Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven

Dragon Unleashed (The Fallen Empire, #2)

by Grace Draven

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it's far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven't been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They're wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him--unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire's twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire's machinations and his own lethal birthright.

Reviewed by stacey_is_sassy on

3 of 5 stars

I got there in the end...

After absolutely LOVING Phoenix Unbound, I was so excited to move onto Dragon Unleashed.

Holy Shamoly, that was a wee bit of a hard slog. Instead of watching my progression dreading it coming to an end, I was rolling my eyes in frustration with how many hours I had left till the end.

After meeting Halani in Phoenix Unbound, I was looking forward to getting to know her better. It just felt that there wasn't much more than what I already knew. Sure, we got to find out why Asil (Halani's mother) is the way she is, but even that felt skimmed over. I never really felt like I understood Halani's magic either, and I wasn't excited when she used it. I wanted to know how her earth magic made her such an accomplished healer. I hated that her abilities were used for greedy reasons, and that the people in her caravan took advantage of her kindness.

While I liked Malachas, again, I felt like we didn't get to know him that well. He was even a bit self-righteous, which I found unappealing. I normally love dragon stories too.

In the first instalment of the Fallen Empire series, I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. The characters were in peril, the storyline moved in an effortless way, and I was desperate to see good overcome evil. This second instalment dragged on and I felt that we only skimmed the surface with the character development. I just expected a wee bit more.

While both stories followed a similar plot progression, I wasn't as invested to see the Dragon Unleashed or the Empire Fall. There were parts of the stories that I enjoyed, but by the halfway point, I was just pushing myself to get it finished.

I'm still a fan of Grace Draven and while this story wasn't a complete winner, I will definitely come back for more of her stories in the future.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 27 July, 2020: Finished reading
  • 27 July, 2020: Reviewed