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redheart

Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. Their unexpected friendship is risky in Leland Province, where drought has stripped the land and superstition has cowed its people. And the danger only grows. Fordon Blackclaw,Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. Their unexpected friendship is risky in Leland Province, where drought has stripped the land and superstition has cowed its people. And the danger only grows. Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, resents Leland's time-worn venur system. He has inflamed tensions between dragons and humans to the brink of war. He wants to trample humans into utter submission, or wipe them off the face of the land. Anger erupts, scorching innocent lives in its path. When Riza is threatened, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. But first, he must confront his past and the future he stopped believing in. He must claim his destiny....

Title : Redheart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780983108672
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 294 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Redheart Reviews

  • Evie
    2019-01-01 10:47

    Redheart is the first book in Jackie Gamber's Leland Dragon Series published by Seventh Star Press. It's an excellent YA fantasy adventure, full of magic, intrigue, excitement, love and fast-paced action. This beautiful and heart-warming story will no doubt enthrall readers of all ages! Kallon Redheart is a red dragon, last in the line of reds and a rightful leader of the Leland province. He's a loner, who long given up on dragons and humans alike. After witnessing his parents being murdered, he decided he's better off on his own, far away from any human villages or dragon communities. He does not wish to be bothered by anyone, he enjoys his self-imposed solitude and the sense of peaceful emptiness his secluded cave provides. Riza Diantus is in many ways Kallon's opposite. She's a young female on a quest to find meaning in life. She always felt that life was more than just getting married at young age and bearing children. Her mind was constantly wandering beyond the borders of the village she lived in. Her father often scolded her for not thinking like a normal girl should. He wanted her to marry, have children and lead an ordinary life. Refusing to consent to her father's wishes, aching to explore the world beyond her hometown and experience some unforgettable adventures, Riza escaped from home and set out on a journey that would change her life forever. She's brave and strong-willed, but her uncontrollable curiosity often gets her into all sorts of trouble and so she frequently needs to be rescued. Needless to say, she's in trouble when she first meets Kallon and she becomes the sole reason for our red dragon to finally leave his cave and face the world. Kallon and Riza develop a strange, but wonderful bond. Annoyed with Riza's noisy and nosy attitude at first, Kallon soon realizes that he's enchanted by her genuine and caring character. As the story progresses, these two get more and more attached to each other and they find their strange and unique friendship oddly comforting. But of course, it would all be too easy without the bad guys throwing obstacles in their way, right? And so we're introduced to Jastin Armitage, a vicious dragon hunter, who has some serious beef with the dragon kind. He, too, lost his family when he was a child. His family was mercilessly killed by a dragon, and since then Jastin is a sworn dragon hater, set on killing every last one of them. And if he gets payed for that? Well, that's even better! As bad to the bone as he might sound, Armitage is in truth a very complicated and hard to read character, who at times shows a great capacity for affection and love. He's not your typical black character, who is evil for the sake of being evil. Quite to the contrary, he's the kind of character that often makes you wonder which path would he have chosen to follow, if his parents haven't been brutally killed in front of his eyes. Things get even more complicated when Jastin meets Riza and seems to be smitten with her from the very first moment that he lays his eyes upon her. Being dark and evil as he is, he doesn't let his feelings show easily, but he does a great deal to help Riza every time our damsel fins herself in distress. Tension rises between dragons and humans, the province is on the verge of war. The Dragon Council Leader, Blackclaw, is using the situation to strengthen his leadership and fulfill his self-seeking ambitions. Riza finds herself thrown into the chaos of the human-dragon conflict. Accused of being a spy, she's held captive in the Wing Valley, the oldest of all dragon communities. Not only her freedom, but also her life is in great danger. To free her, Kallon has to get out of his comfort zone and find in himself how to be the leader he's destined to be.* Redheart is a captivating and enthralling book. A lot of things were done right; the language is beautiful, the writing is solid, the pacing is great, the characters, while sometimes their actions were a little haphazard and unpredictable, are fully fleshed out with their own unique complexities. That's especially true in Jastin's case. What a brilliant character he is! He's not 100% bad, nor 100% good. Just when you think you have him all figured out, he does something so unpredictable that you find yourself gasping or pulling your hair out. I think Jastin is one of the main reasons I thoroughly enjoyed this book, he turned an already wonderful fantasy story, into a total page-turner. I just had to keep on reading to find out what will happen to him! I do hope there will be plenty of Jastin in the second installment of the Leland Dragon Series.Jackie Gamber has a fantastic way with words. She doesn't just tell the story, she paints it with her words. The scenes, the characters, the places.. they're so vivid and real, you can almost taste the fresh lake water, feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin! It's like she was born to write fantasy stories! It truly is a great and enjoyable piece of YA fiction that promises a lot from future books in the series. Jackie built a wonderful world filled with colorful dragons, magic, interesting characters and intriguing places. Her book, even though intended for younger readers, can easily be enjoyed by adults of all ages. In my opinion Leland Dragon Series has a huge potential and if Jackie keeps up the great work I'm pretty sure that the next books in the series will be even better. I'm so looking forward to reading them!

  • Ranting Dragon
    2018-12-31 06:47

    http://www.rantingdragon.com/redheart...Have you ever read a book that you absolutely adored, but when asked to explain why you loved it, you can’t think of any reason? In fact, you can probably think of a couple reasons you should have hated the book instead. That happens to me every now and then, and I call these books guilty pleasures.This makes reviewing hard. I absolutely adored Redheart. It is the first volume in a young adult fantasy series written by Jackie Gamber, titled The Leeland Dragon Series. Redheart was first published in 2008, but the series was never continued. Seventh Star Press, a lovely and relatively new small publisher, picked up the series and has just re-released Redheart, with the second volume, Sela, to follow near the end of the year.Big humans with wingsRedheart is an amazing book that I read in one long session because I couldn’t put it away, and yet I can more easily think of reasons why you shouldn’t love it.This starts from the very first page, when the dragons in the book are introduced. I make a point of disliking any dragons that resemble humans too closely. After all, dragons are supposed to be awful, powerful, scary beasts that breathe fire and eat humans for breakfast. They should absolutely not be like Gamber’s dragons: a race of big humans with wings, who feel human emotions and are prone to intrigue and conspiracy. Or worse, are romantically involved with humans.If you look past these unlikely dragons, however, Redheart is quite the entertaining read. The story starts when Riza, a human girl with an adventurous spirit, leaves her parents to travel to the heart of Leland Province. When she is attacked by bandits on the road, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart saves her life. The ensuing friendship leads the two of them on a dangerous journey into the city of dragons.Reasons to hate it …Redheart has some obvious flaws, which can probably be attributed to the fact that it’s a novel aimed for a young adult audience. Though most characters are really interesting, some of them—especially the bad guys—are stereotyped and shallow. Plot devices seem farfetched at times, with completely unexpected and unlikely twists. In other situations, unexpected might be good, but when the entire story leads to a very simple solution and, without reason, Kallon takes the hard way around the problem, it becomes a bit annoying.… and reasons to love it!Then why did I love this book so much? I believe the main reasons are the story and the way it is told. Gamber has a very gentle and subtle writing style. Before you know what’s happening, this writing has lured you into loving the characters and their dilemmas. The romance between the human girl and dragon boy is an example of this. It is handled in that same subtle way. You will find none of “Oh Edward, I don’t care that you are a bloodsucking monster who wants to suck me dry every time we kiss, I just love you!” in this book. Instead, the characters handle their love realistically, developing a friendship and trying to ignore the love they feel.Like an onionWhile disguised as an entertaining YA story about dragons, the thing that struck me most about Gamber’s writing is how many deep themes she manages to convey in her gentle words. In a light way, Redheart explores themes like death, rape, and imprisonment. Skillfully woven into the story is a racist dictator who doesn’t shy back from killing half-breed dragons to further his own goals. This adds a rather deep layer to the otherwise shallow story.Despite this extra layer, Redheart may still not be the most intelligent read. However, it is definitely an entertaining and enthralling one. Redheart’s world, story, and pacing turned this novel into a page-turner. After a while, even her dragons started to grow on this fastidious reader. If you enjoy dragons that aren’t bloodthirsty monsters, you might even fall hopelessly in love with Gamber’s story. At its core, Redheart offers an interesting fantasy world with magic that is explored with more depth as the story develops. Most intriguing, though, is the story of conspiracy in the court of the dragons, and the brewing war between humans and dragons.Why should you read this book?A tale of friendship, romance, courage, and destiny, Redheart surprises with a lot of epic elements hidden in a YA novel that reads like Shrek meets Eragon meets Twilight. This isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, yet I really enjoyed reading it. In fact, The Leeland Dragon Series might become my next big guilty pleasure after Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle ends late this year. Anyone who enjoys reading YA will most likely enjoy Redheart as well.

