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Tales from Verania #2

A Destiny of Dragons

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Sequel to The Lightning Struck Heart Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever. Life is good. Until it’s not. Because Vadoma, the leader of the gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side. And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv. Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

400 pages, ebook

First published June 30, 2017

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About the author

T.J. Klune

61 books39.8k followers
TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 858 reviews
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,369 reviews1,507 followers
November 20, 2017

I truly loved every page of this story, but I admit that I went into it expecting the same over-the-top comedic punch to the face that T.J. delivered in "The Lightning-Struck Heart."

However, this story showed a lot more restraint with those punches. It was almost as if the fists had uncurled and turned into much more gentle, tickling fingers, instead, dug firmly into my sides.

Yes, I laughed, snorted and giggled (shut up, I was still totally manly about it!) through all 400 pages, as evident in the *33* updates (wow, that's a fucking lot, right?) that I posted while reading.

And for each update I did post, there were at least 3 *more* that I wanted to put up, but I was attempting to hold back a bit, to not give anything critical away. Insanely hard, let me tell you. The struggle was REAL, people!

This story didn't have quite the same carefree feel as TLSH. After all, there was the return of a centuries old evil looking to burn the entire world to a cinder.

In lieu of a quest to save one person from one dragon, like last time, Sam must come to terms with, and face his Destiny to gather the five remaining dragons of Verania and save his people and, most importantly, save those he loves.

With so much more at stake here than in the previous book, that necessitated a more serious tone to the story; however, it never felt like a 'downer' book.

Sam was still Sam, irreverent as ever. Ryan was still dashing and immaculate. Gary was still a glittery Diva Bitch Princess, capitalized, of course. And the rest of the cast rolled their eyes a lot and just went along with the weirdness. And what's not to love about all of that?

Sam faces challenge after challenge, coming out on top for the most part, but not entirely, as the second half of this tale will be told in the next book. Plus, the Big Bad is a real asshole, so zero way was he going down in only 400 pages. Nope.

And GURL! There was this one part with the sand mermaids, where and almost and I nearly shit myself!

Of all the new characters introduced in Destiny, my very favorite by far was Zero, the 1,400 year old 'Emo' dragon.
"Everything sucks, life is pain, you don't even know me, so why are you still here? Stop talking already, jeez! Get out of my room, like, NOW!"
God, he was awesome and I'm praying that he plays a very large part in the books yet to come. T.J. totally had fourteen (hundred) year old adolescent angst down when writing Zero, let me tell you.

But Ryan was extremely entertaining in this story, too. Sam's possibly evil, very manipulative grandmother, Vadoma, brings Sam a *new* cornerstone. Ruv, who is hot and sexy and wears very few clothes. And Ryan, no, he's having none of that. NONE.

And it's fucking glorious to watch the jealousy boil and bubble over. *rubs-hands-together*.
“Does he always have to be shirtless?” Ryan asked. “Does he own shirts? I can give him one of mine. Probably would be too big on him. Because I’m bigger than he is. So my shirts would be too.”

“It’s embarrassing to witness, isn’t it?” Gary said to Tiggy.

“No self-awareness,” Tiggy agreed.
I really enjoyed "A Destiny of Dragons", which was more of a slow simmering giggle-fest vs. the all out snort-fest in "The Lightning-Struck Heart." TLSH was still my favorite, but zero way would I feel any justification in penalizing Destiny rating-wise, just because it's *not* exactly like TLSH.

So as the book playfully points out:
“I didn’t do it this time,” Kevin said, head stuck through an open window. “It would have felt a little repetitious. Lord knows people hate repetition.” He frowned. “But then they’ll also complain when something wasn’t exactly the same as it was before. I really don’t get humans.”
So yes, this was *different*. But also partially *the same*, too. And completely 100% worthy of my full 5-star rating.


My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,801 followers
December 19, 2017

Audiobook narration: 5 stars
Book + narration: 3 stars
Book by itself: (you don't want to know...)

Yes, I know, you don't even have to tell me! Amidst the sea of 5-star reviews, my pouty, downer review sort of... sucks.

I absolutely adore T.J. Klune, and I've never given him less than 3.5 stars (rounded up), so this is a departure for me. However, I almost DNFed A Destiny of Dragons (confession: I super-speeded through the end because I was over it by then), and there is just no way I can muster up enthusiasm for this story. However, I really feel guilty about not liking this one. I'm a bit melancholy because I hate when I don't like a book from an author that I really, really love.

I want to talk about the narration first because that was a highlight for me. Michael Lesley really gave it his all again with his reading of the story, and I went gaga for his voices, especially those for the side characters. I loved Gary, Tiggy, Zero, and Kevin, and their voices were so unique and special. Michael Lesley really had to juggle about 20 balls at once with this story, and he rose to the task admirably. He is for sure the reason I got as far as I did before fatigue set in.

