No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron. ★★★★
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished solidifies my love for this urban fantasy series. I went out and got the fourth book practically as soon as I finished.
This book is the third installment in the series (go to Nice Dragons Finish Last if you’re just starting), and it’s a series you really need to read in order. Seriously, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished starts less than twenty-four hours after book two ended. Oh, and forewarning, spoilers will for the previous books will follow.
At the end of the last book, Julius overthrew his mother’s authoritarian rule and established a council to lead the Heartstriker clan. It’s an entirely new move for dragons, and most of the family is convinced it won’t work. In fact, fractions are already forming to try and destroy Julius and gain their mother’s favor. Julius has his work cut out for him if he’s going to stay alive and make this new council system work.
Meanwhile, Marci is exploring her magic and connection to Ghost. A delegation from the UN arrives with an interest in her — they think she may be the next “Merlin,” whatever that means. Marci’s connection to Ghost is something special and nothing like it has been seen in thousands of years. This whole thread delves deeper into the magical world building of the series. The Heartstriker books have always had great world building, and I’m really enjoying these new additions about how magic and spirits work.
While the world building may have started out my favorite aspect of the series, I think the characters have surpassed it. They’re just so lovable! The Heartstriker books are basically one of those series where you quickly come to adore so many of the characters, including the supporting cast. I really started to love Chelsie in the last book, but we dive deeper into her character and past here. I couldn’t be more pleased! Oh, I also really loved Amelia and Svena’s frenemies type relationship.
Compared to the other books, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished may have fewer action scenes, as a greater deal of the book is taken up with dragon politics/family drama (for dragons, they’re one and the same). You might think this would be boring or slow the pace down, but no. I ended up staying awake until 1 AM to finish it. I sort of regretted my decision the next day when I felt completely terrible, but at the time I was just to enthralled by the story to go to bed.
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished ends on a cliffhanger that left me with a desperate craving for the next book, and I plan on reading it soon. In summary, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished is another excellent installment in a phenomenal series. Really, these books are a ton of fun, and I’d highly recommend them.