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Ascendant

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Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean. Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within. But the Scou Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean. Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within. But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows. Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon's magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.


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Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean. Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within. But the Scou Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean. Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within. But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows. Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon's magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.

30 review for Ascendant

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This gets 5-stars for me. This book releases tomorrow 1/09/2020. This is what I would call YA fantasy at its best. If you have read and enjoyed books like Eragon, and also Robin Hobb's The Farseer trilogy, then I think you will enjoy this book. It is faster-paced than the aforementioned books, so that will appeal to a lot of you, it did to me. I found that the similarities to these books made this one all the more enjoyable. If you like dragons then this is the book for you. It is the first book of This gets 5-stars for me. This book releases tomorrow 1/09/2020. This is what I would call YA fantasy at its best. If you have read and enjoyed books like Eragon, and also Robin Hobb's The Farseer trilogy, then I think you will enjoy this book. It is faster-paced than the aforementioned books, so that will appeal to a lot of you, it did to me. I found that the similarities to these books made this one all the more enjoyable. If you like dragons then this is the book for you. It is the first book of a series, though this one has a very satisfactory ending; unlike some that just seem to stop so that you are forced to read their next book. If I was asked if there was any part of the book that I wasn't quite so keen on? I'd say that it took a chapter or so to really grab my attention but once it did, I was hooked! There was plenty going on most of the time in this book. It didn't have the endless pages of description that usually flesh out a 600+page book, which was right up my street. Do yourselves a favour, give this coming-of-age fantasy a try. Thanks for reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Miller

    This book was written to be a fun read, capturing all the classic tropes and story beats but livening them all up with a fresh coat of paint, a quick pace and a hard magic system inspired from the growing cultivation/progression fantasy genre. If you're a fan of dragon rider books, I'm certain you will love this book. If you'd ever wondered what might happen if Eragon, How To Train Your Dragon, Daredevil and Avatar the Last Air Bender crossed paths, then I'm sure you'll love this book. For all th This book was written to be a fun read, capturing all the classic tropes and story beats but livening them all up with a fresh coat of paint, a quick pace and a hard magic system inspired from the growing cultivation/progression fantasy genre. If you're a fan of dragon rider books, I'm certain you will love this book. If you'd ever wondered what might happen if Eragon, How To Train Your Dragon, Daredevil and Avatar the Last Air Bender crossed paths, then I'm sure you'll love this book. For all this there is plenty of grit in here too, if you care to look. A world perpetually on the brink of ruin by a pandemic-like enemy which I couldn't help but feel eerily timed as the lockdown of 2020 set in. Every generation in this world fights for survival. It's a cycle of chaos and order that seems never ending, and no one is brave enough to try and break it. Until a low born pot boy with a heart more powerful than his head saves a dragon egg doomed to die. Change is coming to this world and its people and dragons must learn to bend with it or remain as they always have and break.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve Naylor

    Rating 5.0 stars This is an excellent book that reminded me of the Eragon series. In this world dragons exist. Some are wild dragons and some have riders. Magic comes from the dragon and their riders are able to wield this magic. Dragon riders are part of the Order. A group that is dedicated to fighting the scourge (a plague or rot and decay that can lead to the dead rising). The people that join the order forswear all other allegiances, including their own family. The story follows Holt Cook. Rating 5.0 stars This is an excellent book that reminded me of the Eragon series. In this world dragons exist. Some are wild dragons and some have riders. Magic comes from the dragon and their riders are able to wield this magic. Dragon riders are part of the Order. A group that is dedicated to fighting the scourge (a plague or rot and decay that can lead to the dead rising). The people that join the order forswear all other allegiances, including their own family. The story follows Holt Cook. AS his name implies his father is a Cook at the keep for the dragons and their riders. Holt is almost 16 and will start his apprenticeship soon. He is happy for the most part but doesn't like the way he and other commoners are treated by the nobility or the dragon riders. Like everyone else he has a fantasy of becoming a dragon rider. He gets to see dragon eggs for the first time but it isn't how he imagined. He never new that at the choosing, only those eggs that are thought to be perfect are allowed to hatch. Every other egg is destroyed. Dragons hate weakness. When Holt is told to destroy an egg, he isn't able to do it. He makes a impulsive decision and saves the egg. Once he has time to think about it, he is already stuck. If anyone finds out the egg will be destroyed and he will be punished. The egg hatches and he tries to take care of it the best he can. The dragon was born blind though. This adds another problem on to his growing list. If the other dragons find out about his weakness they will kill him. If the riders find out what Holt did, he will be in trouble as well. The town is attacked by the scourge and one of the other dragon riders betrays them. All the other dragon riders have died. Holt stayed behind to protect his dragon and is left alone. Everyone else evacuated, even his father. He meets up with another young dragon rider, the princess, and an older rider whose dragon is dead. They are shocked at what Holt has done but they have bigger problems with trying to stay alive and warn the other towns. As they go, they find that there is something special with Holt and his dragon. There connection is stronger than it should be and their growth rate is too fast. They can't figure out what type of magic that Ash (the dragon) uses. We find out later that he uses moonlight. This is a completely new type of magic that the other dragons have never seen before. That might be because they used to kill all the eggs that they didn't think were perfect. There is a lot going on below the surface in this story. Differences in station and what that means. The main character is 16 years old, but I didn't think of this as a YA story. More a coming into your own story. Holt was thrust into his role because no one else was around. There was betrayal and mysteries. Overall, I thought this was an excellent read and I am looking forward to the next one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    eriophora