Now, it's hard for me to articulate why the story bugged me so much. I was less bothered by The Lightning-Struck Heart, though I wasn't a huge fan, to be sure. However, A Destiny of Dragons just irked me.

Sam of Wilds and his super special, special life got on my nerves. Yes, we know everyone loves him and thinks he is adorable even when he blurts things out and does stupid things... yes, he is strong and powerful and does no wrong... gah! I think I just wanted him to be more... real, less cartoony-levels of "everyone loves me." Yes, dark and scary things happen to Sam in the story, but he, as a character, just got under my skin in a bad way.

I also was surprised by the more serious tone of this one. I was expecting something like the first, which was over-the-top, but fun, but A Destiny of Dragons is much darker. And when the banter was there, it mostly felt forced to me. There were a few genuinely funny moments, but I never laughed out loud. Also, some of the running gags from the first book (how Sam wants to bone Ryan all the time, Sam correcting Ryan's cursing, and Kevin's sexual...everything) also felt a little stale at this point.

But mostly, the book felt really, really long. I was making up excuses to not listen by the last 25%, as I just couldn't keep my interest up, and I found myself not caring where the story went. At nearly 17 hours long, the book felt way, way too long for the amount of content. It felt like sidebar after sidebar, and I grew impatient with the story, overall.

Yes, I'm the lone negative voice out here, which probably means that it's probably a matter of chemistry between me and A Destiny of Dragons, but I feel confident in my decision to end the series at this point. There are many, many other T.J. Klune books that I adore, and I'd much rather spend my time re-reading those.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Jewel.
1,818 reviews251 followers
June 4, 2017
4.5 Stars

The Lightning-Struck Heart was often compared to The Princess Bride (but more gay), and it was that. A Destiny of Dragons, though, reminded me a lot more of The Lord of the Rings, but funnier (and, ya know, more gay), and to me, anyway, more down to earth. While this series is, so far, Sam's Hero's Journey (it's capitalized, so you know it's a thing), the story doesn't take itself too too seriously. And I loved it. TJ, TJ, TJ -- you need to write faster!

A Destiny of Dragons is delightful. And ridiculous. And wonderful. In all the best of ways. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy and Kevin are more than the best of friends. They're family. They're like the Fellowship of the Ring, without a ring, volcanoes and that creepy evil eye. But they don't need those things. They have a quest of their own -- a destiny, if you will.

“When the time comes, he will call upon my brethren five. He will allow their voices to be heard. The white. The fire. The two-snow.” The dragon wrinkled its nose in disgust. “The… Kevin.”

And Sam hates it. He doesn't feel ready to do something so important. For the fate of the whole world to be in his hands. What's a young wizard (apprentice) to do? Sam is impulsive and has an amazing sense of adventure -- when it is his choice. He doesn't like to think in terms of 'destiny' and 'fate'.

“I’m a little lost,” I told them. “Maybe more than I think I am. I don’t…. I knew my place. I knew what was expected of me. Do this, Sam. Learn this, Sam. I’m going to monologue at your face after I’ve captured you for some stupid reason, Sam. There was good. And there was evil. And nothing in between. I am a good guy. I know I am. And I try to do what’s right. Always. Even if it hurts.” I sighed. “Why does this all feel so wrong, then?”

Like The Lightning-Struck Heart, the banter is so wonderfully over the top. I think I highlighted half the book. And I laughed and was sometimes sad, but mostly not. I do have a feeling, though, that we're in for some serious tears in one or both of the next two books. Just...a feeling.

Sam can be so ridiculous in his lack of planning and foresight that it's a wonder he has managed to survive to adulthood. And the mouth on that boy could make a sailor blush, though he could use some tutoring in 'dirty-talk'.

“Yeah, well, maybe you shouldn’t be so good at eating my ear.”

“Eating your ear. Gods, Sam, way to make that sound erotic.”

“I didn’t know we were going for erotic. I can do that if you like. I’ve been practicing. Oh, side of beef, put your mouth hole back on my hearing hole and eat it out. That’s the ticket.”

He leaned back, face twisted up in a grimace. “Mouth hole?”

I shrugged. “My erotic writings are intended for a specific audience.”

“A dead one?”

But then sometimes, Sam is so damn wise (hmmm...Samwise....) When asked what it feels like to be in love, he said:

“Well. I guess it’s… it’s the moment, you know, when you wake up first in the morning. You open your eyes and your thoughts are muddled. You’re still partly asleep and you’re warm and don’t want to move, but you know you have to get up anyway. So you stretch and it feels good, but your arm hits something next to you and you look over and… there he is. Still asleep. And it’s the first clear thought you have, and you think, Hello. Hello there. Hi. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you’re next to me. And then for some reason, he must feel you watching him, because he wakes up too, you know? And he’s blinking and looks all soft and beautiful and then he sees you and he smiles. Like all it takes for him to be the happiest he’s ever been is to see you there. Next to him. That’s… that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what it feels like.”

