes it seems we can never get enough of the brilliant light! Perhaps you feel inspired to run through the grass barefoot, a giddy smile on your face as the sun-kissed grass tickles your feet. Sunshine encourages growth, warming the soil for the plants and warming the water for swimming! 

They both have magic, in their own ways, the storm and the sun. The storm has a more somber, veiled type of magic, while the sun has a brighter, open, and more childlike feel to its own. As the sun is a fiery star, I wonder if the fire dragons can gain power from it. Or, perhaps, maybe there will be a type of solar dragon in the world of Ascendant. You never know…

What type of dragon would you be, and why?

Thanks for letting me geek out! 😇

-The Nerdy Bookworm

2 thoughts on “Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1)”

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