    Super tropey, but it honestly hit the spot for me. I'm a sucker for dragons, and progression fantasy is always fun and keeps me really invested. This is a traditional dragonrider society vs threat sort of book (think Pern) but with a hard magic twist. I'd recommend it to fans of Valdemar or Eragon looking for that same kind of human - nonhuman companion bond. I actually loved how tropey it was - it made for a nice, nostalgic comfort read, which was just what I needed. Full review to come! Super tropey, but it honestly hit the spot for me. I'm a sucker for dragons, and progression fantasy is always fun and keeps me really invested. This is a traditional dragonrider society vs threat sort of book (think Pern) but with a hard magic twist. I'd recommend it to fans of Valdemar or Eragon looking for that same kind of human - nonhuman companion bond. I actually loved how tropey it was - it made for a nice, nostalgic comfort read, which was just what I needed. Full review to come!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    As soon as I started listening to this book, I recognized Peter Kenny's voice from the Witcher series, and was delighted. He has a melodious way of speaking that works great in the fantasy realm, and does a great job with various voices, right down to the dragons. As told in the synopsis of the book, it starts out with the teenage son of the cook for the dragons and their riders. These riders are revered highest of all, because they protect the people from the Scourge, a hoard that kills all in As soon as I started listening to this book, I recognized Peter Kenny's voice from the Witcher series, and was delighted. He has a melodious way of speaking that works great in the fantasy realm, and does a great job with various voices, right down to the dragons. As told in the synopsis of the book, it starts out with the teenage son of the cook for the dragons and their riders. These riders are revered highest of all, because they protect the people from the Scourge, a hoard that kills all in it's path. Young Holt Cook, wants none less than to be a dragon rider, but his future is already set to become a cook, as is his father. When he stumbles across the fate of the defective dragon eggs, his heart is in turmoil and his path is set. Thus begins an exciting story of coming of age in a world of dragons, with devious political deceptions from humans as well as dragons, making the story a unique one. I really found myself liking the characters of the story, with the mysterious world of the dragons being very intriguing, and the connection of Holt and his dragon endearing. Never a boring book, with plenty of sword and sorcery action will keep you entertained. The language of the book could put it in a YA category, however it has it's share of losses and hardships, making it a dramatic read. A nice foundation is laid out for the series and you could basically stop here if you want, but I know I won't as I have gotten invested in these characters and will want to hear more of their journey.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Al Burke

    A fun epic fantasy. Review to come.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

    Really, really good! I loved the concept of a blind dragon so much! It’s an amazing book and I’ll be waiting for book2!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tim Johnson

    Another awesome adventure from Michael Miller! I got my hands on an advanced copy of this story and so glad I did, it's one of the most unique magic systems I've encountered in Fantasy. Ascendant follows the story of Holt, who is torn from his life as an apprentice cook into the world of the dragon riders, during a terrible blight against a seemingly unstoppable horde. What I loved the most was the progression; you feel the character and his dragon slowly get stronger, and I really enjoyed the wa Another awesome adventure from Michael Miller! I got my hands on an advanced copy of this story and so glad I did, it's one of the most unique magic systems I've encountered in Fantasy. Ascendant follows the story of Holt, who is torn from his life as an apprentice cook into the world of the dragon riders, during a terrible blight against a seemingly unstoppable horde. What I loved the most was the progression; you feel the character and his dragon slowly get stronger, and I really enjoyed the way he overcame the obstacles presented via their use of magic. It's a wild ride; I loved it and I can't wait for book 2!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Casie

