Title: Legend of the Oceina Dragon
Author: J.F. Jenkins
Publisher: Astraea Press
Publication Date: Feb 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Summary from Goodreads:
Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he’s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn’t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she¹s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.
When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.
I instantly wanted to read this book because there are not many books where dragons are involved, well not unless you are going to read an epic fantasy title. So I was super excited about a book that featured romance and shape shifter males that turned into dragons. This one certainly is a mix between YA and Adult so I would say maybe save this one for older teens because there is some mention of things that go on behind the scenes, if you know what I mean.
Right from the start I was really enjoying this one, I loved both Darien and Tai. Both characters seemed so independent but yet needing of something that was missing in their life. After the first 20 pages there was a major twist in the plot that I’m still not sure whether I cared for this twist or not. At first I was outraged that Tai would even behave in such a way, sure I understood her motivation for doing it but really?! From here on out I found myself falling into the pattern of not really loving what was going on. Sure I really enjoyed learning about the dragons and who they worked and the different clans but I was shying away from the main characters because it seemed that they would change who they were to try to fit whatever molds the author put in front of them. This really started to annoy me but I kept reading because I was hoping for some of the stronger parts of the book to bring the book back to a good place.
Eventually, I did start to enjoy the book again after taking a day away from it in order to calm my slight attitude problem with the beginning of the story. I actually started to enjoy the relationship that Darien and Tai were having even though I felt like Tai was forced to submit to Darien too much, she was suppose to be this great, strong character and at times I certainly felt that slip a little. I did start to realize that no matter how strong someone is they do slip in their perfection from time to time and so I guess I allowed Tai and Darien to have their slip ups. I did enjoy the relationship pattern that they eventually reached though.
Overall, I did have some issues with this book. There were some editing errors that seemed to have been overlooked through the editing process but I have hope that those will be fixed if the edition ever re-releases. Then you know I had some trouble with exactly who the characters were, thought I did like the romance. Another small issue I had was how much the influence of God was used in this book, it seemed that the author threw God in several times and kept repeating that God gave Darien some of his gifts. I just felt like this was repeated a little too much for my personal taste. I know this review sounds very negative at this point but I promise there were some good things about this book and I do plan on reading the second book in this series so that I can see if the author grew at all as a writer between the first book in this series and the second book. I still have hope with this cast of characters because I do want to continue to see them so something certainly did go right in this book. Do to the mixed feelings on this book this one gets 3.5 hearts from me for having some flaws but still keeping me intrigued.