When dragons fight, mountains weep.

In nests high in the mountains, dragons and dragonbonded share their lives, thoughts, feelings, and ambitions.

Palon and her partner, the dragon Windward, are renowned among their nest for their flying skill. Their days are filled with everything she loves, especially riding the wind. Even being tasked with teaching their way of life to Tebah, a rebellious newly bonded teenager, can’t bring her down too much.

But when treasures from the dragons’ hoards are found in Palon’s collection, her idyllic life comes crashing down. She battles to prove her innocence, while her every move is cast as further evidence against her. Tebah’s suspicion, homesickness, and defiance would be frustrating even in easy times. With Palon in the spotlight while her rivals smear her name at every turn and stir up plots of revenge, her teenage charge’s behavior proves dangerous.

Dragon tempers shorten, and challenges and disputes shake the ground. Palon will have to trust more than just herself if she hopes to once more own the sky.

The Review

I’ve been looking for another good dragonbond story for a while, as those are one of my stable favorites, and I was more than pleased with Windward by S. Kaeth.

Palon has been bonded to Windward for a decade. She and Windward excel at fighting the walavaim, winged creatures a little like dragons (though I think the dragons who think otherwise; the walavaim are thieves) who inhabit the realm to which the dragons Shift to sate themselves on the herds they keep for that purpose. Palon and Windward are a little reckless, and a perfect team, with a very tight bond. Another dragon, High Flight, takes a bonded even though there are a number of reasons why it is not the right time for him to do so, one of them being that an older dragon named Silver Spine is dying. The new bonded, Tebah, is assigned to Palon and her mate, Aturadin, to teach the ways of being dragonbonded and to help her to strengthen her bond with High Flight in this already telepathically-stressed situation. She poses a great deal of difficulty, being rebellious and stubborn, uninterested in being bonded, and they have to live with that and figure out why. Then items start disappearing from some of the dragons’ caches, and things rapidly spiral lower and lower, with the addition of another plot twist and an unexpected danger.

I loved Palon’s and Windward’s relationship, as well as Palon’s and Aturadin’s relationship. Both the humans and the dragons have such true personalities and living relationships. They feel like real people. I really liked how Palon and her mate love each other and are loyal to each other. Palon is the most dragon of the bonded, and Aturadin the most human, and this might be part of why they are chosen to help the new dragonbonded. The dragons affect their bonded incredibly strongly, but the bonded affect their dragons, too. The bonded become territorial and possessive, adopting dragonic body language, and developing a need to collect treasures and never let anyone even think about taking them. The dragons and the dragonbonded are very possessive of their partners. It felt so natural, so real.

In the midst of the chaos and suspicion among the dragons and the dragonbonded once the thefts start of occur and an old rivalry is fought on an entirely new level, one of the dragonbonded reminds Palon something to the effect of, “We are family. Do not think of the others as ‘Other’ but as family.” I really liked that. It is so true and necessary.

Once again, I really loved the love and loyalty and care between Palon and her mate, Aturadin, and I really, really enjoyed her dragonbond with Windward and how she and Windward fight together and live together and are possessive towards each other and – everything!

About the Reviewer

Raina Nightingale has been writing high fantasy since she could read well enough to write her stories with the words she knew (the same time that she started devouring any fiction she could touch). She especially loves dragons, storms, mountains, stars, forests, volcanoes, a whole lot of other things, and characters who can make you feel what they do (up to a point). When she’s not learning and exploring either her fantasy worlds or this one, she enjoys playing with visual art, among other things. She will always believe that kindness is stronger than hatred and that we will never be aware of all the magic in the world. She is the author of the Areaer and Kaarathlon settings.


About DragonBirth (Return of the Dragonriders #1)

In a world where dragons are considered demons and Dragonriders are hunted and killed as witches…

A devout village-girl, Silmavalien, meets a dragon hatchling and discovers a love she could never have dreamed. At the same time, her world is ripped apart as she discovers the gods she has worshiped and everything she has ever been taught or believed is a monstrous lie. Not knowing what to believe – or even if she can trust her engaged, Noren, with her new secret – she must find a way to care for herself and her dragon, Minth, in a wild and hostile world, a world which only grows stranger as the days pass.