  • Valerie
    2019-01-07 05:42

    My summary:Kallon Redheart is a red dragon, the last red dragon. His father was the leader of the dragons and it is Kallons destiny to follow him but Kallon hasn’t been seen in the dragon community since his father’s death. He lives in his cave far from the human village or the dragon council and he likes it that way. He prefers to be lonely. It’s easier than dealing with his life since the death of both parents. Enter Riza Diatus, a young girl who has left her own village because she chooses to live a life different than everyone else. She doesn’t want to be forced to marry have children and stay in the same village doing what everyone else does. She wants something else. Then there is Jastin, the dragon slayer, who lost his wife and unborn child to a dragon attack. He is the hired sword and will kill a dragon for anyone with the money to pay him, even other dragons. The three of them converge to play out a story of love, family, destiny and heartbreak.My thoughts:3 starsLet me start by saying that this is not a book I would have picked to read. It is a more traditional fantasy book, similar in genre to Eragon. It’s set in a village atmosphere prior to technology. While one of the main characters in a young women, I wouldn’t call this a YA book. I was asked by Seventh Star Press to read and review this book, which I was happy to do.The first chapter captured my interest with Kallon, the red dragon. Then the book slowed down for me, which was unfortunate because chapter one was only three pages long. I spend the next 30 or 40 pages wanting more of Kallon and a whole lot less of Riza. I never liked Riza. She was trying to be this strong women who left her village and her father to venture out into the world and do things she wants but really she just made a lot of stupid decisions that required either Kallon or Jastin to save her! I was very disappointed in her character. What I did love about this book was the dragon world that Jackie created. I loved the different colors of dragons, the rich traditions, the crystals laced with magic and especially the mystic of the Gold dragon. And Kallon. I loved Kallon. I understood his character and could relate to his feelings. I saw his reluctance to commit to things outside his comfort zone. I loved how his feelings for Riza caused him to do things he didn’t want to do. His anger and jealous towards Jastin was so endearing. They certainly make an interesting group. The other aspect of this book that frustrated me was the ending. I saw the book going in a direction and then it swerved into something totally different. I know it’s fantasy but the twist was a little too much for me.So reading this book was a very different experience for me that what I normally read. While, I liked parts of the book, I can’t give it an outstanding rating. It just didn’t do it for me.

  • Ann
    2019-01-22 02:58

    I picked Readheart up at ConText 21, a speculative fiction convention in Ohio. It's published by Meadowhawk Press, a small press publisher. I had a chance to meet both the author and the publisher.It's Ms. Gamber's first published novel, I believe.I enjoyed Readheart and there is no doubt that Ms. Gamber is a gifted storyteller. The book felt more YA than adult, and I think young people would take to the story (and it's eventual sequels, as it is the first in a series). It's a gentle story although it does contain death and imprisonment and grief and even rape... but its handled in a gentle way. I never found myself horribly worried for any of the good-guy characters. The story itself moves well, and most of the characters are interesting and believable. However, I did have a few issues with the book. The first is probably particular to me, and may not matter to a YA reader. There are 60 chapters in a 300 page book. I would just be getting into a section after a few pages, and BOOM. Chapter change. It broke the flow for me. That alone frustrated me the most. I don't like being tossed out of the story, and chapter changes make you pause and think before diving back in. But an entire book of short chapters one after another never allowed me to get deep enough into the story. I have nothing against short chapters, per-se, but I think they need to be used sparingly.The other is that the bad-guy dragon, Blackclaw is a little too stereotypically bad. There doesn't seem to be a drop of good in him, that could make him a good guy if only he had chosen a different path... so he comes off as a typical brutish, power hungry evil guy... er dragon... who abuses his power, up to and including forcing himself on female dragons (The gloat gloat gloat, be mean to the underling... "Bring me a women!" syndrome.)Contrast with the other bad-guy human, Jastin the dragon hunter, who *does* have something in him that could possibly make him good... the capacity to love... but it's buried under grief and a fatalistic attitude. Ms. Gamber did a wonderful job on Jastin, making him sympathetic while also making us not like him all that much.There are also some scenes outside of the dragon's lands, part of the set-up for the series, that don't have much to do with the story in the novel. I could have skipped over them and still had a complete story. I think it *might* have worked better if we saw some hints of Jastin working for someone else, but only saw him return to his employer's castle at the end of the story to then discover that there is more to this than just his hatred of dragons. But that may be a difference in storytelling methods.But all in all, those are really minor points. The story is quite enjoyable, and I'm glad I picked it up.

  • Sheila
    2019-01-20 04:06

    Book one of the Leland Dragon series, Jackie Gamber’s Redheart imagines an intriguing world of humans and dragons, medieval in feel yet almost modern in the character of changing climate and shadows of fear. Dragons and humans have lived side by side for centuries, but superstition overwhelms memory and common sense all too easily gives way to greed as resources become scarce.The young dragon Kallon Redheart lives apart from his community, rejecting any obligations due to history and struggling to find meaning in life. Meanwhile the human girl, Riza, is fleeing her own community and obligations, rejecting a safe planned future (and marriage) in favor of her dreams. While villagers hire dragon-slayers and dragons plot genocide, chatty Riza and morose Kallon slowly fall into an unlikely friendship that promises danger and hope.The dialog is delightful in this young adult novel and carries the scenes and emotions very effectively. The point of view of dragon protagonist is nicely conveyed, giving a pleasing feel for changes in size, background and perception. And the story behind Kallon’s sorrow is revealed with good timing as Riza falls into greater danger. Riza’s stubborn independence matches Kallon’s delightfully and they make intriguing protagonists.Themes of friendship, honor, duty, love and independence are nicely blended into the novel. Many questions are answered by the final page, giving a pleasing feel of completeness to the tale. But many more questions are raised leaving readers ready and waiting for a sequel.Redheart is a pleasing fantasy with intriguing medieval setting, fun characters, good dialog, happy coincidences and fast-flowing story for readers from middle-grade up.Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel from Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review.

