Wild Sky by Zaya Feli: Review
Title: Wild Sky
Author: Zaya Feli
Pub Date: 08/24/20
Edition: Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC)
A new, LGBT+ fantasy story from Zaya Feli, featuring dragons, aerial battles and epic journeys through dangerous wilderness
Tauran Darrica has been retired from the Valreus Sky Guard for four years following the Battle of the Broken Wings that resulted in the death of his dragon. Now, all Tauran wants to do is spend his days forgetting the past and gambling his way to an unsteady income.
So when his old general from the Sky Guard hunts Tauran down to request his help with staving off the increasingly aggressive wild dragon population, Tauran refuses. But a fire ruins his rented room and leaves him without a place to stay, and Tauran finds himself on the road to Valreus, after all.
Tauran is determined to stay as far away from dragons as he can get, but a starry-eyed young man from Sharoani, land of the wild dragons, might just ruin his plans.
Kalai Ro-Ani has spent his life watching the stars, knowing he could never reach them.
With his wild dragon Arrow, he sets out for the city of Valreus in the hope of building himself a better future than he could have stuck at the foot of the Kel Visal dragon temples.
But nobody told Kalai that only the Sky Guard is allowed to own dragons, so when Arrow kills a guard in Kalai’s defense, it looks like his adventure might be over before it can begin. But a chance encounter at the old Valreus archive offers Kalai the future he’d been hoping for. In the span of a single day, he has a home, a job, and a purpose.
In Valreus, something much bigger falls into his lap – along with a tall and striking Valrean man with a rather strange disposition.
“He was really flying. Up here, he could do anything. He was free.”
If you had told me at the beginning of reading Wild Sky that I was going to fall in love with dragons, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But oh did I almost shed some tears over dragon deaths. I had to remind myself they weren’t real so many times. I grew so attached to the dragons Arrow and Leyre, and I found all the details about the different dragons and their habits to be so fascinating. (Shoutout to the glossary at the back of the book)
I loved Tauran and Kalai’s relationship and the way they supported each other. They did so much better when they were able to be together. I’m not usually the biggest fan of books with a slow burn romance, but the story was so interesting outside of their romance that I didn’t mind and found myself just as wrapped up in the politics and dangers in Valreus. Tauran and Kalai are both a few years older than me but I still feel like they’re my babies. The way Tauran was so focused on Kalai’s well-being and the way that Kalai understood Tauran’s pain and struggle with being cared for just melted my heart. I could go on forever about these two but let’s move on to something as equally as important as my boys, the plot.
There was so much mystery in this fantasy, and I loved constantly being shocked at finding out new information. The action was so intense my heart started racing during some scenes. Also, there was a twist that I never saw coming. The sentiment was being planted throughout the story but it actually got revealed, I was so shocked. I even struggled to finish towards the end because I was so nervous how everything was going to turn out.
This book also delicately touched on so many things like disability, PTSD, drug addiction, and consent. Nothing was ever thrown in just for shock factor, and these factors all contributed to the plot and the growth of the characters which I immensely appreciated.
Overall, I recommend this book to any fantasy lover who needs a new world to get lost in.
Zaya Feli grew up in various small towns in eastern Denmark where she spent most of her childhood and youth daydreaming about strange and incredible fantasy worlds. In 2018, she moved to northern Denmark with her pet snake, Helix, to work as a web developer, and is now dedicating all her free time turning the fantasy worlds inside her head into words and illustrations on the page.
An avid sci fi and fantasy fan since childhood, she also has a deep love for history, archery, nature, language and art.
Zaya Feli released her debut novel, Stag’s Run, in November 2016, and has since released four more full length novels and a short story. Her favourite genres are fantasy and sci-fi with a sprinkle of romance. Check out her website or follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
Where to Buy
Thank you so much for reading my review of Wild Sky.
And thank you to A Novel Take PR for the free ARC. All opinions are my own
*Illustrations done by Zaya Feli*