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I’m not going to go into details of this book so I don’t accidentally give anything away, but about my general thoughts and feelings on the book as a whole. This book pulled me in right from the very beginning. Once I started it, it was hard for me to put it down and I read it in every free moment I had. Mr. Miller does a wonderful job of building the world by showing us through the characters instead of just telling us about it. T I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I’m not going to go into details of this book so I don’t accidentally give anything away, but about my general thoughts and feelings on the book as a whole. This book pulled me in right from the very beginning. Once I started it, it was hard for me to put it down and I read it in every free moment I had. Mr. Miller does a wonderful job of building the world by showing us through the characters instead of just telling us about it. The book moves at a nice pace and there was never a point where I felt it dragged or I had to push through to get to the next good part. He also does a wonderful job in creating characters who are well rounded. They are human and have flaws, but you can sympathize with them and you root for them. The other thing I liked about this book is that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. There is a larger arc that will span the books, but the main conflict for this book is resolved, while setting up future arcs for the rest of the series. I look forward to the next book and can’t wait to see where Mr. Miller takes our main characters next.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    It is not often I give a book 5 stars! Finding good books can be a challenge. Good books for me usually mean – clean (no sex and limited to no profanity), an engaging storyline, and believable characters. I really think it says a lot about an author who can craft a story without feeling the need to include “adult content”. Because of my unusually high standards, I often find it hard to discover good books. So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Ascendant (Songs of Chaos Book 1) by Michae It is not often I give a book 5 stars! Finding good books can be a challenge. Good books for me usually mean – clean (no sex and limited to no profanity), an engaging storyline, and believable characters. I really think it says a lot about an author who can craft a story without feeling the need to include “adult content”. Because of my unusually high standards, I often find it hard to discover good books. So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Ascendant (Songs of Chaos Book 1) by Michael R. Miller. It meets all my qualifications and is story I can recommend to anyone (child and adult), without reservations. Miller describes this series as “combining the best of Eragon/How To Train Your Dragon with eastern inspired magic systems of Xianxia and cultivation fantasy”, and I would agree. However, I would take it one step further and say that Miller’s style of writing is far more developed than Christopher Paolini’s Eragon. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Eragon and read and re-read it as a teen.) However, Miller’s Ascendant delves more deeply into the characters; you see the character’s internal struggles, which makes them more relatable and even more courageous because you know their fears and insecurities. What I liked most about this story is that it affirms the dignity of life, even that of the unborn. Holt is tasked with destroying a dragon egg because the Matriarch sensed an imperfection in it. However, Holt is unable to follow through with the task because it “just feels wrong” (Chapter 5). Later, when an opportunity presents itself, Holt rescues the dragon egg, intending to protect it until he can release it into the wild. Of course, things don’t go as planned, and the dragon egg hatches before Holt can release it. The dragon inside is blind. As the story continues both Ash (the dragon) and Holt face many obstacles, one of which is the hostility of the other dragons who believe Ash should not be allowed to live. Holt feels increasing guilt for the struggles Ash faces, both because he is blind and because he is ostracized by the other dragons. When Holt mentions this to Ash, Ash sums it up quite nicely saying “Never worry about my eyes – I’m glad to experience the world as I do rather than not at all. As for others of my kind, they can accept me or not as they choose. I will not allow my own worth to be determined by them.” (Chapter 54) In today’s society where we can abort the unborn simply because we do not want the responsibility of raising a child or because the child is going to be born with “imperfections” (disabilities/deformities), this book provides a reminder that all life has value. Whether or not the author intended this, I do not know. However, I will say it is refreshing and one of my favorite aspects of the book. I look forward to the second book in the series and in the meantime will enjoy his other book series – The Dragon’s Blade. I will be adding this book to my Favorites list, and it has even made it in the top-10. Visit my blog to see what other stories I enjoy: reading4fun.blog

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex Knight

    This book has everything I loved from series like the Inheritance Cycle, but turned up to 11 and with innovative twists that make old ideas fresh and interesting again. This is easily my favorite fantasy book of 2020! I beta read an early copy and just...wow. The magic system is particularly unique and fun to envision (I really want to see what magic comes in book two!) and the antagonist horde is increasingly terrifying with each interaction. I also really enjoyed the relationships between the d This book has everything I loved from series like the Inheritance Cycle, but turned up to 11 and with innovative twists that make old ideas fresh and interesting again. This is easily my favorite fantasy book of 2020! I beta read an early copy and just...wow. The magic system is particularly unique and fun to envision (I really want to see what magic comes in book two!) and the antagonist horde is increasingly terrifying with each interaction. I also really enjoyed the relationships between the dragons and their riders. They were raw and real. Miller has crafted a wide, rich world that I can't wait to learn more about. He's an experienced author and it shows in how easy to read this book was. It's a long one and I knocked it out in like four days (which is unheard of for a slow poke like me). Don't pass on this book. Get in on the ground floor, this series is gonna be big!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bma180

