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Book Review: The Citrine Key

Table of Contents

“A stolen artefact.

An ancient dragon.

One man’s final chance.

Life-long thief Apollo Tamlin has been marked for execution. When the mage Queen Surayo offers him a pardon, he doesn’t ask questions – any task she has is better than a walk to the gallows.

Succeed, and not only will it preserve peace in his homeland, but Apollo can rebuild the life he’s ruined.

Sent to a distant continent to feed a stolen artefact to an ancient and powerful dragon spirit sounds simple, but things quickly start going wrong. His companions are not what they seem, the dragon would rather eat him, and the artefact displays its own magic – throwing the entire mission into peril.”

Title: The Citrine Key

Series: Dragon Spirits #0.5

Author: L.L. MacRae

Page Count: 115

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 14th, 2023

I don’t typically provide a full review for novellas but I thought I’d at least share some quick thoughts on The Citrine Key by L.L. Macrae. This novella was honestly the book that put the author on my radar a year or more ago. With that being said, I didn’t get to this read or this series until November of 2023. I did however dive into her other series The World of Linaria which I absolutely love!
I figured it was long overdue that I get into this series. I actually started the audiobook of book one The Iron Crown and some friends strongly suggested that I read The Citrine Key first so I put the audiobook on hold and picked this one up to knock out.
The pacing was done well. This was a very intense story in such a small page count. This isn’t much of a surprise for me and something I have come to expect from this author. She does a great job in making a story flow very well and allow the reader to become immersed in the world and it’s characters. Names of characters and places and overall vocabulary was easy to keep up with.
The worldbuilding was also great considering the short time we had to be introduced to the regions, creatures and magic of this story. We get a brief glimpse of a region before we set out on the real adventure and find ourselves in a very magical land effected by both a Dragon Spirit as well as the Myr.
The character development was also really good in this short read. We get to know quite a bit about a handful of characters in The Citrine Key as well as some of their opposing forces or characters. I found myself intrigued and attached to Yorik rather quickly. Though by the end I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of our surviving characters.
Now that I’ve finished the novella and I’ve picked The Iron Crown back up, I can see why it was strongly suggested that I read this one first.
That will be my recommendation as well. If you’re looking into reading the Dragon Spirits series by L.L. Macrae, go ahead and knock this one out first as it’s an excellent introduction into the world and some of it’s characters.
This series seems more along the lines of typical fantasy compared to the author’s other series. If you’re looking for adventure that includes magic, dragons and a mysterious group as our main antagonist, this might be right up your alley.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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