  • Amy
    2019-01-13 03:03

    Redheart is a YA fantasy novel about dragons. Considering most YA fantasy novels these days are about vampires, I was pretty excited about a little, shall we say, change of scenery. Dragons! Kallon is our main dragon character; Riza is our main human character. They meet, unexpectedly, and form a shaky friendship. Neither one of them seems to really get along with the rest of their kind. They are both lonely and hurt, unknowingly waiting for each other. Their friendship takes an interesting journey around the Leland Province, to places that neither of them have ever been, especially Riza. They spend time together, and time apart. Each of them feels pain at the other's sufferings. They both sacrifice much for the other, culminating in the ultimate sacrifice at the very end. From the very start, I had a feeling about Riza. I just knew something would happen to her; she would change. Orman Thistleby, who is Kallon's wizard friend, even hinted that something about Riza was different. Hence, the ending was not much of a surprise to me. Jastin Armitage, human dragon hunter, and Fordan Blackclaw, leader of the dragons, both made my blood boil. Particularly Jastin. He was rude, obnoxious, self-righteous, and vindictive. I was glad to see him humiliated at the ending. He deserved it for everything he did to Riza and Kallon. Throughout this novel, I was very pleased that it actually followed the basic elements of story grammar. The rising action was thrilling and left me on the edge of my seat, yearning for the big climax. There was enough of a resolution to give me some closure while still leaving me excited about the sequel. Speaking of, I really can't wait for the sequel! Big changes are coming to Leland Province, for both humans and dragons alike.

  • Once Upon a Twilight
    2018-12-30 06:56

    Although I am not a fan of dragons, I must say that this book was incredibly well written and because of the way it was written and the plot, it captured my attention and I enjoyed reading the book. The author does a great job in the description and personalities of all the different characters, you’ll fall in love. I was a little skeptic in accepting this book just because it was about dragons, but I am glad I did. The book tells a mystery in which it changes characters to fully describe the entire story hence keep you on your toes guessing what’s going to happen next. It’s funny at times, mysterious and serious in others but with a little bit of romance which in my opinion is the best mixture when it comes to writing a good book. Overall a good read, and can’t wait for the sequel.In a world where dragons and humans once coincided, it is now a battleship of greed and betrayal over the land. Kallon is our main character who has fallen into ambiguity and has turned his back on his dragon alliance due to the lost of his father. However, all that changes when he meets a young lady Riza Diantus under some intense circumstances.Riza Diantus has decided to leave all she’s ever known and begin a new life as she’s had enough with all the exploitation and injustice in her life. In the mist of leaving, she encounters a serious situation that Kallon rescues her from. Although, Riza has been brainwashed to loath and despise dragons her whole life, she begins to question it when an unusual friendship commence between the two.Great chemistry between these two characters and the story line is a great one. Highly recommend this book.review link: http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/2011...

  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    2018-12-24 11:07

    Kallon Redheart is the last of the red dragons. He has retreated from both the dragon world and the human world and wants nothing more than to die. Until he meets Riza. Riza wants something more than a dull life as a wife who questions nothing. She left home to find a place for herself, but all she seems to find is trouble. Kallon rescues her life, but can she rescue him in return?This was a beautiful story that, while aimed at young adults, is a warm fuzzy read for adults as well. The story is all about the power of friendship and love. It is a quick and satisfying read.The characters really made the story. They are a bit on the simple side, but still seem fully developed, not one-dimensional at all. Riza is a very naive but well meaning character. She truly shines with innocence. I rooted for her to find happiness, and to be saved from the constant trouble she found. Kallon is a troubled and stubborn dragon. I wanted to shake him a few times, but I still found myself rooting for him. Jastin is more complex than the others, and wasn't really good or evil, but somewhere in between. I didn't much care for him, mainly because I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to or not.This is the first book of a series, but it is a good stand alone read. The story was complete, and wrapped up most loose ends, leaving just a few to be dealt with in later books.This is a clean read. There is some dragon fighting and minor violence, as well as hints at romance, but would be appropriate for younger teens and up.

  • Cindy
    2018-12-30 04:40

    I had really high hopes for this book. I mean what's not to love about dragons? I am a huge dragon lover and any book I will read eagerly. That said, this book was a huge disappointment for myself. Here's why:From page one I felt as if I was thrown into a book/series that I had obviously failed to catch up on. It felt like there was a huge backstory that I wasn't a part of. Think of it as if you were reading Harry Potter but started on book 5, you'd be lost. Sure, the author reveals bits and pieces but that lost feeling never truly went away. To add to the lost feeling, I almost felt as if the characters were tossed at me and not really developed. I never got to bond with them. Again, I was left feeling as if I had missed out on something by not reading something before hand. Sadly, the lost feeling that I had during the whole book overtook any plot that might have been with the book so I can't tell you much about that. I just couldn't shake the lost feeling enough to enjoy teh rest of the book. There were also a few sections that were very oddly worded or developed. To the point that I had to reread them to understand them. I don't know if it was the lost feeling that contributed to this or if it was just oddly worded. I really wish I could have had a better experience. Maybe it was my expectations, maybe it just wasn't the book for me, I'm not sure. I didn't give the book a one because, well I didn't HATE it I just was sadly disappointed by the whole experience.

  • Jessica
    2019-01-12 07:51

    I was most fortunate to be contacted by Seventh Star Press and asking if I was interested in reviewing a new book for them. I was eager even though I have a TBR pile about as tall as I am, ok taller. I really do need to spend a month or two catching up with things.I liked the sound of Redheart by Jackie Gamber and was even more excited when it arrived in the mail. The cover is beautiful and the swag I got with it featuring art by Matthew Perry is amazing. Fantastic looking glossy prints of artwork for the book and a bookmark featuring the art from the cover. Lovely really.The book was so enjoyable, about humans and dragons. Lots on magic and such.The book features a dragon Kallon Redheart who has turned his back on dragons and humans. He lives isolated, no contact with anyone till one day he meets Riza Diantus a girl with a big heart and mind so open and free. I really loved these two, such great characters.The story about the past, stepping up and coming into your own and a friendship that is true.A journey of magic, friendship, dragonslayer, evil dragon leader, courage, destiny and knowing what's in your heart brings these two together and gives the reader a great time.Jackie who is a Mary Shelly Award winner writes beautifully. It was a pleasure to read and I just kept wanting to read more.I liked Redheart very much and would love to read the second and third book in this series. Redheart can be read alone though no giant cliffhangers.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a great fantasy novel.

  • A Book Vacation
    2019-01-18 10:46

    Seventh Star Press has been extremely gracious in giving me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review, and I couldn’t be happier to state that I just loved this book! Gamber is a very talented writer, combining beautiful prose with an intriguing story about a world in which dragons and humans co-exist, though not harmoniously anymore. I was intrigued from the very first chapter, and absolutely adored the narrative style Gamber employs in her writing, as the third person narration allows four separate stories to run simultaneously, leading up to their interconnections and beyond. I really love that Gamber creates suspense and ends each chapter with a cliffhanger, making it impossible for the reader to put the book down. Yet, the next chapter adds no respite as it changes to the story of another character, creating anticipation and more cliffhangers before the original character is brought back to the forefront. It’s sheer genius—I read the entire novel in one sitting as I was that enamored with the characters and their plights; there was never any down time, and hence, no time for me to put it aside. It created a real sense of mystery for me, and I highly enjoy when only bits and pieces of a story are revealed at a time… I love novels like this! ...To read my full review:http://bookvacations.wordpress.com/20...