    This book has everything I love about sword and sorcery (and I read a lot of it!). The magic system feels fresh and new with enough familiar elements to make it easily understood while also having a variety of new abilities to discover as the world is explored and characters grow. I particularly liked the elemental themes linked to the various dragon types. Storm dragons, Earth dragons, Mystic dragons - all very cool. Ash's typing is of course particularly awesome but I also cant wait to find out This book has everything I love about sword and sorcery (and I read a lot of it!). The magic system feels fresh and new with enough familiar elements to make it easily understood while also having a variety of new abilities to discover as the world is explored and characters grow. I particularly liked the elemental themes linked to the various dragon types. Storm dragons, Earth dragons, Mystic dragons - all very cool. Ash's typing is of course particularly awesome but I also cant wait to find out more about Wild dragons and creatures like Rake! The Daredevil vibe is undeniable as Holt's dragon Ash essentially sees with his hearing, creating unique challenges that the main characters must overcome but also some really neat advantages. The character development is spot on and you really feel Holt (and Ash) grow as the book progresses. The relationships also feel real and the group dynamics create a really nice backdrop to some well executed action and adventure. The Scourge are super creepy and creatively developed antagonists with their own strange powers, making for excellent fight scenes. The prose are a joy to read the excellent pacing makes it hard to put down. Finally, I must say the food descriptions are amazing - it really feels like Holt is an actual cook - they made me hungry every time. If you like a heartfelt & exciting tale of adventure and magic then I recommend reading this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Bowen-Brazell

    A welcome breath of fresh air. I am giving this book a resounding 5 stars.I don't usually leave reviews but this book deserves it. I picked it up and literally couldn't put my phone down until I finished it. It grabbed me from the get go and never let go. And even better the book left me desperately wanting more but without that bittersweet feeling I usually get from finishing a book in a series that has yet to be released. All I can say is amazing job and I can't wait for the next in the series. A welcome breath of fresh air. I am giving this book a resounding 5 stars.I don't usually leave reviews but this book deserves it. I picked it up and literally couldn't put my phone down until I finished it. It grabbed me from the get go and never let go. And even better the book left me desperately wanting more but without that bittersweet feeling I usually get from finishing a book in a series that has yet to be released. All I can say is amazing job and I can't wait for the next in the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David

    I received a ARC of this book in an exchange for a honest review. First this was an enjoyable read which left me wanting more. Our protagonist is a young man and acts that way. Throughout the story we meet more characters each with their own flaws giving some flavor and depth to the story. Yes it's filled with tropes and is a boy and his dragon story. But, the MC learns and grows as we progress through the story. Not so much that it is completely over the top, but enough that it's there. If you li I received a ARC of this book in an exchange for a honest review. First this was an enjoyable read which left me wanting more. Our protagonist is a young man and acts that way. Throughout the story we meet more characters each with their own flaws giving some flavor and depth to the story. Yes it's filled with tropes and is a boy and his dragon story. But, the MC learns and grows as we progress through the story. Not so much that it is completely over the top, but enough that it's there. If you like dragons and adventure, you should give it a try. I'll be reading the next book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    I was completely surprised and blown away by this book. I alternated between reading and listening to it and thought the narrator did a wonderful job. This book brought back memories of several books in the High Fantasy dragon genre that I have come to really like. Yet, it was uniquely its own story. It is hard not to fall in love with Holt Cook and his dragon Ash. The strength of this book, in my opinion, is the way the author creates such a strong and believable set of characters that are all s I was completely surprised and blown away by this book. I alternated between reading and listening to it and thought the narrator did a wonderful job. This book brought back memories of several books in the High Fantasy dragon genre that I have come to really like. Yet, it was uniquely its own story. It is hard not to fall in love with Holt Cook and his dragon Ash. The strength of this book, in my opinion, is the way the author creates such a strong and believable set of characters that are all so very different, yet they learn to become a team and they eventually begin to become somewhat of a family. The character development is strong, creating extremely fleshed out characters with certain people, and yet setting the stage in mystery with others. There are a few characters that I am just extremely curious about and can't wait to find out the back story of (ahem...Rake...). He (Michael Miller) also did a wonderful job with the world building so that we could step right into this world and not be lost or get pulled out of the story because something just didn't make sense. Does that mean that the descriptions are completely done? No, of course not. But, it leaves room to continue building to be able to answer some of the questions that are bound to occur as Ash and Holt go off into the rest of the world. The relationship between Ash/Holt and Talia/Pyria was so nicely done - the irony of a princess and a pot boy - yet, it was so patiently done that by the end of the story they each respect, and more important, like each other. There are politics involved and actually quite a lot that we the reader are not yet privy to, but I am hooked. Can't wait for book 2 to see what happens next.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barry Byrne

