City of Secrets (Battle Dragons #3)

City of Secrets (Battle Dragons #3)
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Release Date
March 07, 2023
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In a modern mega-city built around dragons, one boy gets caught up in the world of underground dragon battles and a high-stakes gang war that could tear his family apart.
Banished from Drakopolis to the desolate frontier town of Glassblower's Gulch, Abel and his family must face a harsh new reality: life without dragons.

Far from the lights and lizards of the megacity, Abel's new home effectively bans the great beasts. Anyone caught smuggling dragons is hauled away by the ruthless sheriff and her fearsome deputies. They have the only dragons in town, and they run the dreaded dragon rodeo, which pits those who fall afoul of the sheriff's "justice" against a wild dragon in a competition for their freedom. It's dragon versus human and only one can win.

Cut off from his friends and desperate to keep his fractious family together, Abel is determined not to break a single rule, even though the sheriff has it out for him. He's going to be a model citizen.

Then he discovers the baby wyvern.

It's a tiny, defenseless thing-and it definitely won't survive without his help. Abel has made it his mission to aid any dragon that needs him. But what is he willing to risk for a baby wyvern in a town without mercy?

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The Path Becomes Clear
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Abel and his family have been sentenced to exile outside Drakopolis to a dragonless frontier town called Glassblower’s Gulch. This is the most time his family has been forced to spend together in a long while and the separate paths of Lena and Silas lead to many tense encounters now that they are together. However, when the dirty underbelly of the corrupt police leads to a personal tragedy, the family is brought into a harmony of purpose. This was nice to see the family align their skills and talents to seek a grand resolution that only Abel could pull off. I once again love his parents’ support as they work to help him achieve his goals. I think they are unique in that they support Abel’s dangerous decisions instead of trying to dissuade or punish him for making them.
Abel is cut off from his friends in Drakopolis as part of his punishment. He thinks he will befriend one of the few kids his age, Kayda. Kayda, on the other hand, has a dangerous secret and once she gets Abel’s help, she distances herself from him. I understand that Kayda’s family is in danger but I do not care much for her character. Abel and Silas saved her family in multiple ways and she distanced herself for most of the book and then Abel still included her as a friend. Kayda’s reactions are very realistic. Her fear for herself and her family is understandable. Most of us act like Kayda when we see a problem. We hate it, but in order to protect those we love our willingness to fight is often diminished.
Abel’s character continues to evolve as he questions the status quo and continues to push boundaries in a world full of disparity in the treatment of dragons. I applaud his willingness to question his environment and fight back against the injustices he sees. It is hard to stand up against injustice when it can lead to personal danger, but Abel is courageous enough to do it anyways. This allows him to make an amazing discovery that could change everything.
Final Verdict: This book was a powerful addition to the series as Abel gains his path forward and the momentum needed to start the real change in the treatment of dragons. His circle of family and friends has grown and I love that we get to see what has happened with Brazza and Karak since he set them free. I look forward to the next book in the series. City of Secrets would make a great discussion topic for what readers want to see changed in their world and what actions they can take to bring about a more just world for those experiencing disparities in treatment. Abel’s enthusiasm and conviction are contagious. Put these powerful themes in a world full of dragons and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for the Middle-Grade action lover in your life.
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