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Caged Warrior: Dragon Kings Book One (The Dragon Kings) Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2013
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Fierce battles inside a metal cage comprise the games central to the debut of Piper’s Dragon Kings series. Warrior Leto, of Clan Garnis, who fights for the glory of the Aster Clan, is given the task of making a warrior out of Nynn, of Clan Tigony, who was known as Audrey when she was married and gave birth to a son. Leto must keep her alive through three contests. Both fight for a cause: his, provide shelter for his cousin, hers, to get her son back. But Leto isn’t sure that he can turn this soft woman into a warrior, especially since she doesn’t know what her special powers are or how they work. But as he’s as much a captive as she is, he has no choice but to get into the practice ring with her every day and try to transform her into the fearsome competitor he needs at his side. Piper’s gritty tale of survival and love will appeal to those who like blood-and-sweat fantasy and romance. --Pat Henshaw
“This new series is off to a promising start, pairing paranormal elements with a gladiator setting. Thef usion of the two will appeal to fans of both paranormal and fantasy. The tension and developing relationship between Audrey and Leto will keep pages turning at a fast clip, and the setup for future books is sure to have readers coming back for more.” (RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars)
“Fierce battles inside a metal cage comprise the games central to the debut of Piper’s Dragon Kings series. Piper’s gritty tale of survival and love will appeal to those who like blood-and-sweat fantasy and romance.” (Booklist)
“Fans of gritty paranormal romance will appreciate the strong and emotional story, which builds slowly to an exciting conclusion.” (Publishers Weekly)
“If you’ve become jaded toward serial paranormal romances, you should give the genre one last try. Caged Warrior is an excitingly fresh beginning to what promises to be a quality new series. The story is complex and demanding, the hero is both brutal and somehow innocent, and the premise, well, that’s just insane. The plot has a really nice twist, a shock that occurs that’ll have you dashing through the pages to find out what happens. Highly recommended.” (All About Romance)
“This book was the bomb. It is raw, it is violent and it made me cry like a right old ninny... Brilliant. Give this new series a try, you won’t be disappointed!” (Urban Book Thief)
“I was captivated from start to finish... Lindsey Piper does an outstanding job,making this new world vividly ingrained in your imagination and creating a story that will have you riveted to the pages.” (Tome Tender Book Blog)
"Ms. Piper’s new series promises a peek into a fascinating paranormal world. The chemistry between Leto and Audrey is brutal and explosive. She paints their story against a gritty background of survival at any cost. Readers will snap this one up only to be ravenous for more." (Coffee Time Romance)
“I loved it. Seriously one of my new favorite series. The characters were extremely well developed, and the world-building was solid and fierce.” (USA Today)
“Caged Warrior is unlike anything I have ever read. It is a truly epic read that I highly recommend. I cannot wait to see what Lindsey Piper has in store for her next Dragon Kings book and I plan on reading and re-reading this book as the years go by. This is a story to remember!” (Coffee and Characters)
Top customer reviews
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The one problem that made me knock a star off is a lot of this novel is introspective with action only done in small bursts. When you're dealing with a book that has the main characters as gladiators you expect a lot of fighting. It felt like the battle scenes weren't nearly as fleshed out as they could have been. Instead, much of the time you're in Nynn or Leto's head hearing what they think of each other or they are speculating on their past (which isn't very pleasant but gets covered over and over again). It slowed down the story a lot. I know this is technically a romance and there needs to be a certain amount of development to grow the H/h and help them get together, but if you're going to use a premise like this one you should use it for all it's worth. A faster pace with more intense action would have been helpful.
The main things that kept me going is I did enjoy the romance and the world-building was fascinating. There isn't anything quite like this series out there. Plus there is plenty more to build on for future books with other characters. There were several that grew on me throughout the course of the book with their intriguing personalities...and a couple I hope get what's coming to them in future installments. The bad guys in this book were definitely bad and you have no difficulty hating them.
I'd be willing to check out the next novel in this series to see how it goes. If the pacing picks up, then this author has the potential to become one of my favorites. For those looking for a new PNR series with some unique elements to the genre, you might give this one a try. I'm certainly glad I read it.
Audrey MacLaren is part of a demon race called the Dragon Kings. After being forced to live amongst humans, she builds a marriage and a home with a human named Caleb. Audrey conceives and delivers the first natural-born Dragon King and that fact alone makes her and her son, Jack, a target to quell a sadistic scientist's curiosity. During an experiment, she accidentally releases a blast of power changing her position from lab-rat to warrior in her jailer's eyes.
Leto Garnis is a Cage Warrior, his keeper's champion. He is tasked with training Audrey MacLaren into a warrior and is told that if he kept her alive for three matches, his jailers would see to the care of his ailing sister.
This story grabbed me by my hypothetical balls and kept me riveted. The story starts off with Audrey in a cell, spitting mad, and filthy. Leto approaches her cell and her instinct is to charge at him with a make-shift shiv, a strike to his face. Leto retaliates, sending her flying through the air and slamming into the ground. He has never met anyone like her. Rage, vengeance, and the will to escape and rescue her son commands her every move. His main goal is to train her to ensure his sister's care and although her defiance amuses him, it also stunts his progress in turning her into a successful warrior. One that will fight along side him with the same obedience and strength as he has done for over 20 years.
This book is brutal. the synopsis alone should tell you that the characters will fight in hand-to-hand combat. Gender be damned when it comes to the punches and blows that gets dished out in this story. The characters are so strong in this story, their physical strength and their prowess make each character a formidable one. I love how the main H/h's morals and stance on life switch half-way through the book allowing the main H/h to fully understand where each other is coming from. It made for a much more believable transition from trainer and student, as harsh as some of those scenes were, to lovers who cared and would die for each other. If you are someone who is sensitive to female characters getting beaten, then you may want to shy away from this read. However, the fact that regardless of all the brute strength and experience Leto has as a warrior, Audrey's intelligence, strength, and her determination to save her son makes you cheer for her rather than pity her.
This book was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to reading the next installment in this new series.
Most recent customer reviews
I've had this print book in my TBR pile ever since it came out (did you see that gorgeous cover? Yes, that is why I bought it.Read more