    Wonderful I don't review often as I never know what to say but I really enjoyed that can't wait for the next one. Well worth the read a cut above the average Wonderful I don't review often as I never know what to say but I really enjoyed that can't wait for the next one. Well worth the read a cut above the average

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Schultz

    Fantastic This book really touched my heart. I can't remember when a book has made me cry. This one did, twice. One of the best books I've ever read. And I've read thousands Fantastic This book really touched my heart. I can't remember when a book has made me cry. This one did, twice. One of the best books I've ever read. And I've read thousands

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adele

    This new work by the skilled author of the "The Dragon's Blade" trilogy, brings us a set of complex young heroes. As he guides our main character through his angst and challenges, he invites us to come along and thrill to a whole new world of dragons. Well done, Michael. This new work by the skilled author of the "The Dragon's Blade" trilogy, brings us a set of complex young heroes. As he guides our main character through his angst and challenges, he invites us to come along and thrill to a whole new world of dragons. Well done, Michael.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    Michael Miller has excelled himself in this, the first book in his new series in which we get to meet dragons and their riders, part of the order which protects the country from the scourge which was bringing death to both cities and forests. The order of dragon riders were held in high esteem but there were those who felt that their arrogance and the expense to maintain them was not earned. All those who became riders were usually of noble birth but once they took the oath they had to relinquis Michael Miller has excelled himself in this, the first book in his new series in which we get to meet dragons and their riders, part of the order which protects the country from the scourge which was bringing death to both cities and forests. The order of dragon riders were held in high esteem but there were those who felt that their arrogance and the expense to maintain them was not earned. All those who became riders were usually of noble birth but once they took the oath they had to relinquish ties to family and other interests. Until one fine day a pot boy by the name of Holt Cook came across a hatching and his heart broke to see the matriarch dispose of an egg because it was flawed. Holt’s heart always worked more than his brain and he stole the egg and hid it till it hatched, then quickly bonded to the new hatchling who was totally white and blind, and who he later called Ash. This is a story of amazing courage, to stand for what is right, to defend those more vulnerable and to prove that dreams can come true, as well as one of great betrayals, both by humans and dragons alike. The country believed that order should always come before chaos and everyone believed they should all do their role without question and serve as best they could however Holt had dared to dream and in doing so he had brought chaos to the land but in doing so he and Ash had also brought the land’s salvation. The road our two heroes traveled was full of strife, yet their bond was strong and true and no one would ever split them apart. I really enjoyed reading this amazing first book in the Songs of Chaos series and look forward to continuing on the journey of discovery upon which Holt and Ash now need to travel. I do believe that all readers who love an epic saga of great scope and depth and all who love dragons and dragon riders should make sure to read this book which I can personally guarantee with not be disappointing. The final epic battle against all that the scourge could throw at the city of Sidastra is breath taking and reminded me of the great battles against massive sentient insects depicted in the best selling series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Shadows of the Apt and the beautiful white and flawed dragon which Anne Mc Caffrey wrote about in the Dragon Riders of Pern series. This book in my opinion should be rated among these best sellers too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    Perfectly serviceable YA dragon lit, but it is very typical YA dragon lit. All the common tropes from coming-of-age stories, monster scourge stories, a boy and his dragon, etc. are here. This makes it feel very familiar and safe...and also very predictable and derivative. There are significant similarities to the Inheritance Cycle books and Eragon in particular, down to the party composition, mentor character, barely-there budding romance, parent death, invading force, etc. Young fans of the ser Perfectly serviceable YA dragon lit, but it is very typical YA dragon lit. All the common tropes from coming-of-age stories, monster scourge stories, a boy and his dragon, etc. are here. This makes it feel very familiar and safe...and also very predictable and derivative. There are significant similarities to the Inheritance Cycle books and Eragon in particular, down to the party composition, mentor character, barely-there budding romance, parent death, invading force, etc. Young fans of the series will probably find that to be a plus as it is more of what they like. The magic system is also similar to that in Eragon, with riders having abilities due to a connection with the dragon, the form of the abilities relating to the type of dragon they are bonded to, and there is a limited well of energy that they can safely pull from at a time. In Eragon, there's a bit more to the system involving language; in Ascendant, there's a bit more to the system involving video game leveling. While I appreciate how precise and specific the author was trying to be, its very jarring to have what is your typical teenage medieval fantasy protagonists talking about dragons and insect hordes suddenly saying how "When you unlock the third level, you can cast 3 spells a day using 75% of your dragon's soul mana, which recovers at a rate of 3 motes/day unless you practice, in which case you'll hit level 4 and have access to 90% of the mana..." I mean, who calculates percentages of a soul? It reads like a D&D manual, it feels jarring and artificial. This is a case where less detail and precision would have felt far more natural to the world. I do like the relationship between the riders and dragons, particularly Holt and Ash. I do like that Ash isn't treated like an invalid for the entirety of the book, although there is a bit of Rudolf syndrome going on ("Your differences are only tolerated as much as you can make yourself useful to oppressors."). I like that Holt doesn't spend the book mooning over Talia - (view spoiler)[ the romance is but a chase kiss on the cheek at the end that could just as easily be platonic affection (hide spoiler)] . Overall I'd be willing to give one more book in the series a try.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    Amazing! ----- 3/13/2021 A real review now: Ash and Holt are both so new to the world of dragon riders that you can learn along with them. There is a very detailed magic system, which I appreciated as it helped me understand that world more. There was one time where the detail got a little heavy (when they were talking of the amounts of dragon core the rider can use at the different levels) and I had to reread that and let my brain figure it out later. I think that Miller’s magic system has several Amazing! ----- 3/13/2021 A real review now: Ash and Holt are both so new to the world of dragon riders that you can learn along with them. There is a very detailed magic system, which I appreciated as it helped me understand that world more. There was one time where the detail got a little heavy (when they were talking of the amounts of dragon core the rider can use at the different levels) and I had to reread that and let my brain figure it out later. I think that Miller’s magic system has several different aspects and spells to make it unique from many of the other dragon rider stories. I was impressed with the creatures he created to make up the “scourge.” I cannot remember reading any books with monsters like those; at times the insects grossed me out! Overall, an impressively clean book with a fantastic plotline! If you loved Eragon, you will probably love this book too! ------ Now, time for a nerd moment 🤓: Which dragon would I want to be? If I were one of the four types of dragon in Ascendant’s world: Earth, Fire, Storm, Mystic, I would be a storm dragon. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating, and magical feeling standing outside, arms flung wide and face upturned, with the wind whipping around you, and the first drops of rain begin to fall. You stand out there, laughing at the clouds and the cold spatterings of raindrops. Maybe you even twirl or splash through puddles. The rain speaks of freshness, renewal, and nourishment, and it is wonderful. However, if I could make up my own type, I would definitely choose a solar dragon, whose power comes from the sun. Almost without fail, every time I go outside and there is even the slightest hint of the sun, I will try to absorb its rays. Flinging your arms out wide, you turn your face up to the sun like a flower. It feels so warm and soothing, you wish you could take it into you and hold onto it for future gray and rainy days; sometimes it seems we can never get enough of the brilliant light! Perhaps you feel inspired to run through the grass barefoot, a giddy smile on your face as the sun-kissed grass tickles your feet. Sunshine encourages growth, warming the soil for the plants and warming the water for swimming! What type of dragon would you be, and why? Thanks for reading my nerdy moment! Hahaha! Read my full review and others here: https://diaryofanerdybookworm.wordpre...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peter Hill

