Wild Sky is an epic fantasy adventure set in a world where wild dragons roam the skies. The story begins with Tauran Darrica, a wounded veteran of dragon combat (we know something awful happened to him in the battle, we just don’t know exactly what), who is just barely scraping by after leaving the Sky Guard. Tauran returns to the city of Valreus, a place full of bittersweet memories of his time as a dragon rider in the Sky Guard. There he meets Kalai, an idealistic young foreigner who came to Valreus looking for adventure. Kalai happens to be in the right place at the right time and is given a job working for the Sky Guard as their archivist, translating old scrolls full of Dragon Advice from his native language into something the guard can use. Tauran and Kalai quickly bond over their shared enthusiasm for parenting: dragon parenting, that is. They work together to hatch a very large dragon egg that may or may not (no spoilers!) contain a very adorable, very feisty baby dragon.
Everything seems to be going pretty well, until wild dragons start attacking the city of Valreus. Tauran and Kalai, both dragon experts in their own ways, will need to figure out why the dragons are attacking and who exactly the enemy is.
While this book is primarily an adventure/mystery story, the representation of LGBTQ+ characters is top notch. Tauran and Kalai’s slow burn romance is the heart of the story, and their devotion to one another is sweet and endearing. The content is not explicit at all (no steamy scenes here) but there is lots of affection, touches, kisses, words of endearment. This is the way I like my romances, personally: emotional first and physical second.
In addition to our main pairing (one of whom is bi), we have trans rep with Catria, who is a wonderful side character that I adored: curly-haired girl who loves her dad is my jam.
On its face this book is a very light-hearted romantic adventure story, but for fans of angst and heartbreak there is actually a goldmine here too. This book is so impressive because of how subtly and beautifully the characters’ pain and trauma is explored. The genius comes in with Zaya Feli’s light touch; the writing never feels melodramatic, but results in some really beautiful moments of emotional catharsis. The characters are given the time and space to explore the ghosts of their past in a really satisfying way. Angst is often best when it’s interwoven gently into the narrative so that you can almost wonder if the author did it on purpose or if you’re reading something into it, and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. The emotional peaks in this story are all deeply integrated with the characters’ pain, trauma, guilt, and fear. Fans of fluff will be able to enjoy this book because it’s not in-your-face with dark tropes and suffering, but for those of us that like to see characters grappling with difficult situations, there is much to be found here as well.
I’m giving Wild Sky a 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. There are so many things to love about it: the creativity, the depth of character development and world-building, the amazing message about finding acceptance and love.
Get it on Book Depository (not an affiliate link!)