  • Britta
    2019-01-01 08:57

    There have been an increase in "dragon" books in YA recently, such as Firelight and Flying Blind, two books I really enjoyed. So the idea of another dragon book seemed appealing. Unfortunately, Redheart and I just did not mix well. Or at all really. Redheart is not like the "dragon" books I was referring too. That's okay, being different is fine - sometimes great. In this novel, the dragons are actually dragons, not shape shifters. That seemed kind of cool to me, but the logistics just seemed too unrealistic, even for a fantasy book. I mean, the dragons were writing and carrying objects, living in palaces, etc. and I just didn't see how any of that could be possible - even if dragons did exist. This might have been okay if it didn't take me so long to get into the book. It wasn't until I was more than halfway through that the pace started to pick up and I wanted to know how the book ended. I wasn't really excited with the romance of this book, but I was happy to see where it went (took a bit of a Shrek turn - you'll get it if you've read it). I'm not going to tear this book apart - we just did not match up. If you are a fan of dragon books, like real dragon books, and medieval type magic, you'll probably be a better fit for this novel than I was.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-23 07:45

    1.5 stars. Redheart reads as though it was written for individuals younger than 15 years of age. Gamber's writing is lyrical and fluid, but can't quite help the book overcome many of the issues it faces with plot and characterization. Read my full review here: http://bookwormblues.blogspot.com/201...

  • NebraskaIcebergs
    2018-12-30 06:47

    What I like best about Redheart are its misfit characters. There’s Kallon the dragon, who turned his back years ago on his own kind as well as humans, after his father was killed by a human. Kallon mopes around his cave, waiting to die, except when foraging for food. Then there’s the maiden Riza, who’s turned her back on her family and town because she doesn’t think like everyone else. After her fiancee cautions she’ll get “a burnin’ platform to stand on” if she keeps asking dangerous questions like whether the sky is just the beginning of the world instead of the end, she packs her bags and leaves. Finally, there’s Jastin, who hasn’t turned his back on anyone but tries to use both humans and dragons for his own revenge. One day they all meet and so begins Redheart, a great fantasy adventure by Jackie Gamber.The relationships between these characters is another aspect that works well. At the forefront is the one between Kallon and Riza, whom Kallon rescues. A couple of years ago I tried to write a fantasy about the first encounter that a teenage girl had with a fairy in her backyard. Capturing the wonder and surprise of it all proved my biggest challenge. Next to that, I struggled most with showing how a friendship could even develop between two different species—especially two which were enemies. Gamber faces and quite successfully overcomes these obstacles. Riza’s relief at being rescued soon turns to shock upon realizing her savior was a dragon. Kallon himself wavers between regretting his choice to get involved and hoping Riza keep him company. For several chapters, their visits are similar to that feeling one has when picking at a scab to see if the skin below has healed, in being sporadic and cautious. Eventually though, their true feelings emerge and solidify. A second relationship develops about the same time between Riza and Jastin, a human who proves gentler and more protective than her earlier attackers. Jastin sets her up with a job as a cook at a local tavern. One thing leads to another and soon Jastin is courting Riza. Yet as in real life, friends sometimes let each other down and even betray one another. Will it be the dragon Kallon or the human Jastin who betrays Riza just when she’s beginning to feel safe again? And which one will need to change their ways the most if Riza is to be saved? While I won’t share those answers, I will tell you that I appreciated that Gamber didn’t make any of her main characters all good or all bad. Both Kallon and Jastin actually do forge true friendships with Riza, but the prejudice of one endangers them all.Another fabulous feature of Redheart is Gamber’s light-hearted touch. Book-lovers, upon discovering I like fantasy, often offer me adult examples, few of which I finish because I find their hardcore treatment of the fantasy realm to be dull. In contrast, Gamber had me sold on Redheart by the end of the first chapter. Kallon had frightened off Riza’s attackers, which is easy enough for a dragon to do, but less easy is deciding what to do with her. He puts his claw to his cheek and then he mumbles “Going to regret this” flying her back to his cave. I love his insecurity! In the second chapter, Gamber switches to Riza’s perspective. Kallon leaves to fetch her a drink, but Riza is suspicious about his motives. After all, he’s a dragon. At the same time, Kallon had saved her. “Maybe it brought her back as some sort of pet. Pet Riza. She giggled, imagining herself romping on all fours, chasing a stick thrown by a great, curled dragon paw.” For those of you who don’t appreciate cute, Gamber’s humor also shows up in sarcasm. Consider the scene where Kallon meets up with his wizard friend Orman. The two are talking about how things used to be when the Redhearts (Kallon’s family) were in power. Kallon tells Orman, “The Reds are dead.” When Orman rebuts with a disagreeable observation, Kallon blows a puff of breath that causes Orman to stumble. Orman mutters, “Still got plenty of breath for a dead dragon.” Most of Redheart’s humor however arises from Gamber’s style. Riza whispers to Kallon, “Riza, that’s my name, in case you were wondering.” Kallon “must not have been wondering, because he didn’t react.”There’s so much in Redheart that makes me smile, I almost hate to mention its flaws. For example, although I appreciated the major characters, I can’t say the same for all the minor characters. Kallon’s wizard friend Orman initially reminds me of the silly monkey in The Lion King, who helps Simba realize that he must reclaim his kingship. Both the wizard and monkey grow on me, but they also seem more like comic relief than real characters. I never did understand the significance of Layce Phelcher, who seemed ridiculous speaking to Jastin from within his horse. Then there’s the descriptions. For the most part Gamber does a good job of settin the lay of the land or evoking atmosphere, but at times his descriptions are overwritten: “He nodded toward the wispy half-breed Blue standing in as a recorder, who dipped his claw into red ink….” Last—and this is admittedly personal preference—I didn’t care for the constantly switching viewpoints. Sometimes we’re following Kallon, other times Riza, then we switch to Jastin, and finally we even hear the perspective of the dragon council. The change in view only happens with a new chapter, but I still don’t care for this literary technique. I like to get inside the head of one character and stay there; but I realize many readers will be more accepting than me on this point. And so really what flaws I found were minimal.Redheart is promoted as being about friendship, which is a sure sell. In writing about two species who have a tenuous alliance, Gamber is also able to subtly tackle the issue of prejudice. Redheart is about something else too, which its young adult target audience should appreciate, and that is discovering one’s own destiny. Riza is expected to be like everyone else. Kallon is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Both resist those pressures and in doing so find a better path. Seventh Star Press has already promised to send me the next book in the Leland Dragon Series. You can trust I’ll be back with a review!