    I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was genuinely delighted to see the email from Michael to read this ARC. Just from what I've read about this book prior to receiving the ARC, I There are many things I loved about the book, for starters I really liked our two main protagonists. Ash and Holt grew up together, learning together as their world is turned upside down. They have some great interactions with one another, and I really like that the dragons here aren't mindless beasts, I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was genuinely delighted to see the email from Michael to read this ARC. Just from what I've read about this book prior to receiving the ARC, I There are many things I loved about the book, for starters I really liked our two main protagonists. Ash and Holt grew up together, learning together as their world is turned upside down. They have some great interactions with one another, and I really like that the dragons here aren't mindless beasts, but are intelligent and all have their own unique personalities. The fact that they all have abilities based on the weather was an added delight. Holt, himself, is an appealing protagonist. Hardworking, smart, and caring, as well as inquisitive, he was easy to attach myself to. Ash is a charming dragon. Admittedly, though I should have known better, there is an incident early on where there's a chance that Ash could have been killed, and though obviously he wasn't going to die due to how early on in the novel it happens, I was greatly concerned. The fact that Michael turns Ash into a blind dragon is original (as far as I'm aware), but he makes Ash into a formidable and delightful dragon to follow. The novel was never slow for me, there was always something going on that kept my attention, whether action-wise or not. A lot of the characters were fleshed out with their own beliefs, experiences and attitudes to draw from which kept me engaged in the calmer moments of the novel. I can't say there was anything that put me off, Ascendant is the right size to soak up over a good period of time whilst not dragging. This ARC arrived precisely when I needed something new to escape from what's going on in the world, and I think it'll give readers a great time! Looking forward to book 2!

