Author: Nandi Taylor
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Date published: January 21, 2020
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
⤖ My Review ⬻
Nandi Taylor’s debut, Given, was such a fun read! And even days after reading the last page, I’m still experiencing a book hangover! I really hope that she writes more in this world, or even continues the series. Actually, I’ll be happy if she continues writing books in general! As tends to be the case, the first thing that caught my attention about Given was the cover. Even with the progress, we’re making, it’s still so rare to see a woman of colour on the cover of a book, and that really drew me in.
As if that didn’t already convince me enough to read the synopsis, I then noted the dragon in the background/top of the cover. And I’m so glad that I looked further into this book because I absolutely loved it! Those of you who might have noticed my progress with this book on Goodreads and are thinking “hey…then why did it take you so long to read it?”
I have an answer for you—and it’s a 2-part answer, actually: One, I started reading Nandi Taylor’s debut while coming out of a reading slump and two, I was enjoying Given so much that I read it a little slower so that I could savour it. I’ve never come across a world that is so based on our own, but at the same time so very different. Every time I opened Given, I was instantly transported to Nandi Taylor’s world and loved every minute of it.
And the characters! Oh, the characters. They will definitely stay with me for a long time. Even though this book wasn’t longer than the general length of YA fantasy books, the way in which it was written just made me connect with the characters, and remember who they are, in such a special way. And dragons! There were dragons. Honestly, I could go on and on about this book, but I’ll cut myself short here and will just say that I highly recommend this book and that I will patiently—or, more accurately, impatiently—waiting for what Nandi Taylor writes next!
⤖ About the Author ⬻
Nandi Taylor grew up devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels, and from a young age wrote books of her own. Her books are an expression of what she always wanted more of growing up—diverse protagonists in speculative settings. Common themes she writes about are growth, courage, and finding one’s place in the world.
⤖ Purchase the Book ⬻
⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!