  • Stephen Zimmer
    2019-01-23 07:46

    First, a little disclosure here:I wrote this review well before I had any idea that Jackie would be coming aboard Seventh Star Press. I couldn't be more happy to be a fellow SSP author with her, as she is simply fantastic as a person and writer. She puts incredible passion and heart into her work, on a level that I rarely encounter in my now-extensive travels through the convention/book fair circuit. I find it hard to imagine that anyone could not root for her, once they have had the good fortune of meeting her.This particular review was written when the initial edition of the book was released, under Meadowhawk Press. Now that I'm finally here on GoodReads, I figured I would copy it over to here, as it shows how much I absolutey loved this book, and the subtle layers and facets of character that Jackie crafted. Accesible to all ages of readers, it has the extra dimensions and rays of light that I have not often found in YA Fantasy.This is a book that is not afraid to take on dragon conventions, weave in hope, and really portray not just one, but two protagonists, with coming of age elements. This doesn't even begin to tap the depth of the kind of issues that are addressed within Redheart. The multifaceted Jastin is a personal favorite of mine, as you will see below. I think it is a real gem, and I hope that people give this book a fair try! :)-StephenThe initial review was done in August of 2009:"Redheart Soars Into The Skies of Compelling Fantasy Literature It is always wonderful to take the first steps upon the road of an enticing, well-crafted fantasy series. Redheart (Meadowhawk Press, ISBN:978-0-9787326-0-8), Book One of the Leland Dragon Series by Jackie Gamber, takes readers on the first strides of what is going to be a very satisfying foray within fantasy literature. The story itself centers around a couple of key characters. One is a young girl, named Riza, who is working to find her place in the world after leaving the choking confines of a rigid, mundane village life. She can no longer tolerate an existence where one's place in the world is set firmly from the beginning, and even mild curiosity is discouraged. The other is Kallon, a young red dragon who is enduring a largely self-imposed exile following the traumatic loss of his father years before. His interactions are largely limited to a solitary wizard named Orman, and he initially has no desire to return back to live among dragon-kind. The backdrop of Redheart features a world in which dragons have a fully developed society, much like humans, though the relationship between the two races has been anything but tranquil over the course of the years. Mistrust, rumors, and wars litter the history of dragon and human-kind. Leland Province, where the dragons live, is undergoing a very troubling time in which the land is drying up in the midst of a terrible drought, adversely affecting humans and dragons alike. The story begins when Riza finds herself in mortal trouble in the woods with a band of hooligans bearing unsavory intents. When Kallon hears her outcry, their paths intertwine as they both begin a path of adventure and self-discovery. This journey has some very unexpected twists and turns, as the reader soon comes to find out. Jackie Gamber has done an excellent job of taking popular fantasy creatures, dragons, and making them live and breath with a fresh air. She infuses the kind of depth and character that gives each of them a very unique identity. The dragon Blackclaw, who holds the highest position in dragon-society at the time of the story, is particularly malevolent in nature, and proves to be a very effective villain. Others in the supporting cast, such as Whitetail, Grayfoot, and a female Brown dragon, are very distinctive, fleshed out characters that contribute significantly to the dynamics and tension in the plot. One of the most fascinating characters in Redheart is Jastin Armitage, who I found to be very enigmatic throughout the story. When we first meet Jastin in the book, the scene plays out like the beginning of the arrival of a gunslinger in an American Old West tale. A mercenary dragon hunter, Jastin encounters Riza not long after she has met Kallon. He takes an interest in her early in the story. It is difficult to tell whether his intentions and interest in Riza are of a more honorable nature or not. At times he comes across as a rogue, and at other times more endearing, and perhaps his motivations are a blend of both. The way the story ends up has me really wanting to see where Jackie takes this character in future installments of the series. The book also has subtle undercurrents of the mystical and spiritual, centering in the story upon a sagely Gold Dragon. This touch of things more supernatural gives Redheart an added dimension that is all too often lacking in speculative fiction. Spiritual or religious elements are prevalent in the genre, but quite frequently seem like window-dressing within the greater story. This is not the case in Redheart, where the hint of something profound and greater, and the light of hope, beckon at the edges of the plot without becoming too overindulgent. The beginning of a very promising fantasy series has certainly been achieved in Redheart. It is a series that I feel will have a strong appeal to a number of types of fantasy readers, from those that enjoy world-building elements, to those that focus more solely on characters, to those that seek surprises and good plot twists. There is a good balance of action, humor, and the dramatic, and the characters are very believable and consistent. I am certain that fans of popular-selling fantasy series such as E.E. Knight's Age of Fire would definitely find themselves embracing the Leland Dragon Series, with its thoroughly developed dragon characters. Jackie Gamber is a fantasy author who most definitely is an emerging force to be reckoned with. Redheart hooked me instantly for the Leland Dragon Series, and I am eagerly anticipating the next step of the adventure! "

  • Cassandra (The book & movie dimension blogger)
    2019-01-21 08:54

    --Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at Book & Movie Dimension a Blog--Riza Diantus is an open-minded young woman compared to her fellow humans of her village of Cresvell. In these times dragons are becoming few and people are ignorant enough to hunt them for sport or plain fear. Riza has lived in the village of Cresvell all her life knowing how narrow-minded many of the villagers are that she's grown restless for something bigger or new to fill her life from what she obviouly suspects her life in Cresvell will be- ignorant. A life marrying a young man who wouldn't be capable of accepting her with the many questions she asks as a woman. The men expeting her to be quiet and subservient where she knows that life isn't something she wants at all. Riza decides to run away instead of staying where she will undoubtedly be put to marry a man by pressure if she stays in Cresvell. Just when Riza is out on her own she's viciously asssaulted by a group of men while traveling. In her darkest moments she knows there's no one to help her and she may in fact have made a horrible mistake leaving the comfort of the life she knew. To her relieve on this day Kallon Redheart a Red dragon who has run away from his responsibility comes by and saves her feeling the need to show though he's a dragon humans can paint a bad picture of them but they arent evil creatures. Kallon turns out to be a rather moody dragon than anyone would expect. Some of his issues could come from feeling he has such a legacy to live up to: his father having beeng a magnificent dragon ruler. Kallon though doesn't want it especially holding guilt and shame over his parents being mudered by a human dragon slayer. The same dragon slayer who seems taken with Riza as well when she leaves off into the human way of living. Jastin Armitage a dragon hater, hunter, slayer, and all-around destroyer of more often than not innocent dragons. Jastin holds a lot of hate for dragonkind since his family was murdered by a particular mysterious Gold dragon a long way back. He can be hard but also honorable which as a character is impressive to see. He often gets assisted b a rather crazy wizard named Layce who often teases him fo his serious and dark attitudes. Jastin seems both annoyed and amused by her most of the time. There is a deep sense in humor pieces during this time in the book that's good to read. Kallon really worries about Riza over her and Jastin yet his father's wizard , Orman Tistleby, warns him on many days that he needs to confront his destiny as the leader of The Dragon Council of The Leland Mountain Dragons. To him its something he really feels he can't afford to think about. So, while he hesitates a darkly viscous dragon by the name of Fordon Blackclaw grows stronger who's assisted by an even unsavory dragon named Fane Whitetail. With allies in Riza, Vaya Brownwing, Hale Brownwing, and Orman, Kallon may have a chance at thrimph. If he'd just allowed his friendships to guide him to the bigger picture of taking his place as a leader.In Redheart for a reader that really loves fantasy or dragons this novel series that begins with this book should be a delicious treat in an otherwise same -old- same-old - palette. The narration is omniscient allowing for the readers to really see into all the darkest corners of the story as well as characters. This is a book that seeps into your mind and the stortelling is just wonderful very picturesque. Riza and Kallon formed a bond that really surpasses species boundaries through mutual understanding that besides the fascinating fantasy curving movement of the story held quite the lovely message. A fantasy not to discount.Overall: Amazing read!Genre: Fantasy, Dragons, Young Adult