  23. 5 out of 5

    JUDITH DICKINSON

    At 15 years of age Holt Cook is a mere pot washer in the Order Hall of Crag, but his future is written in stone. Cook by name and cook by profession. Holt will follow his father in the family tradition, his training is about to commence. Or is it? Growing up in a time of dragons and dragon riders he has seen them as heroic defenders of his people. However he suddenly discovers that their young are only allowed to be born and survive if they are pure and fit. Any who don't come up to the expected At 15 years of age Holt Cook is a mere pot washer in the Order Hall of Crag, but his future is written in stone. Cook by name and cook by profession. Holt will follow his father in the family tradition, his training is about to commence. Or is it? Growing up in a time of dragons and dragon riders he has seen them as heroic defenders of his people. However he suddenly discovers that their young are only allowed to be born and survive if they are pure and fit. Any who don't come up to the expected standard of a potential warrior are simply killed. Halt rescues one of these doomed dragon eggs, not really knowing what he will do if and when it hatches. The hatchling is blind but Holt is determined to help all he can, but it is only when he meets some dragon riders who are willing to share some of their expertise with him that he really begins to bond with his own. The magic that surrounds these magnificent creatures and their riders begins to take effect. Holt has to decide if he is able to follow this dream or if he must become a cook as tradition decrees. The magic is the major factor in the battles against the enemy and the horrendous plague-lie illness that also threatens their kind, but it is the individual characters that draw the reader in to their world and all the dangers that surround them. They took me along on their journey, the highs and the lows, all the challenges that were thrown at them, I was there with them. I really cannot wait to read the rest of this series of stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I LOVE this book. The Inheritance Cycle was a huge part of my teenage years, and finding solid, well written and well thought out Dragon Rider books isn't easy. Let me be clear: this book is NOT an Eragon ripoff. Ascendant stands firmly and confidently on its own as a wonderful, new, remarkable and clever Dragon Rider book (and start of a series). However, there is no denying that if you love the Inheritance Cycle that you will also love Ascendant. What is this book like? Mix the atmosphere of Ala I LOVE this book. The Inheritance Cycle was a huge part of my teenage years, and finding solid, well written and well thought out Dragon Rider books isn't easy. Let me be clear: this book is NOT an Eragon ripoff. Ascendant stands firmly and confidently on its own as a wonderful, new, remarkable and clever Dragon Rider book (and start of a series). However, there is no denying that if you love the Inheritance Cycle that you will also love Ascendant. What is this book like? Mix the atmosphere of Alageasia, the magic system of the Forgotten Realms and the flare of Azeroth and you have a pretty damn good starting point for how this story goes. Something important for the first book of a series - and something that's tricky to do well - is to properly wrap it up, while still leaving tasty hints for the next step of the series. Ascendants ending was perfectly done and I am incredibly satisfied with this book. The magic system of the Riders and Dragons is SO COOL. I adore it. All good magic needs restraints, punishments and reward systems. Ascendants magic system is, honestly, flawless and so, so well explained (even if Holt doesn't always get it, you, the reader, absolutely will). Holt is a wonderful Hero, Ash is pure perfection (and my favorite color for dragons~) and I'm really keen to not only meet more new characters of this series, but to *hopefully* learn more about Rake. I fricken love Rake. Even the very small bits we got of him, I just know he's my type of character. If I had to pick a negative- and I mean if I'm absolutely forced to pick SOMETHING - I'd gripe that, of course the female lead is a red head. ~petty moment over~ Happy? Thats my only complaint. Tl;dr Fantastic Dragon Rider story, beautifully written and meticulously thought out, with well rounded and developed characters and a great magic system. You won't regret this one. I will now impatiently wait for the next book....

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mat

    This story is is fun, fast paced, and a very easy read. The magic system is fun and interesting and really grows on you quickly. I loved the human aspect of the story. How you felt the despair and the agony. The feelings of loss and victory. I enjoyed the character growth. It didn't feel too rushed and even though this is a story of fantasy, the characters seemed to grow realistically. A world where humans and dragons don't just live together in but actually interact with each other and respect This story is is fun, fast paced, and a very easy read. The magic system is fun and interesting and really grows on you quickly. I loved the human aspect of the story. How you felt the despair and the agony. The feelings of loss and victory. I enjoyed the character growth. It didn't feel too rushed and even though this is a story of fantasy, the characters seemed to grow realistically. A world where humans and dragons don't just live together in but actually interact with each other and respect each other (in some aspects) is a win for me. I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the world that the author has thought up for us. It is large and seems full of promise. Michael Miller is an author who if he wasn't on your radar yet, you've been missing out! Grab this book and all of his others. You won't be disappointed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Swav Fellow