And I melted a little.

But nothing is ever easy, is it? Sam and Ryan? Oh, they're solid. TJ, as promised, did not muck with their HEA. Even still, though, there was enough reality to make my heart clench, at times, and when I would find myself holding my breath, I'd have to remind myself just to breathe. Just breathe.

So, what's A Destiny of Dragons about? It's about adventure. Dragons. Gypsies (along with a little bit of bad touch). Ancient prophecies. Faith. Love. Friendship. Family. Because what good is it to save the world, if you don't have the ones you love with you when you do it? I would also be remiss if I didn't mention monologuing villains and hilarious references to Trump. Because this is TJ Klune, after all.

A Destiny of Dragons does end on a touch of a cliffie, but it wasn't brutal (thank FSM for that!). The story is obviously not finished, though, and I can't wait until we have more.

And, Sam, you should tell them.

ARC of A Destiny of Dragons was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Renée.
1,058 reviews331 followers
June 9, 2019
Spoiler-free review:

~4.5 stars~

If you asked me what my favorite MM romance book is, I would say, without hesitation, The Lightning-Struck Heart. If a book can make me both 1)laugh out loud with the banter and 2)make me cry because of feelings (I'm a cold-hearted bitch who doesn't cry), it's doubtful that book will not be a 4-5 star read. TLSH delivered more lolz and wookie cry face moments than any book out there, at this point in time. It's been out for two years, and I've read it six times. SIX.

I even bought the paperback, which I don't actually read, but to be a tangible representation for me of my favorite of the genre (the only other paperbacks I own are ICoS and the Captive Prince Trilogy).

And then the bastard made me wait two years for the next book. Cuz he's mean. Or, you know, cuz he was writing other great books, but.......semantics.

TJ had a lot to say about Book 2 (and the whole series) in his recent blog post.

And I'm not going to tell you a whole lot about Book 2. Let the magic unfold for itself.

We still have Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

And Sam, the most endearing wizard's apprentice of all time.

"I might have written an ode to his penis in iambic pentameter that goes on for forty-seven stanzas."

Gary is there with his sass and Unicorn Rage. Tiggy is still there to smash things. Kevin is still there to make everything inappropriate.

TJ said he wouldn't fuck with Ryan and Sam's HEA. I believed him. And he didn't. (Ryan's jealousy is a thing to behold, though, let me tell you).

This book was about Sam's realization of his Destiny. And how much he says "Fuck that!" in the face of it.

There are more journeys. There is more OTT ridiculousness.

This book did not bring the Wookie Cry Face. There were still some feelz though. It just didn't rip the heart from my chest - thanks for the break, TJ.

It was immensely fun, and the Donald Trump jokes were epic.

I liked it a little less than book 1, which, you know, is hard to come close to. But my favorite story continues....on a minor cliffie.....onto Book 3 later this year.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,560 reviews3,841 followers
June 30, 2017

I have said it before and I am saying it again... TJ Klune must possess some kind of magic himself. Once again he has left me in awe...imageedit_532_9548003721

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I have re-read "The Lighting Struck Heart" over and over again...I will continue to do so in the future because it never fails to put a smile on my face. It is the funniest book I have ever read and for those of you who haven't read it yet...

Please go do it now, you will thank me later. 36564-big-smile-emoticon-for-facebook

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This book is one of the 3 books that will follow my favorite group of merry men from "The Lightning Struck Heart".So don't expect any closure at the end...it isn't happening. winking-face-facebook-symbol

I won't go into the storyline too much in this review. I think it's best to just go in blind and enjoy everything for yourself. sparkling-heart-symbol-for-facebook

All you really need to know is that all our favorites are back together again. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, and Kevin are going on a new adventure and this time they will be joined by someone else...

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Vadoma, gypsy leader, and Sam's grandmother has paid the castle a little visit. She brings with her a prophecy that was written in the stars and Sam's true cornerstone...Ruv. I admit I was a bit worried when I read the blurb. I wanted to know who this Ruv was...

And smash him like Tiggy would do. emoticon-crying-tears-of-joy

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No worries though...Ryan is still fine as ever. He is Dashing and Immaculate (capitalized so it's true) after all, so how could Sam ever replace him. It was funny watching him fall over himself with jealousy though...

He really used his posing skills in this book. emoticon-mocking-with-tongue-out

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Now Sam and his friends have to get ready because Sam has a destiny to fulfill.