  • Heavensent1
    2019-01-01 08:56

    Redheart is book one of The Leland Dragon Series.Once dragons and humans worked in harmony to secure peace upon the lands. However, all good things come to an end when the humans begin to betray the dragons. Raping the land of all its resources and leaving blackened husks in their wake, the humans want more and the dragons have had enough. Enter the manipulation of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon council leader, whose only reason for breathing is to incorporate war upon the lands.Kallon Redheart is the last of his kind, after witnessing the murder of his parents, he goes into seclusion, turning his back on his fellow dragons and disappearing into obscurity. Riza Diantus is a young lady who has had enough of abuse at home and decides to run away and begin her own life. Before she gets far, however, she is almost raped, but is saved by Kallon, who happened to be flying by at the time.Jastin Artimage is a dragon hunter for hire. He has come to Leland province to ensure that war breaks out amongst the dragons and the humans. His agenda is being directed by other parties and his will isn't truly his own, other than his immense hatred of all things dragon.Together they are drawn into a web of deceit where only the strong survive.I found this novel to be quite mesmerizing! I really enjoyed the characters and found it quite interesting to read the book from a dragon's point of view. The novel is told in third person by many of the characters involved and you just cannot help but want to continue reading. All the characters are believable as is the plot, and the flow only becomes a bit choppy near the end of the novel.The friendship between human Riza and dragon Kallon was enjoyable to watch unfold. I must say that the ending though a bit predictable, there were very few ways for it to go, was very well written, and wasn't a disappointment. The scenery was extremely stimulating and the narrative prose had just the right blend of adjectives and imagery. The hidden agenda with Jastin added just the right touch of mystery and the reader is never sure where Jastin's actions are going to lead him.I did have a small problem with some of the flow, like I mentioned, there was one point where Jastin is climbing a mountain, following a trail of blood, but he shouldn't have been able to do that, for it was mentioned that the injured party made great pains NOT to lead anyone back to their hiding place, so I don't know how Jastin found said blood trail leading him to where it did! They were already healed by the time they ended up in the hiding place for Jastin to "find". There were one or two other places that this occurred but I don't think its too much of a hindrance with the read.Redheart is a real page turner, author Jackie Gamber has done a wonderful job with a great back story, strong back characters and has just the right amount of humour and horror mixed in~!! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels involving dragons, the book often reminded me of some of our Dungeons & Dragons games, I could almost hear the die rolling~!! I am truly looking forward to the next book in The Leland Dragon series~!!

  • R.J. Sullivan
    2019-01-04 09:04

    REDHEART by Jackie Gamber was this summer's novel I read to my children most evenings. At 50 chapters, not being able to read every night, the engaging kid-friendly fantasy made for many memorable evenings as we took in the next chapter in the adventures of Kallon, the moody red dragon, Riza, the human determined to be his friend even if it kills her (and quite often it nearly does), and Jastin Armitage, the misguided mercenary who wants to save Riza from herself, even if it's for his own purposes.Kallon is a dragon with many secrets--the last of the reds, the reader is let in on his past slowly, only as Riza breaks him down and peels away his defenses through time and trust. We learn the terrible tragedy of his parents, his status with a dragon council which which rules the dragon citizens that co-exist in an uneasy peace with humanity, and the dastardly plots of council leader Blackclaw and how he plans to usurp the council's purpose to his own ends.It's difficult to weave political intrigue into a novel partly aimed at younger kids, and it made for interesting side discussion as Daddy explained what a town council does in real life, but the novel succeeds in not getting too bogged down in the details. The characters provide the real thrust of the story. There's Kallon, who the reader most wants to like--he's a red dragon, how cool is that--who doesn't want to be around others and just wants to be left alone. Riza, a human runaway rescued by Kallon in the first chapter of the book, does her best to break through. Her frustrations are the reader's frustrations, and these parts of the book work best.Jastin is the toughest sell in this book. He's not particularly likeable, he often makes wrong choices, and often sets himself directly at odds with the goals of the other characters. At the same time, he is a continuing character whose story has not been entirely told.The plot is solid. The characters are solid. The humor works. The surprises surprise, particularly the big surprise at the end. I must say, I did NOT see that coming.My nitpicks, and I do have a couple, are minor. For one, (and this might be unique to the problem of reading the story aloud to others) the author needed to add more dialog tags in her prose, particularly in scenes with multiple characters in the room. Quite often, reading aloud, I found myself using my "Kallon" voice for three lines of dialog, only to get to the end of the line and read "said Riza." Oh, whoops! Had this only happened a time or two, I would not consider this mentioning, but it happened several times while I read it aloud. So if you're reading out loud like me, be prepared to scan ahead during the dialog, because it's not always clear who is speaking.Also, at least for little kids, the book ran about two chapters too long. The wrapup chapters, at least as far as my children were concerned, didn't really convey a lot of new or needed information.So these are quibbles. And I hear from good authority that SELA, the direct sequel, is a huge step forward from REDHEART. What I can tell you for sure is that my kids and I are anxious to start it tonight. Highly recommended.

  • Orchid
    2018-12-25 09:47

    First Sentence:Kallon soared.Too me there's nothing more worrisome when a book starts out kind of slow, which is what happened in the first twenty or so pages of Jackie Gamber's Redheart, but regardless of the slow start Redheart turned out to be a truly original and satisfying fantasy read. Once it picked up speed, I just devoured it.What really made this a unique read for me was that the dragons (i.e. Kallon among others) were the main characters, I thought it brought a new (and as far as I know) unexplored aspect to the fantasy world. One of the biggest things that will pull me into a book is character relationships, the more odd the pairing the more I seem to like it and Redheart was no exception. I loved how Kallon and Riza overcame their differences and came to rely on the one another.While I loved Kallon and the journey that he went though as he continued to deal with the loss of his parents and his resurgence back into the dragon community. I also really enjoyed how began to open up I almost forgot about one of the more prominent characters, Jastin the dragon hunter. He was one of the characters were as you learned more about his history and why he is the way he is that you couldn't help but feel bad for, but at the same time his actions throughout the book made it hard to actually like him.Other than the dragons playing a huge factor in the story, I liked how the underlying message seemed to be about trust and friendship. The pacing of Redheart, once I got pass the first twenty pages or so, was just right. It wasn't so fast that you flew through the pages only to realize that you missed something, but not so slow that you were like get to the point already. It was just right for the story that was being told.Even though I kind saw how the book was going to end, I still enjoyed what happened and think that it was definitely the only way to go with Riza's character. I'm evil, now ya'll are going to be wondering what happened to her. *laughs manically*What I liked best about Redheart would have to be how Ms. Gamber put a new twist on fantasy with her version of dragons and the HUGE role they played in the book. My least favorite thing about Redheart would have to be that it starts off a bit slow and takes a few pages to get going, but once it does pick up I find it hard to put down.Final Verdict: Redheart was a fascinating start to a promising series (I loved how it came with a set of collectible illustrations). I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the next book will take the characters and the story, especially since things were left unfinished at the end.Redheart earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

