Review: Dragon Prince’s Secret by Elva Birch (2022)

Royal Dragons of Alaska, Book #4

Reviews of the rest of the Royal Dragons of Alaska series: Book #1, Book #2, Book #3

Heat Factor: There’s really just one scene (not long) and everything else is off page

Character Chemistry: He can feel the mating bond, but she can’t!

Plot: The mysterious Kenth appears in the castle bellowing about his kidnapped daughter. His family is shocked to see him, but he’s shocked to see that the stranger in their midst is his mate.

Overall: I wasn’t as invested in Mackenzie and Kenth as I have been in other brothers’ stories, but the growth of the overarching series plot was really interesting.

Well, friends, we have come to the fourth of the six princes of the imaginary Kingdom of Alaska.  This book concerns the heretofore absent Kenth, who had some kind of falling out with the oldest brother. SURPRISE! He has a daughter! Is this the reason for the estrangement? We shall see. 

I suppose you don’t necessarily need to read the rest of the series to read this book, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it. You see, both the heroine and much of the conflict centers on what came before in book three (which was building off book two and so on). Mackenzie was the Hand of the Bad Guy until she helped the protagonists of book three escape and ended up unmoored in Alaska with a bunch of royals who maybe only half trust her. 

Into which chaos bursts Kenth, who immediately recognizes his mate in Mackenzie. Fun twist, magic doesn’t work on Mackenzie, so she can’t sense the bond. 

The blurb talks about them going to rescue Kenth’s abducted daughter (which is why he’s busting into the castle, as one does), but that’s only the very beginning of the book. There were definitely hints that things were not all as they should be, so there was reason for tension to exist…but the middle was slow for me while Kenth and Mackenzie were getting cozier but the plot was still murky. If they’re done rescuing the daughter, how much should I read into these clues about unusual magic? 

I also would have liked more…resolution, perhaps? Between Kenth and Fask. Up to this point, Fask has simply been the rigid, proper eldest brother and we’ve heard about Kenth mostly in a “he’s a second brother but is estranged from Fask so doesn’t live in the castle” kind of way, but when we hit Kenth’s POV in this book, we really get the vibes of Kenth so actively disliking his brother. Fask doesn’t come across great, but also they kind of start a fight (though if it’s a fight based on sibling baggage, is it really starting?) that doesn’t really get resolved. Given how much time in prior books had been spent on their relationship, I would’ve liked to get a bit more hashing things out in this book. More background as to what exactly caused the estrangement? Maybe some form of meaningful resolution or active detente? Either of those may have allowed this component of the story to feel more complete, I think, but I ended up feeling like they didn’t really dig into their past or come to any agreements for the future. Maybe it’ll be forthcoming as the series resolves. 

I’m not sure if it was just where my head was at while I was reading this one or if the pacing just didn’t quite jive with me, so while I enjoyed getting back into the bananas ride that is this series, this one wasn’t my favorite so far. That said, the overarching plot that runs through the whole series gets interestingly developed in this book (no spoilers!) so that was really fun. I’m curious to see what happens with Raval.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

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