This book was funny as hell, but it had a bit more of a serious tone than "The Lightning Struck Heart". This is because the stakes in this book are much higher.

It doesn't end in a major cliffhanger, but a small one. This is after all only the start of the "DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy". 

(because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever) <3


This review has been posted on Dirty Books Obsession Dirty Books Obsession


Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,245 followers
June 6, 2018
The sassiness starts even before the book starts. The dedication in this book:

"For my eighth-grade creative writing teacher who told me that my stories would never amount to anything.

Suck it.

Well, that starts things off on the right note! How could this book be anything less than magic after an opening like that?

The story starts when Sam's grandmother comes to town. She hasn't seen Sam's parents since she banished his mother for marrying outside the clan, and let's just say that her feelings towards her son-in-law haven't warmed up:

(grandma) turned her disdainful gaze to my father. "Still here, I see. You got fat. You like processed meats, fat man? Probably put them in your fat mouth."

Ah, so that's where all that sass comes from.

Grandma Delightful wants to take Sam away to her lands because of a prophecy. Also, she has a man for him. A man who doesn't ever seem to wear shirts. Sam's boyfriend, Ryan, is not a fan:

"Does he always have to be shirtless?" Ryan asked. "Does he own shirts? I can give him one of mine. Probably would be too big on him. Because I'm bigger than he is. So, my shirts would be too."

Poor Ryan. I know another book character who had a guy trying to steal his girlfriend who didn't like wearing shirts either.

Aaaand, that's about the only thing these two books have in common.

Sam doesn't want to go and fulfill his destiny because of some stupid prophecy, but he has to. So starts the new Sam, Ryan, Gary (the gay unicorn), Tiggy (the half-giant), and Kevin (the dragon) adventure. As most of their adventures go, there are plenty of crazy situations, lots of sex, and so much sass that you will be drowning in it.

(Shirtless Guy): "The gods must have a sense of humor if they put the fate of the world on your shoulders."

(Sam): "I don't know if you're complimenting us or insulting us," I said slowly. "If it's an insult, fuck you. If not, thanks, that's a very nice thing to say."

So. Much. Sass.

Profile Image for Len Evans Jr.
1,463 reviews206 followers
March 29, 2018
This second book in the series continues SAM AND COMPANY'S ADVENTURES (all caps mean that's now a thing). This book was in every way just as hilarious as the first... just as suspenseful and just as much of a joy to read. Not too mention I definitely want to be part of a SAM AND RYAN SANDWICH (all caps again you get it). T.J. Klune is just masterful in his writing, the humor, the world-building, the character development (Gary), and the wanting to smack someone upside their authorish (is that even a word) head sometimes. This book was one I mostly LOVED (99.99999999% of the time), hated (almost never but possibly once or maybe for a split second, never a full one) and absolutely NEVER felt amibiguous about. All in all this book pretty much encompassed every emotion know to man in varying yet unequal portions that made me laugh, cry, and yes yell at my Kindle, and want to curse like Sam (not like Ryan he nevers gets to use the good words or if he does Sam always calls him on it (he is a KNIGHT after all and supposed to PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW... NOT). OK enough of this I NEED (yeah like don't have a choice) to get to reading book 3 like yesterday so I'm ending this RAVING (like a madman) review!
Profile Image for Loulou .
1,000 reviews
July 27, 2023
8th Relisten
Sweet Molasses. Jealous Ryan is a thing of beauty

7th Relisten
Love it so much

6th Relisten
I still cry every single time.

5th Relisten
no words

4th Relisten
Never gets old

3rd Relisten

I still love Kevin. He's my fave.

2nd relisten.


That is all
Profile Image for Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦.
662 reviews2,462 followers
December 6, 2017

➦Honestly... honestly I've never thought that a gay unicorn could make me cry... from laughter, mostly. These characters T.J. Klune created are completely obnoxious but I ended up falling in love with all of them.

➦I don't even think this particular series can be classified in any one category... It has fantasy, humor, and romance all in one. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys M/M. This second installment sure did bring some extra steam to satisfy those who might be curious about how a certain wizard behaves in the bedroom. lol

➦Long story short, if you like dragons, prophecies, magical shit and over the top but so so funny humor then check this series out. Also, I have to recommend the audiobook. If you can listen to it instead of reading, DO IT. Because I don't think I've ever heard a more talented narrator in my life. My hands are itching to get my paws on the third audiobook in the series. Hurry up! *growls*

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Profile Image for Diana.
551 reviews18 followers
March 5, 2019

Once again, T.J. Klune’s writing sucked me into the story of a land full of magic where good versus evil. Sam of Wilds and his “gang” are off on a new adventure. There is Gary, the hornless unicorn, is still sassy as he protects Sam, in his own way. Tiggy, the big hearted, sweet half giant, makes your heart melt. Of course, you cannot forget Kevin, the horny “Beast from the East” dragon, who made me laugh out loud more times than I can count and of course, Ryan, the Knight Commander, who has Sam’s heart. They are off to fulfill Sam’s “destiny” and as usual, run into problems as well as new discoveries.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this story, especially the audiobook, which was absolutely amazing. The narrator, Michael Lesley, has a distinct voice for each character and it boggles my mind how he can create so many voices and makes the story come to life.