  • Stacy Sabala
    2018-12-29 10:44

    Book Review- Redheart by Jackie GamberKallon Redheart is the last of the reds. He lost his mother and father at a young age. As a result he has turned his back on the dragon nation. In fact everyone thinks him long dead.Riza has left her family behind. She refuses to accept the role in life assigned to her. She knows there is more in store for her. She travels far to find a new life.Their paths crossed when Riza is surrounded by three men determined to cause her harm. Kallon steps in and rescues her taking her back to his cave. Riza stays with Kallon for the night. The next day he no longer wants her around so she leaves looking for the town.The dragon hunter has entered the area and hears the locals talk of a dragon. He learns of Riza and her encounter. He uses the town’s people to find her.Riza gets very lost after leaving Kallon’s cave and wanders around after dark. She hides in a barn and Armitage, the dragon hunter, finds her. He helps her get a job as a cook in the town’s tavern. She does her job well and gains friends in the owner and the regulars but she has those who watch her. Armitage waits to confront her about the dragon. When the town’s people demand she be punished for consorting with a dragon, Armitage must save her from the mob. Then Kallon must then save her from the dragon hunter.More is going on than any of them know. Intrigue is running rampant at the dragon council. The wizard, Orman, and Riza get caught up in a dragon’s plan for power. Redheart has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save them both.I love dragons and was excited to read this story. Kallon has placed himself in exile after losing everything. He is a grumpy, lonely dragon. Then Riza stumbles into his life. He saves her and then doesn’t know what to do with her. You can feel his indecision. You can just picture the scene as he purposely makes her leave.Riza is a great character. She is strong willed and open-hearted. She accepts there is more to life than what she was viewed as. I love that she set out to find it. Her bravery was front and center the whole story. She refused to let Armitage tell her what to do. I can just imagine the glares she would give him. She was caught up and used as a pawn in the dragon intrigue that involved the dragon possibly going to war with humans. The author created a great villain that was conniving and manipulating. He thwarted Kallon’s attempts at every turn. Kallon had to accept help from the most unexpected places and believe in the unknown to make things right. It was a good read. I give it a 4 out of 5.

  • William Bentrim
    2019-01-01 06:50

    Article first published as Book Review: Redheart by Jackie Gamber on Blogcritics which will theoretically get me more traffic on my posts. (http://blogcritics.org/books/article/...)Redheart is book one of the Leland Dragon Series. Leland is the province where Kallon Redheart, a red dragon, resides. The province is in a drought and tensions between dragons and humans are at an all time high. Fordon Blackclaw, the Dragon Council Leader, is using the tensions to further his personal ambitions. This is the cauldron that a young woman named Riza finds herself embroiled in when she flees a life of mundane existence. Riza Diantus epitomizes or perhaps symbolizes the plight of the woman in un-enlightened cultures. That is making the assumption that we live in an enlightened culture which isn’t always guaranteed. Equal opportunity often seems to be a cliché not realized in our tumultuous economic environment of today let alone in a rural agriculture set in a medieval style setting. Riza questions all, not just those in authority, she questions everyone. Her lust for answers and her refusal to be bound by a rigid role proscribed by her agrarian life makes her a heroine in my estimation. She refuses to accept the role of victim and fights for what she wants and what she feels is right. Jastin, the dragon hunter, is on a quest of vengeance. He is conflicted regarding his feelings for Riza. He perceives himself as a merciless mercenary but is surprised when Riza touches feelings he thought long abandoned. Kallon, too, is far more than a cardboard cutout of a dragon. He deals with feelings of alienation and inadequacy. Kallon’s struggles with his fears and his relationship with Riza, Jastin and the wizard, Orman, become entwined with Blackclaw the Dragon Council leader. Gamber has created loveable and despicable characters. She imbues them with real feelings, emotions and frustrations. Jackie Gamber brings alive dragons and adventure with colorful, involved storytelling. The intricate details of a Stephen Zimmer or Tolkien are not there but the warm characters and very believable emotions produce a book that will be remembered and cherished. I highly recommend the book and look fervently for a sequel.

  • Beverly
    2019-01-20 08:38

    I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.From the back of the book:"Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a sever drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whos dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save here. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in."I've been a fan of dragon books ever since my sweet husband introduced me to Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern series shortly before we got married. For our first anniversary he even bought me a dragon. So I was excited to find a new young adult series about dragons. What I liked about the book: I liked that this was a young adult book about fantasy creatures that were not werewolves, vampires or fallen angels. It's a well written story about dragons verses humans and good verses bad. The fact that both sides have plenty of both makes for an engaging story. It's a love story, a rather different one - I won't say too much as I don't want to give anything away. The ending was very creative. When it looked as though all was lost, Gamber pulled off an ending that I did not see coming. It was a wonderful solution.What I didn't like about the book: The story is engaging, but there were times I felt a little lost. I would have liked to have a little more of the history between the dragons and humans. Since this is the first of a trilogy, I'm guessing Gambler will reveal more in the upcoming books.Overall this was a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys stories about magic and dragons.

  • Trisha Turner
    2019-01-04 10:56

    Great bookLoved this book, different than the usual type of Dragon books I have read. Will have to buy the next one in the series.

  • Robin Blankenship
    2019-01-22 04:38

    First I want to say that I loved that this is a Fantasy book written by a woman with a believable female character. She was strong and weak and loving and snippy when she needs to be. Riza was such a dynamic but believable character and I love seeing that in a Fantasy book when so many falter when writing female characters. What else did I love about this book? Yes you guessed it, Dragons. They were amazing. I loved being in the dragon's world. The descriptions of the dragons were amazing. They were so descriptive. I literally wanted to reach out and touch their scales and go flying. Above all this is a story of friendship, love, heartache, loss and finding your way. Kallon and Riza were both lost when they found each other. This book shows how given the right path anyone can change for the better. People (and Dragons)can learn to forgive, love again, trust and find their place in the world. The connection between Riza and Kallon is wonderful. They are both in a place of confusion and mistrust and loss and finding each other when they did set them on the path to healing. The beauty of this book is not only is it fantasy with fighting and dragons and magic but it has a great story of relationships and characters. All diverse and all with their own tales to tell. Jastin is as dark and mysterious as he lost and alone. He is also a rich complex character. The climax was both rewarding and beautiful. It was one of those scenes that made tears appear as well as a smile. It was a stunning twist that was just wonderful. There is intrigue, drama, twists and turns and the author did a wonderful job inviting us in to this worlds and showing us it's beauty as well as the ugly parts. I can not wait to continue the tale in the next book. This book is great for any age if you can read read it. My eleven year old was just as interested in the book as I was. Recommended for any age.

