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The Dragon's Price (A Transference Novel)

Review

The Dragon's Price (A Transference Novel)

THE DRAGON’S PRICE begins the Transference series by Bethany Wiggins, a series set in a high-fantasy world with, as the title suggests, dragons. The main character, Sorrowlynn, is a Faodarian princess who is destined to die by her own hand, according to the wizard Melchior. An outsider in her own family, Sorrowlynn finds no love from her mother or father, and has lived a sheltered, lonely life in the palace growing up. However, she has a set future: when she is old enough, she will agree to marry one of the princes of Anthar --- or so everyone believes. This betrothal custom has occurred for generations, in order to sustain the spell that binds the fire dragon --- a beast that terrorized both peoples years before--- and keep both kingdoms safe.

"The different people that inhabit Bethany Wiggins’ fictional world are unique, and their special customs and traditions are well developed in a way that adds life to the setting with their distinct characteristics."

However, Sorrowlynn has another option: instead, she can choose to offer herself as a sacrifice to the dragon, a certain death which no princess has ever chosen. In the heat of the moment, she follows her emotions and declares her intention to sacrifice herself. Bound to her decision by magic, she is sent to the dragon’s cave --- but is joined by Golmarr, one of the Antharian princes, who, out of compassion, comes along in the hopes of protecting the princess. As Sorrowlynn and Golmarr attempt to escape the cave, they discover the dragon’s treasure (although it is not what they expected) and their actions set in motion a series of events that shape their characters and their destinies.

THE DRAGON’S PRICE is an interesting novel, and it grows in strength as the story continues. At first, the beginning of the novel feels slightly rushed --- the action picks up very quickly, and without a good sense of the identities of the characters, the events at the beginning of the novel do not resonate with the reader as much as they could. The character development at the beginning of the novel also feels somewhat thin --- Sorrowlynn and Golmarr seem flat in the first several chapters of the novel, and this weakens their eventual growth as characters, as the reader does not have a good sense of how far they have come without a knowledge of where they started as characters.

However, the setting and unique aspects of the plot add strength to THE DRAGON’S PRICE. The different people that inhabit Bethany Wiggins’ fictional world are unique, and their special customs and traditions are well developed in a way that adds life to the setting with their distinct characteristics. In addition, one of the most creative elements of the story was the idea of a dragon’s treasure, and this original idea, very central to the story, adds interest and twists to the plot. The dragons themselves are also fascinating, with each one having different powers and “personalities,” so to speak. The novel seems geared more towards teens ages 13-15 --- the novel is based more on plot than on the deep character development of novels for older teens, but the romance between Sorrowlynn and Golmarr is also a prominent feature of the story. Overall, any fantasy reader with an interest in a quick, fast-paced read should take a look at THE DRAGON’S PRICE, and keep an eye out for future novels in the series. The writing and depth of the story seem to grow as the book continues, making it likely that the books to come in the series will feature added depth and strength in plot, characters and writing.

Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member on February 21, 2017

The Dragon's Price (A Transference Novel)
(Transference #1)
by Bethany Wiggins

  • Publication Date: February 21, 2017
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0399549811
  • ISBN-13: 9780399549816