I have two more books to go, and I am going to take my time because I know I will be sad when it’s all over.

Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
February 10, 2018
4.5 Stars

A Destiny of Dragons is just as impressive in scope and as side-splittingly hilarious as its predecessor, but with an even more pronounced sense of epic-ness, if that’s at all possible.

In this sequel to The Lightning-Struck Heart, Sam of Wilds and his remarkable gang of misfit friends are all here and accounted for, this time facing challenges far greater and more life threatening than anything they’ve encountered before.

Some seriously problematic and potentially horrific prophesied shit is going down in the land of Verania and, as no surprise to absolutely anyone, Sam finds himself smack-dab in the middle of everything…again.

The drastic events that are about to unfold are no laughing matter, yet, thankfully, Sam and his friends remain as sassy and sharp-tongued as ever, keeping up with their highly amusing and never-endingly inappropriate banter, and generally making me snort-laugh at every ridiculous turn. These scenes of pure comedic magic, which Klune so effortlessly fancies up for his reader’s pleasure, are so perfectly laced throughout the story. In a way, these lighter (certainly more humorous) moments work as mood stabilizers, balancing the mounting intensity of the high-stakes drama with some much needed comic relief.

Sam is truly one of the most lovable “chosen one” characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, but I think it’s the ensemble cast in general that really makes me love every minute of this reading experience. Every single character is so well-developed and so uniquely memorable that it doesn’t matter who is sharing page time with Sam at any given moment – they all hold their own in splendid fashion. I find myself constantly at war with my own feelings regarding who is my ultimate favourite character in this series because so many are worthy of this title, I have no doubt. (But between you and me, it's Gary! Of course it's Gary!!!!)

As always, Klune’s writing quality is beyond impressive; the story itself is developing into a fantasy-epic that is quite literally awe-inspiring.

I can’t wait to see what happens next for Sam of Wilds and his dearest friends.


Audio Edition:

I can’t even with my words right now.

I’ll just use some (in)appropriate GIFs to express my feelings for Michael Lesley’s audio performance instead.

Firstly, Lesley's vocal characterizations and his delivery!?!...

The fact that Lesley can pull off this many distinct and often extremely complex voices, delivering Klune's lightning-quick dialogue to perfection (which often features long-running scenes with multiple characters rambling at once)... SWEET MOLASSES!! It's just...

Thirdly, I spent most of my time doing this...

(Seriously, Gary and Tiggy are EVERYTHING!)

Lastly, and most simply put...

Profile Image for BWT.
2,171 reviews222 followers
November 21, 2017
ETA for audiobook 11/20/2017

While I was reading the book I kept picturing in my head how it was going to sound when it came out on audio. I didn’t even come close. Michael Lesley blew my expectations out of the water and does another fantastic job! He continues to prove just how perfectly cast he was for this series.

The narration isn’t flawless.
There are some changes to some of the character voices – for example Kevin's voice is not so deep and the echo is a little less pronounced as well because of different software than what was used in TLSH and I thought Randall’s voice is a little more accented than it was in TLSH as well.

I don’t know how anyone could expect a 16+ audiobook to be without a single flaw, but any mistakes are hardly noticeable unless you’re keenly looking for them. And while it isn’t flawless – it is perfect.

The fact that Michael Lesley comes from a theatrical background means that his performance is absolutely amazing. It’s frankly incredible just how many distinguishable character voices he is able to do, and how well he is able to bring the emotion and humor of the story out. Get this man a Grammy and an Audie Award already!

5 stars


T.J. Klune wrote in a recent blog post: "These books will always first and foremost be absurd comedies. Always. However, there is an emotional heft and a sense of urgency that wasn't in Lightning."

I swear I highlight more in the Tales of Verania stories than any other books.

Once again told entirely from Sam's POV A Destiny of Dragons picks up roughly a year after The Lighting-Struck Heart ends...
I was still only an apprentice. I was still only twenty-one years old. But I could do things that no one else could do. And even though I was sure all the stories spoken about me weren’t true, it would hopefully add to whatever legend of me they’d built in their heads. Morgan had taught me it was better to have people fear you a little than be indifferent toward you. I had never really understood what he’d meant until that moment.

