The Dragon and the Emerald King (Tales from the Gemstone Kingdoms) by Amanda Meuwissen

"What a captivating story that takes you on a journey through the present, the future, and the past." Angel on The Dragon and the Emerald King.

From the blurb:

When the last dragon in all the kingdoms, Pax, wakes from his centuries-long slumber, he seeks adventure again—by finding a worthy mortal to gift three scales which will grant three wishes. When the wishes are completed, he plans to move on and never return to the Gemstone Kingdoms. For now, he craves experience—and a new partner in his bed.

He chooses Bertram, the recently crowned Emerald King.

It's been thirty years since the Gemstone Kingdoms entered a new golden age, but the peace proves fragile. With opponents of magic reappearing, Bertram doesn’t know what to do… except to wish that he knew what the future might hold if he never became king.

Bertram and Pax embark on a journey through time, across kingdoms, and into their own hearts to learn what they’ve been missing and what they might want of a different future together.

Be careful what you wish for—especially from a dragon.

Angel's Review:

This is a new-to-me series. I'm unfamiliar with the other books that are a part of this series, along with the other characters. The Dragon and the Emerald King's description really caught my interest and Amanda said that it could be read as a standalone, so I was to test to see if that was correct. And...

It was! For the most part, anyway. The story itself definitely stands on its own. The plot was there and done well, each and every character, from the more villainous to the ones with good intentions, all played a massive role in the story. I don't normally enjoy books that go back and forth across time periods, however, Amanda blew me away by how she wrote those moments. I wasn't confused or lost. I was able to discern what point in the future or past the scene was taking place in, which I was impressed by. Those types of books that go back and forth through time can be a hit or miss, and Amanda definitely nailed that. I really enjoyed Pax's character. I've never read a book that has had a platinum dragon before, nor a book that has a dragon scale being the currency for a wish. That was really unique and creative! Pax's character was honestly adorable. He had a child-like character at times, but that was because of someone betraying him in his past. I liked watching his character grow and realize that not everyone he starts to care for will betray him.

Bertram's character was definitely the grumpy to Pax's sunshine. He got elected to be king, even though he feels as though that's a mistake. Throughout the course of this story, and with help from his journeys across time, he realizes that maybe he can be king and appease both sides. 

The character development that occurred on page in this story was terrific! I loved seeing these characters grow. The background was described really well, and consider that the book not only took place across different time periods, but it also took place in different kingdoms, so for each place to be well described is quite an achievement. Now, here's where reading it as a standalone is tricky. Upon starting this book, I was left feeling a bit lost due to all the references to different people/couples, and their kingdoms. I'm assuming that those were references to the other stories, so I did feel a bit lost whenever those things were mentioned. After the first couple of chapters, though, I was able to just dive right into this story, and not feel confused or as though I was missing anything. 

Rating: 4.25 Stars

The Dragon and the Emerald King is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.