Review: Silent Warrior (Dragon Kings 0.5) by Lindsey Piper

Today Silent Warrior is released and I received an ARC copy through edelweiss thanks to Simon & Schuster and of course Lindsey Piper, in exchange for an honest review. Caged Warrior, the first book in the Dragon Kings series, will be released on June 25. The second book, Blood Warrior, will be available on July 30. Silent Warrior is a prequel novella to these books and can easily be read separately.
An exciting, emotionally charged prequel to "The Dragon Kings" trilogy, featuring warriors fighting for their lives in violent Cage matches to guarantee their clans' survival.

A silent woman ashamed of her criminal background becomes a Cage warrior to seek redemption. An unrepentant fortune hunter chooses combat over death to appease a mafia family. Although rivals in battle, they find common ground when seeking their clan's stolen idol, but for vastly different reasons. Neither one suspects that love will begin when he becomes the first man in five years to hear her speak.

I have already read Caged Warrior and I actually recommend reading that book first before reading this novella. Silent Warrior can't go into details like a full length novel, but you will need those details to fully understand everything. Otherwise you will be quite frustrated because some things like the Five Clans and the cartels won't make much sense to you.
"No backing down. And not a single fucking sound."
Hark and Silence first meet while fighting each other. They are both of the Clan Sath, which means they can borrow powers from other Dragon Kings. In this case it means they are evenly matched and they have to depend on their regular fighting skills to win the match. Now Silence is exactly that, silence. No matter what Hark throws at her, she doesn't make a sound. Even facial expressions are a rarity and those are only way to know what she's thinking. The girl isn't mute, but there is a reason she doesn't talk.

Hark on the other hand doesn't know the word silence. The guy doesn't shut up for five seconds. Using words to drive people nuts and distract them, helps him survive. He is amazing, the things that come out of his mouth are funny, provoking and very witty, making it a very enjoyable read.
"Hark glanced at the quiet woman, who had raised her brows in obvious interest. For her, that was practically flirting."
They both have secrets they don't want to share, but for the immediate future they will need each other's help to survive. Hark is the first guy to make Silence speak in five year. He somehow gets to her and she doesn't understand, because his constantly babbling makes her head hurt. Still she can't deny the obvious physical attraction.
"Our clan likes its treasures and secrets," she began haltingly.
He kissed her ear, whisper soft. "And here you are telling one to me, Orla of Sath. Of course we love our secrets. That means it stays with me. I don't share precious things."
Besides getting physical closer, they also get emotionally closer. Still they practically have to drag it out of each other. Both are so keen on their secrets they will only tell it once, never to be spoken of again. It's nice to see them both opening up somewhat. Hark also surprises me by being so tender and sweetly serious at times, when usually he's all about being funny and keeping things superficial.

It couldn't have been that easy for Lindsey Piper to write about a character that doesn't speak. The entire conversation ratio between Hark and Silence, is something like four to one. But the lack of talking from one character does get made up by the word vomit of the other character.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this. I think Hark is a wonderful character and I would love to read more about him. Silence still stays kind of a mystery for me, but that's part of her attraction I guess. I do think you are going to like it more if you read this after you've read Caged Warrior.

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