...and Sam's gypsy grandmother has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars.
“It’s a lot to take in for anyone,” Morgan said. “To find out you have some prophecy hanging over your head.”

“Anyway,” Gary said. “This whole prophecy thing. Maybe it’s made up. Maybe it’s not. Maybe a star dragon did come out of the sky and tell your crazy grandma that you were going to be born and do some shit, or whatever it said.”
“Save the world from falling into darkness?” I said, trying not to be amused but failing miserably.
“Right,” Gary said dismissively. “Saving the world and stuff. Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But you know what
is true?”
He looked right at me, eyes impossibly wide and glistening. “You’ll always have us by your side,” he whispered.

While dealing with the whole prophecy business, Sam is also beginning to understand that just as Morgan and Randall are hundreds of years old because of the strength of their magic, there is a very good chance he will remain young while the humans he knows and loves age and die before him.
“He will die, Sam. The one you love.”

“It’s inevitable,” Vadoma said. “The passing. You are a wizard, Sam. Your life… is not your own. The magic in you. It will prolong your years until most everyone you love has passed through the veil and ascended to the beyond. Randall is almost seven centuries old. Morgan almost three. Their cornerstones. They… learned from them what they could. They loved them deep in their hearts. And then the time came in which they had to say goodbye. Because cornerstones are just a beginning, Sam. They build you toward becoming what you’re supposed to be. And then you have to let them go. And when they don’t have magic in their veins, when they’re
ordinary, you will lose them sooner.”

Regardless of the weight of all that, the story is very funny, and quite thoughtful, but not as tears-triggering as The Lighting-Struck Heart was. There was no Wookiee cry face for me here (and I'm actually quite thankful for that, really, T.J. - thank you). Usually when there was a moment when feelings could have rushed forward, something would happen that was more humorous to tamp that down.
And then—
“Nope,” Gary said. “Fuck no. Fuck this whole thing. Fuck you. Fuck them. Fuck this place. Gary out.”

Obviously it's only the start of the journey - there's more to come...more battles to be fought, more lives to be saved in The Consumption of Magic, and A Wish Upon the Stars.
“I have awoken, O human child. In this forest deep, in the dark of the wild. And I have seen what is in your heart. Take heed of my warning: you are not ready.

“A warning. All of you will not survive until the end. There will be loss, Sam. And it will burn like nothing has ever burned before. You must remember to keep to the light, even when the dark begins to curl around your feet.”

TJ has hinted in several FB and blog posts that someone important in this might not make it out alive, so I am trying to prepare for that to possibly go down.
“Sam,” he said quietly. “What are you going to do?”
When I spoke, my voice was strong, more so than I expected it to be. “I’ve got a douchebag monologuing villain whose ass I need to kick, a kingdom to save, and a godsdamned destiny of dragons to face. You can sure as shit bet I’m going to do everything I have to.”

Bottom line is I loved it. Also...Not going to lie, I basically played this in my mind with Michael Lesley's character voices the entire time. I honestly can't wait to hear his Zero voice. But I digress.

So to recap: Sam has a Destiny, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he has his friends at his back and is ready to kick ass. A terrific start to the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy.
Prophecies, no matter who they come from, no matter what they say, are never written in stone. You can change the future, Sam. No matter what anyone else says, nothing is set in stone. You are your own destiny.

NOTE: This is not a standalone - do not attempt to read this without first reading The Lightning-Struck Heart.

4.75 Stars

Advanced Review Galley copy of A Destiny of Dragons provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Book Roast.
48 reviews8,425 followers
March 8, 2018
DNFed at 50%

I had such a great time with the first book but I think the novelty wore off and it didn't offer anything extra. It started to be draining if nothing else and after a pause I just found myself not really caring. Maybe it's the mood, who knows! Hope others enjoyed this :)
Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,391 reviews45 followers
March 20, 2018
Reread March 2018.
And every single word of my original review stands.
(and Zero is just a stroke of genius!)

“You have a destiny Sam.”

Yeap. That sentence kind of sums this book up.

Sam isn’t simply a wizard’s apprentice who gets to live his HEA with his “strong and brave, dashing and immaculate” Knight Commander. No, the universe has got much bigger plans for him. Plans, he really really doesn’t want to have a part in.

Then ancient secrets are revealed, trust is broken and old friendships are challenged. On top of all that, Sam’s very grumpy, hard-ass gypsy grandma, Vadoma, turns up, “bad-touching” him galore and making him go through some pretty horrendous visions.

As much as Sam may be kicking and screaming and mostly avoiding the subject, for …

“Fate’s a strange thing with a sense of humour most can’t understand.“ …,

it is hard for him to turn his back on his destiny. (Pssst, I’m only whispering that last word in case he hears it!)