    I got a hold of this copy via the Reddit early release. Songs of Chaos #1 is the beginning to a series with lots of potential character growth and world building. I found the progression fantasy(pf) aspect to be a refreshing spin on the cultivation techniques in many other pf's. Miller introduces quite a few factors into his world that make progression much more expansive than one 'path' in other books. My only nitpick with the first book is that the world and characters feel a bit shallow(will l I got a hold of this copy via the Reddit early release. Songs of Chaos #1 is the beginning to a series with lots of potential character growth and world building. I found the progression fantasy(pf) aspect to be a refreshing spin on the cultivation techniques in many other pf's. Miller introduces quite a few factors into his world that make progression much more expansive than one 'path' in other books. My only nitpick with the first book is that the world and characters feel a bit shallow(will likely be resolved with future books). That being said, I'm really looking forward to how Miller moves forward regarding future power growth of both Holt and Ash.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dinees Ponton

    An amazing dragon story: This was one of those books that once you started, you didn't want to put the book down. I loved it from start. Ash, Holt, Talia, Pyra and Brode are amazing. There is lots of action. Each character has growth and has to make a lot of tough decisions. Our main characters were a young boy a young girl and their dragons. The book is also sad. I cried. There are some things with the dragon bond that I have never seen in a book before. They were interesting. I can't wait for t An amazing dragon story: This was one of those books that once you started, you didn't want to put the book down. I loved it from start. Ash, Holt, Talia, Pyra and Brode are amazing. There is lots of action. Each character has growth and has to make a lot of tough decisions. Our main characters were a young boy a young girl and their dragons. The book is also sad. I cried. There are some things with the dragon bond that I have never seen in a book before. They were interesting. I can't wait for the next story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books about dragons.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Carlton-Hess

    Michael R Miller's Ascendant (Book 1 in the Songs of Chaos series) is a wonderful adventure for those missing great dragon rider stories. An homage to McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series, with the moving of damaged eggs and the feeing of the hatchlings. This is a new spin, with magic and new types of dragons. Holt and Ash must grow up quicker than any dragon and rider of the Crag. Intrigue in the palace court and betrayal by those sworn to protect the land from the Scourge. Two dragons have s Michael R Miller's Ascendant (Book 1 in the Songs of Chaos series) is a wonderful adventure for those missing great dragon rider stories. An homage to McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series, with the moving of damaged eggs and the feeing of the hatchlings. This is a new spin, with magic and new types of dragons. Holt and Ash must grow up quicker than any dragon and rider of the Crag. Intrigue in the palace court and betrayal by those sworn to protect the land from the Scourge. Two dragons have survived the attack and must help those on their travel to the palace. Watch this new series by a young author! I foresee many years of wonderful adventures.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emilio

    Could not put it down The characters are well written. and the pacing is good, although it feels a bit rushed in a few places, and it would have been nice to have a bit more description in some areas or events. At the beginning it feels a lot like the Eragon books, but quickly builds up on that to create it's own world. It's also to it's merit that the story is neither a "naive rose-colored fantasy" or an dark and edgy one, walking instead a fine line between the two, which ultimately works in it' Could not put it down The characters are well written. and the pacing is good, although it feels a bit rushed in a few places, and it would have been nice to have a bit more description in some areas or events. At the beginning it feels a lot like the Eragon books, but quickly builds up on that to create it's own world. It's also to it's merit that the story is neither a "naive rose-colored fantasy" or an dark and edgy one, walking instead a fine line between the two, which ultimately works in it's favour. Just like a videogame tutorial, the book takes place in a small kingdom which is (as we are reminded a few times) "an afterthought of the rest of the wold", a perfect setting to introduce us to the characters and the trials they will face from here on. A setting that, at the end, expands massively, allowing the sequels to spead their wings in new and exciting directions. Sequels that, as far as I'm concerned, will definetly buy and read as soon as they are made available.

  30. 4 out of 5

    cathryn baker

    Blind love 5 stars for this book, as a great fan of Anne McCaffreys Pern books this book had a lot to live up too, and it did! you travel along with Holt the pot boy and his humble beginnings saving a dragons egg from destruction because it was defective in some way, to the love and loyalty that starts right from their meeting when Ash the blind Dragon hatches. Can't wait for the next book , I need to know what happens to them. Blind love 5 stars for this book, as a great fan of Anne McCaffreys Pern books this book had a lot to live up too, and it did! you travel along with Holt the pot boy and his humble beginnings saving a dragons egg from destruction because it was defective in some way, to the love and loyalty that starts right from their meeting when Ash the blind Dragon hatches. Can't wait for the next book , I need to know what happens to them.

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