Having thoroughly enjoyed its predecessor, Darkwind, I was eager to get my hands on Dawnstar by Renee Dugan, and it did not disappoint. I flew through the pages and finished the book by early afternoon the day after it released. To say that I enjoyed this installment is an understatement, and I would highly recommend the Starchaser Saga’s first two books to anyone who enjoys high fantasy.
Dugan continues expounding on the premise and themes she’d laid out in Darkwind, and each come to electrifying crossroads in this new novel. I was left needing to know where she’ll go next as my expectations continue to be met and exceeded with each book. Dawnstar is everything I’ve wanted in a single fantasy story.
Cistine is a well-crafted female lead who strives to be the best princess she can be all the while trying to figure out who she really is, which is something we all relate to. She’s powerful because she is who she is…and because she’s a woman. It’s refreshing to read a heroine who doesn’t depend on being as physically capable as her male counterparts. Instead, she uses her own wit and inner strength to overcome her obstacles, and she does it with fire and royal finesse.
This installment is also written in a dual point-of-view. While I was hesitant at first seeing as I don’t usually like when a new PoV gets lobbed into successive books, Dugan was able to make me care for Ashe just as much as I did Cistine. I was intrigued by Ashe’s struggles and own story because it was directly tied to the plot at large. The new characters introduced were well-realized and stood on their own two feet – Aden in particular.
While I do feel like toward the ending of the novel, the events were thrust upon us suddenly without too much lead up, the events themselves, the climax, were simply *chef’s kiss*. The twists and turns were masterfully done, and as I finished the last pages, I had to take a moment to sort out all my thoughts. I wasn’t expecting to feel so deeply for these characters, and I am so very thankful I decided to pick up this series!
In all, I cannot wait until the next installment!
Buy Dawnstar HERE!
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