So, in short – Sam has got work to do and he has to grow up a little bit. I loved seeing the extent of his power, the first chapter (The Bird) being one my most favourite things in the book. It is poetic and beautiful and awesome and left me with a big round “ohhhh, so lovely” on my lips.

I also adored the depth of character and soul Sam shows throughout.

“It’s not how wishing works. If we got everything we ever wished for, we wouldn’t have the capacity to be thankful for things we’d already been given. I’ve got so much already. I don’t want to lose sight of why it’s important.”

I revelled in how he surprises people with his innate goodness, his warm heart and fierce loyalty to those he loves, again and again. Sam is the epitome of the ‘reluctant hero’, but a hero he is.

Hmm, that sounds all VERY serious and ‘adventury’ and scary (and yes, in some parts it is!) - so what about the humour? I mean. TJ Klune???!!!

You need not fret. It is all there. I think the main theme of the humour in this book is …

“We never stay on topic.”

“We” meaning Sam’s ever flippant friends: Gary, Tiggy and Kevin. Despite the darker undercurrents, the humour is as OTT, ridiculous and outrageous as in the first book. I’d recommend it as a guidebook for the use of sexual innuendos and puns, actually. However, if you are easily upset by never getting to the end of a conversation (well, you do eventually, a long long time after….) this might annoy you.

References to ‘certain’ films also made me chuckle:

“Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam. Don’t you see? No. I am your father.”
“You’re a wizard, Sam!”

Other highlights:

Ryan and Ruv.
“To a wizard, the cornerstone is the most precious thing in the word.”

And that’s what Ryan is to Sam.: S.H. + R.F. = TRUELOVE 4EVA *G* Boy, these two guys are SOLID in this book, (even if Ryan feels threatened by Ruv)

“…Ryan was enough because he was there. He kept me away from the dark. He led me towards the light.”

But Vadoma insists that Ruv is Sam’s real cornerstone. Ruv, who is hot, and cool, and strong and wears no blooming clothes most of the time showing off his perfect body. Jealous Ryan is precious, it really is brilliant, and cute and heart-warming, and utterly hilarious.

I totally loved Ruv, even though he was put into the spot as Ryan’s competition. I have a feeling that he will be important in the future. Sam might need him.

Zero, the sand dragon
Who else would think of a “teenage Emo dragon” than TJ Klune? What a brilliant character! And his behaviour really had me laugh out loud. LOVED Sam’s final conversation with him, highlighting Sam’s leadership qualities.

the light and dark
No doubt, there is a cloud of doom rapidly developing over Verania. One that threatens everyone, but in particular those Sam loves. A gauntlet of war is thrown at his feet …

“He (Ryan) is your heart. And I will rip it still beating from your chest.”
“I promise you this, Sam. Stand in my way and I will take it all from you. I am coming, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.”

Darn. That threat is hanging over Sam like Damocles’s sword. And what bloody chance has he got when he has THIS at the back of his mind…

“I have awoken, O human child. In this forest deep, in the dark of the wild. And I have seen what is in your heart. Take heed of my warning: you are not ready!

Does that make you feel bloody uneasy for the future of these guys? It certainly worked for me! Just as well we get snippets of hope thrown along the way:

“You can change the future, Sam. No matter what anyone else says, nothing is set in stone. You are your own destiny.”

Well, let’s hope so. I am certainly dying for the next book already. I am so rooting for Sam and his ‘family’.

You. The dragon. The unicorn and the giant. The knight. The gods must have a sense of humour if they put the fate of the world on your shoulders.”

And a lot of trust that they can do it. (I hope!)

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
July 6, 2017
I will never forget how much I enjoyed the fantasy tale (for adult only !!) that The Lightning-Struck Heart was. So much laugh and so many feels brought by a cast of crazy but oh so engaging characters, Sam the Wizard (OK, apprentice !!), Ryan the dashing knight, Tiggy the incredible Hulk half giant, Gavin the Unicorn PG18, scratched that, PG 30 and Kevin the perv dragon.

So, all of them are still together, still talking non-sense, still making me laugh while sometimes scarring me for life (I don’t think I will ever be at ease while having my eyebrows waxed), but also so fiercely loyal and ready to fight for each other, for the life of the King of Verania and for the life of the Kingdom. And this time, the threat is getting darker and larger with an enemy looming around and so close to home, literally and figuratively speaking. I won’t go any further to avoid any spoiler.
I’m among the majority of readers : this is an epic and hilarious read, with a craziness that leaves me exhausted in the best way : TJ Klune masters OTT like nobody else. But in this book, there is also a layer of seriousness that I didn’t expect and totally gut me (in the best way…I think !?!) as Sam realizes that there is no such thing as a “for-ever” in his relationship with Ryan. How heartbreaking it was to see him fight when his love and friends are threatened in the desert. Conclusion, don’t mess with Sam, he might be young, an apprentice, a magnet for disasters but he is a force to reckon with.
Add to that all the references regarding betrayal, racism, ostracism, love and friendship and it makes this book so much more than just a funny fairy tale.
Among all the recurring characters and additional ones, special thumbs up for Tiggy, with his big heart and fierce loyalty for his friends, and Zero, the Dragon teenager with his unexpected maturity.

