This is the first book in the Circles of Light Series. It is epic fantasy safe for young adults, though there is mild fantasy violence. If you're looking for books to keep your interest for lots of reading that may keep you up well past your bedtime, you've found it here.
Tika is a young slave girl with a mysterious past. After escaping from her slavery to almost certain death, she discovers the fascinating world of dragons. Those dragons are the best part of the story. I could tell the author spent a lot of time daydreaming about them and what their existence would be like.
The story begins immediately with Tika's discovery of those dragons. She forms a bond (thus the title name) with one and her life intertwines with the species from that point on. You learn about the dragons and about Tika for a chapter or two, giving you the foundation for the rest of the story.
While Tika is the main character, the story that follows is largely about the dragons. They have personalities as big as they are. The characters of the dragons are distinct. It's easy to fall in love with some and dislike others with a passion. Not surprisingly, they aren't all happy about having a human among them, a fact that becomes pivotal in the events that follow.
Once much of the dragon's story is presented, the plot switches back to Tika, who may be more than just a runaway slave girl. Tika is a strong and courageous woman without being a Mary Sue. She's capable and talented, but inexperienced. There are other strong women in the story whose conversations move the plot forward, rather than focusing on relationships and the such. Basically, the author avoids the pitfalls that plague so many other strong female leads.
Upon reaching a new destination midway through the book, the rest of the world begins opening up. The reader gets to meet some of the other races in the world. It's a fascinating world too with exotic geographies and civilizations that are touched upon without bogging down into mind-numbing world-building.
The villain and some of the evil races are quite easy to dislike. The villain's personality is well developed and multifaceted rather than being one-dimensional. There's also a good deal of mystery as to his past.
The ending closes the book well with excitement and suspense. It leads one to want the next story. The one negative I found was that it was difficult to keep track of the names on occasion as a few of them sound similar. But that was resolved as the personalities developed. Each character is very much their own and their voices are distinct from each other.
One of the things I liked is the mystery involved with every character, who they are and why they are that way. The author teases the reader with hints, but never fully reveals what the past may hold. There are stories to develop through the rest of the series.
E.M. Sinclair's writing is daydreamy (yes, that's a word). You can see the fascination she has in exploring her world with her characters. The book is professional quality and well edited. I highly recommend for all ages.
(review of free book)