Given by Nandi Taylor
Reviewed by Sam!
**I picked this up at ALA Midwinter in 2020, right before COVID. I’d like to thank Nandi and Wattpad Books for the opportunity. You can pick this book up here or at your local independent bookstore**
What I drank prior: I’ve had a bunch of champs at Liz’s place while we’re planning a friend’s 30th bday. I’ve had a whole Kyle of champs on my own
As a princess of the Yirba, Yenni is all-but-engaged to the prince of a neighboring tribe. She knows it’s her duty to ensure peace for her people, but as her father’s stubborn illness steadily worsens, she sets out on a sacred journey to the empire of Cresh, determined to find a way to save him at any cost, even though failure could mean the wrath of her gods and ruin for her people. One further complication? On the day she arrives at the Prevan Academy for Battle and Magical Arts, she meets an arrogant dragon-shifter named Weysh who claims she’s his “Given”, or destined mate. Muscular, beautiful (and completely infuriating), he’s exactly the kind of distraction Yenni can’t afford while her father’s life hangs in the balance.
But while Yenni would like nothing more than to toss Weysh the man into the nearest river, Weysh the dragon quickly becomes a much-needed friend in the confusing northern empire. Yet when her affection for the dragon starts to transfer to the man, Yenni must decide what is more important: her duty to her tribe, or the call of her own heart.
Drunk Overview: ok so…. How do i explain this. One of the tribal princesses Yenni Ajani is going to university in the big city so that she can earn a wish from her god. She’s planning on wishing that her father gets better cause he’s super sick. She’s also almost betrothed to another tribe’s prince. Once she gets to the big city, this dragon. Dragons are people who can shape shift between human and dragon. The dragon accosts her and is all “you’re my given” and that’s like imprinting from Twilight. And expects that they’re gonna get married. Yenni is not pleased but she also is struggling with the culture and things sort of go from there.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this was a Wattpad winner and I got the book from ALA right before covid. After reading it I bought it because I want the author to have my support and I BEG HER to continue the series. This wasn’t stellar but it was really good.
Characters: so we have the main lady Yenni. She is really just tryna save her dad.She didn’t ask to have this rando dragon get in her way but he did and he was awful. She tried so hard being in the big city even though her culture is so different. Then there’s Weysheh (damn, I can’t spell it the way she can’t say it) but he’s like… he sucks so bad at first. He just is like “oh, we’re given? Cool we’re gonna get married” with no thought to her or her feelings. She gives him his education though… right to the FACE.
There are the side characters at school too. They’re like… so great. So pure. They serve no purpose other than to serve Yenni and Weysheh (that’s still not how it’s spelled) but I still love them. The villain though? I think we’re supposed to hate them but also have sympathy but I 100% do not. I also literally loathe the surprise villain but was unsurprised by the revelation.
Plot: so basically the plot here is that while Yenni is tryna get through magic school and not fall in love she’s got someone trying to kill her. A lot of this is world building but I don’t hate it. I really REALLY want book 2, but I don’t see one planned any time soon.
Writing Style: It’s clear that this was Wattpad, but like… the HIGHEST QUALITY Wattpad. I really felt a lot of the emotions she was dealing with. Same with Weysheh
World Building: This world is SO COOL! Like, it’s so unique to have the dragons be shape shifters and it not be a secret. I love it.
What to pair it with: This is like a strawberry daiquiri. It’s super sweet, delicious, and refreshing.
Rating: 3/5 shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,