Dragon Rider: A Novel (The Soulbound Saga #1)
New York Times bestselling author Taran Matharu’s debut adult fantasy series introduces an immersive story written in the tradition of the viral cultivation genre. Discover a rich world of magic, warriors, and dragons, in which a fearless orphan and an ambitious handmaiden flee from the empire that would imprison them, with a dream to return to their homelands and a determination that’s unbreakable…
Can an orphan captive learn the secrets of the Dragon Riders to stand up and avenge his people?
Jai lives as a royal hostage in the Sabine Court—ever since his father Rohan, leader of the Steppefolk, led a failed rebellion and was executed by the very emperor Jai now serves.
When the emperor’s son and heir is betrothed to Princess Erica of the neighboring Dansk Kingdom, she brings with her a dowry: dragons. Endemic to the northern nation, these powerful beasts come in several forms, but mystery surrounds them. Only Dansk royalty know the secret to soulbonding with these dangerous beasts to draw on their power and strength. This marriage—and the alliance that forms—will change that forever.
But conspirators lurk in the shadows, and soon the Sabine Court is in chaos. With his life in danger, Jai uses the opportunity to escape with the Dansk handmaiden, Frida, and a stolen hatchling. Hunted at every turn, he must learn to cultivate magic and become a soulbound warrior if he has any chance of finding safety, seizing his destiny…and seeking his revenge.
Praise for Dragon Rider: A Novel (The Soulbound Saga #1)
“Dragon Rider is a classic fantasy adventure that reminds me of the novels I loved growing up, but with a flair of cultivation from the novels I love now.” — Will Wight, New York Times Bestselling author of the Cradle series
"Bloody, glorious, and irresistibly compelling, DRAGON RIDER is a riveting epic that is at once sweepingly vast and heart-wrenchingly personal."
— Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of THE BONE MAKER
“A dazzlingly epic and richly complex world of dragons, magic, and rebellion with an underdog-turned-hero protagonist — Taran Matharu serves high fantasy in style. A fresh and fiery entry to the shelves of dragon-lovers.” — Amélie Wen Zhao, New York Times bestselling author of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night
"Dragon Rider is an extremely compelling story, filled with characters and story richly designed and masterfully executed. An excellent addition to the collection of any fantasy reader!"
— Dakota Krout, bestselling author of The Completionist Chronicles
“Dragons soar, kingdoms clash, and a unlikely hero discovers his inner strength and forges his own destiny in Taran Matharu’s Dragon Rider. The first book in the Soulbound Saga transports readers to an engaging world filled with magical creatures and evil emperors that is sure to please fantasy fans of all ages.”
— Jennifer Estep, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown of Shards series
“Brutal politics, intricate worldbuilding, and edge-of-the-seat battles: Dragon Rider is a spectacular entry for Taran Matharu into adult fantasy. This novel hooks you into the plot from the first chapter, and the unfolding chaos with the layered magic system thrusts you into the world and leaves you wanting for more. There's always the allure of something vast lying beyond what is unfolding on the pages, and following Jai as he escapes from the Sabine Court and bands together with unlikely companions, we're treated to this beautiful and well-imagined world sprawling ahead of us.” — Prashanth Srivatsa, author of The Spice Gate