Arayna, Shapeshifter Dragons, Book 1
Author: Marc Secchia
Narrator: Shiromi Arserio
Released: April 05, 2015
Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?
Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.
Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.
Marc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.
He’s the author of 21 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year – watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards. Look out for Whisper Alive, his latest release. The 4th tale in the Dragonfriend series, Dragonstar, is coming soon!
When he’s not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.
A native of London, England, Shiromi Arserio is a stage actor, voice talent and audiobook narrator. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
In addition to narrating dozens of audiobooks, her voice can be heard in documentaries, e-learning projects and video games such as Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion. Shiromi currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and her two furbabies.
The great dirigibles, called Dragonships, shaded the castle with their oblong shadows. One hundred and fifty feet long, the huge, multi-segmented hydrogen sacks, surrounded by netting, supported a pod beneath for cargo or warriors—up to fifty men in ships as large as these. A Hammer per ship—that was the rule. Gantries ran the length of the starboard and port sides of the cabin. The fore and aft gantries usually held one or more war crossbows, huge weapons capable of shooting a six-foot quarrel accurately over distances of two hundred feet and more. The head of a screaming windroc, the symbol of Sylakia, was stitched upon their bulging sides, and adorned the breastplate of every Sylakian warrior. Archers bristled on the gantries overhead. The massive war crossbows were fully drawn, ready to rain burning missiles on the city at the slightest hint of resistance.
Can you imagine having the ability to shape shift into a dragon? Would it hurt? Would you feel powerful or lonely? Embarrassingly enough, what happens to your clothes? In this story, Aranya, the Princess of Immadia has been kidnapped from her father’s castle and stowed away with other princesses from far away lands. She has no idea how to escape and has nothing, but a fire in her heart. Secchia has a riveting and magical adventure that unfolds in your mind. An imaginative tale that will leave readers yearning for more of the world that he has created.
At first, Aranya has a rough time at making friends among the other princesses; one princess even challenges her to a duel. Aranya is peculiar and keeps to herself so she is easily picked on and rumors spread about sorcery. One strange feat about Aranya is that she has always had dreams of dragons. A black dragon, to be exact. She becomes feverish after putting all of her strength into healing the same princess who previously ridiculed her. Becoming fast friends, Aranya cannot bare to let her die as another victim to this evil man who keeps them as prisoners. Her fury grows steadily each day until she cannot contain the fire. After being accused of treason against the Sylvakian Empire, the man that she desires most is forced to throw her off of a cliff and into the Cloudlands. Chained so that she cannot break free from her descent, her body goes into shock and she enters her dream world once again. She dreams of flying. She dreams of dragons. Then after the fall…she wakes up, but how is she not dead? The world thinks that she is dead.
Secchia has a superb story-line and exceptional character development. All of his characters have such depth that will intrigue the reader and allow them to feel what the author conveys in his characters personalities and demeanor. This review is complimenting the audiobook. The pace was absolutely terrific; it was fast-paced and the narrator was highly entertaining. She changed pitch and vocalization for every character and added sounds for special effect. Arserio’s accent fits the story perfectly! If you are a reader of paranormal and young adult fantasy, you may want to pick this one up. Since this is the first installment in the Shapeshifter Dragons series, the reader can jump right in.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Aranya by Marc Secchia, narrated by Shiromi Arserio.
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