The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.
Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.
Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia's crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate--and are sentenced to death.
Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what--and who--blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she had any idea what 'betrothed' and 'arranged marriage' mean.
But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper--secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think my students are really going to love this book. I think that both boys and girls will find this read appealing since its strong female lead really punches the story forward. Also, who doesn't love dragons? I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
To be honest, I went into Lawless a little warily. I had a rocky start with it--liking the snarkiness between Kesia and Zephryn, but stumbling a little to figure out what was going on. Fleetwings? Talents? Congruency? Scepters? What? But confusion soon cleared and then it was off on an adventure! The dragon-human war has dragged for years with no resolution. On the dragon side, Kesia, convicted murderer, serves as a soldier for the Pinnacle in hopes of redemption; her fleetwing and tactical partner, deposed Prince Zephryn, too has little choice in his involvement. On the human side, Captain Shance Windkeeper has been conscripted into the war, hiding his distaste for it with alcohol and sex everytime he can. Unlikely partners, it would seem--and yet all three must work together to find the truth--and hopefully, stop the war. I love the way Ippolito has created a dragon culture that's almost tangible and the world comes alive. It's also more interesting when the dragonshifters themselves constantly rediscover parts of their culture and lives that have been stolen away from them due to the war. But really, the best thing about Lawless is how fun it is. True, there's war and conspiracy, death and betrayal, but there's also the lighthearted side of life: Kesia muddling through confusing human social customs; Zilpath's gentle teasing; Shance constantly making a fool of himself for love; the banter between Kesia and Zephryn, Kesia and Shance. However, it's not just a flighty read. Interweaved into this lightheartedness are broad themes of worth and redemption, strength and conviction, and faithfulness. Kesia struggles with her self-worth and is constantly fighting to redeem herself. Yet, as she remembers more about her forgotten past, and discovers more about what brought her to that place, she also learns that her past doesn't have to define her future, the actions of others don't necessarily demean her worth, and that who she is is strong enough. Since this is book 1, obviously the story doesn't end yet. It reaches a sort of pause, and I have questions. But they can wait. Until book 2. Note: I received an ARC from the publisher. This review is my own independent and fair evaluation.
This author really has quite a few surprises in for readers. I have to admit that when I first started reading, I did not like Shance. At. All. I could care less for him when all I wanted was more ZEPHRYN! *clears throat* I mean Kesia and Zephryn. ;) So, to say that I was I a little surprised when I started liking Shance is an understatement. Though I can't say I feel overly sad for him due to circumstances. (Goodness, that sounds heartless!) Now I shouldn't have been surprised because I read this author's previous novelette and loved the romance, but I was taken aback by how much I truly enjoyed the way she weaved a good romance in LAWLESS. I absolutely LOVED Zephryn and Kesia's relationship! A true story of love and seeing it fully realized. Plus, it was really sweet and innocent in many ways. For my third reason, I won't go into too much detail, but there was another character I didn't like. However, I'm actually really looking forward to hearing more of her story in future books. She's a powerful woman, but it seems she's not all what she appears to be. Overall, a good story and a good introduction to steampunk. (The Windkeeper scene was EPIC!!) I'm intrigued as to where things will go next, though I'm a little nervous based on that last conversation. I could imagine it will be another roller coaster ride! Recommended to those who love romance, dragons, and steampunk.