  • Jeanne Stumbaugh
    2018-12-28 08:58

    An entertaining fantasy. Not mind-blowing in any respect, but good. Something decent for a quick read.That being said, however, there are some things that I had issues with. First being world building, and the second character development. Bear also in mind that I have not read the last two books yet, so there might be some additional work done to expand things for me. These issues are only for RedHeart and not for the series in general.World-building in the story could have been a lot more thorough. There really isn’t a lot to tell about their “world”. So far, we know there are two countries, but you don’t really get the sense of what the world seems to be. There is very little sense of “place” in the book, other than one place which had the most detail about the place and which has stuck the most in mind. We know it’s there, I mean, there are people and dragons that are going through a story there, but an idea of the land and the country is missing. Yes, there is a little, but not as much as one would like. They say that the devil is in the details, and there was, well, precious little of that. You do get a sense of why that is so at the end of the book, so I hope there will be more forthcoming in the next two books.Character development is another place which could have used a lot more work. The story seemed to focus more around the action of the story, rather than the back-stories of the characters. The stories behind the characters were not, at least in this book, explored enough. Both Kallon and Riza’s pasts seemed to be rife with tragic potential, but they were merely given a paragraph here and there during the story left at that.Like I said, it was an entertaining, quick read. There is room for improvement and hopefully the remaining books will flesh out some of the things that left me puzzled in this book.

  • Lindsay Paige
    2019-01-20 11:03

    Interest: Dragons!Title Thoughts: It totally fits. Cover Thoughts: I like the heart in the background with the dragon in front sort of guarding it. Then there's the girl who's holding the necklace. While the cover doesn't overall appeal to me, I do like it and how it goes with the book. WARNINGS: None.This book was slow moving for me. Not that I had to force myself to read it, but I really had to concentrate and stay focused. I did like the story and its characters. They each have something specific that happened in the past that led them to the place they are at now. Kallon has been sulking in his cave since he was but a baby dragon and he lost his parents. Thanks to a human girl and chance, he is sent on an adventure of love, secrets, and good versus evil. He has to overcome his past for the greater good or sulk and cause a dominio effect of evil. Gamber's writing was descriptive and did its job well. This story has good writing, a good story with great, mildly complex characters, and an adventure of good vs evil.Addict's Last Words: Redheart is a story about dragons but with an inner story of overcoming the hardships of your past.To Buy or To Borrow: This is a toss up for me. I liked it but it wasn't with my favorites.Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided for me by the publisher. No payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was not any obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist, or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

  • Hollyann
    2019-01-23 10:39

    This is a hard book to rate because there were stages to this book. The beginning was strong, but it quickly fell to a mediocre book, and jumped right back up again at the end. The opening was good. It seemed to be a good basis to build this world of the Leland Province. The main characters are introduced with intrigue, especially Riza. She made me very interested to continue reading this novel, especially while she spent time around Kallon. Then, however, it seemed like the exposition never stopped. I never managed to connect with any of the characters, and they seemed unbelievable. Riza, more than anyone, seemed to change characteristics with every page, usually concerning Armitage. Speaking of whom, Armitage was totally and wholly unlikable. The way the author played him as kind and gentle and then suddenly wrathful was uncomfortable to me. He's manipulative toward Riza and I wasn't okay with it. There's a way to create a villain that the audience can love no matter how despicable and the author did not give that to her character. Kallon was irritating. He whines and complains about not wanting to be a leader and for heaven's sake, we understand. We know the ending of the book. We know Kallon will end up being the leader and him complaining at every mention was annoying. But as soon as the battle against Blackclaw began, the book was suddenly exciting. I stopped wanting to put it off and sat down and finished it to the end. The suspense ramped up and I was rooting for the characters for the first time. Although it was a little cliché, it was a promising ending and thanks to this, I think it's worth reading the sequel. Hopefully I'm more impressed with that one than this one, but it's a good start! Read it to the end, folks.

  • Naj (Unputdownable Books)
    2018-12-29 04:06

    Few months back I received an email from a publisher asking me to review one of the books under them and actually wanted to send me a paperback. Its the first time I've received something as such since... well... ever! And I can't believe I took so much time to actually pick up the book. Redheart is the first book in a new series focused on a dragon protagonist which is completely unique. I haven't read anything like this. At first, the protagonist Kallon, seemed depressing, pitiful and very stubborn but thats his character when his story begins. As a girl comes into the picture everything changes for him and thats in the very beginning. At some point I even thought Kallon was very cute and fluffy just like Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon". I never thought I would like reading about dragons.The characters were strong and the plot was kind of weak but picks up after awhile and I'm sure the books get better and better. As the story moves on we meet potential antagonists who always find a way to ruin everything for our Hero. The story picks up and then slows down a little towards the end. And at some point it kept on going in circles and I thought it wouldn't end. But it did with a bang. I admire Gamber's (Haha, we almost have the same last name) writing style and as she writes the next following books I'm positive it'll get better. Her writing style was clean and easy to read, a perfect combination for a YA Epic Fantasy book like this. It was unputdownable and kept you wanting to read more. I enjoyed the first book and I'll be anticipating the next. It wasn't something I expected and with its surprises it completely blew me away. 5/5 stars

  • Jennifer Monzon
    2019-01-07 08:08

    Although I am not a fan of dragons, I must say that this book was incredibly well written and because of the way it was written and the plot, it captured my attention and I enjoyed reading the book. The author does a great job in the description and personalities of all the different characters, you’ll fall in love. I was a little skeptic in accepting this book just because it was about dragons, but I am glad I did. The book tells a mystery in which it changes characters to fully describe the entire story hence keep you on your toes guessing what’s going to happen next. It’s funny at times, mysterious and serious in others but with a little bit of romance which in my opinion is the best mixture when it comes to writing a good book. Overall a good read, and can’t wait for the sequel.In a world where dragons and humans once coincided, it is now a battleship of greed and betrayal over the land. Kallon is our main character who has fallen into ambiguity and has turned his back on his dragon alliance due to the lost of his father. However, all that changes when he meets a young lady Riza Diantus under some intense circumstances. Riza Diantus has decided to leave all she’s ever known and begin a new life as she’s had enough with all the exploitation and injustice in her life. In the mist of leaving, she encounters a serious situation that Kallon rescues her from. Although, Riza has been brainwashed to loath and despise dragons her whole life, she begins to question it when an unusual friendship commence between the two. Great chemistry between these two characters and the story line is a great one. Highly recommend this book.

  • Truly Bookish
    2019-01-22 09:38

    Redheart is a traditional fantasy novel where the main characters (Kallon and Blackclaw) are dragons. Kallon is a red dragon, the last of his kind and has chosen to live in isolation, away from humans and other dragons. Having witnessed his parents’ murder as a young dragon, Kallon is bitter and antisocial, refusing to take his father’s place as the ruler of the dragons. Instead, the dragons are ruled by Blackclaw, a scheming and despicable character with absolutely no redeeming qualities.Despite Kallon’s gruffness, he is very likable. I understood him and loved the portions of the book told from his perspective. Even though I don’t think I was supposed to, I liked Jastin the dragon hunter as well. Like Kallon, he had some anger issues rooted in his past and makes some bad decisions and alliances as a result. Unfortunately, I didn’t love Riza as much as I wanted to. She is a true friend to Kallon who stands by him, brings him out of his despair and sacrifices for him, but she also needs help and saving a lot. Along with engaging characters, Redheart is beautifully descriptive and exciting. The plot flowed quickly and I love the themes of destiny, faith, political intrigue and the magic of love. There is also an interesting plot twist at the end that I was not expecting. This was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to book two of the Leland Dragon series which will be published in the fall. Content: References to rape and the pregnancy and birth that result from it, racism (among dragons), kissing, violence