Book one led the ground for knowing all the characters and book two led the ground for an ominous and poignant battle to come. I’m so looking forward to see where all this will lead, but I have the feeling it’s going to hurt before it gets better.

Highly recommended !! No, let me capitalize that to make it true : HIGHLY recommended !!
Profile Image for Chelsea.
879 reviews7 followers
August 30, 2017
4.5 hearts!

“Fuck dragons,” Gary said. “You’ve got a destiny of dick ahead of you.”

Look, if you're reading this book it's means you've already read the first book and most likely freakin loved it! (If you haven't, well go read the first book!). The story is so riveting, I thought it'd take ages to read a book this long but I was glued to the friendship, love, humor and adventure on each page!

I adore these characters and want them tattooed all over my body, like every where! Kevin would approve!

“And then there’s Kevin. Who is also a dragon.”

“Kevin,” I snorted, trying to cover my unease. “If you could even call him that. He’s more like a perverted lizard with wings.”

This group is broken, quirky and fiercely loyal and I love them.

I am soooooooo super dooper scared to continue this series though! Things were said that make me worry… I mean we all know TJ Klune has no problem writing heart shattering stories and quite frankly I'm a little (lot) scared…. But for now I adored this book and I loved seeing Ryan and Sam together *heart eyes*.

“We’re probably about to see unnecessary displays of testosterone,” Gary said. “And it’s going to be glorious.

I wondered what the hell they were talking about until Ryan muttered, “He could have at least put on more clothes before coming in. And why can’t he walk like a normal person? Is he trying to have sex with the air? Who does that?”

Read this series! So wonderful!

See our super dooper unicorn group review at the blog,

Profile Image for Chris.
2,069 reviews
July 11, 2017
This one took me a while but I blame my post surgery drugged out state ! I love TJ - one of my all time favorites and again he didn't disappoint. I found it a bit slow at first and I was waiting for the ridiculous hilarity I was expecting only to realize this was a lot more composed with an almost " serious " edge to it .... my oh my Sam is growing up ! This story stayed on the path of Sams destiny and the dragon connection. While this was the key factor I must say I loved the chemistry between Ryan & Sam - this was a strengthening love and it was beautiful. Of course the usual suspects Gary, Tiggy & Ryan remain staunch players and the introduction of Zero was cute but it was all Sam & Ryan for me. Wasn't a fan of grandma gypsy and am undecided on Ruv - I feel for him and hope he finds someone delicious in the next book. Well done TJ - another great adventure ❤️
Profile Image for Elsbeth.
1,191 reviews41 followers
July 12, 2017
You are not ready, the Great White had said.,
There will be loss, the star dragon had said.
Fuck them.
Fuck them all.
I was Sam of Wilds.
And I was going to face my godsdamned destiny


GODS, how I loved this book. It wasn’t that OTT hilarious as the first one of the series The Lightning Struck Heart, but I loved it nevertheless. Sam and Ryan’s relationship was solid. It was good to experience a more serious Sam. Although this book was still full of ridiculously silliness.

All the other characters were there; Ryan, Gary, Tiggy and Kevin. Also one of my favorites, Randall. I love how he badgers Sam all the time..

“Only I can. It takes a discipline that you can’t even begin to understand. Also, I’m old and it’s easier. You’re young and stupid, so it’s your own fault you get captured. It’s best to let you stew on it so you can hopefully learn from your mistakes. Hasn’t happened yet, though I’ve still got some hope.”

We get introduced to Vadoma, Sam’s gypsy grandmother. She brings Sam’s prophecy and Sam’s true cornerstone; Ruv.

Sam wil have none of that. Ryan is his true one and only. He’s confronted with his own inmortality and Ryan’s mortality and is frightened of his destiny.

Prophecies, no matter who they come from, no matter what they say, are never written in stone. You can change the future. No matter what anyone else says, nothing is set in stone. You are your own destiny.

Some secrets of Morgan and Randall will come up and Sam wil be disappointed but goes on this journey to……

So, this prophecy, this Destiny of Dragons;

“Unless Sam of Wilds gathers the dragons of Verania, the world will fall into darkness and all will be lost.”

The Great White Dragon

Zero Ravyn Moonfire, the Emo-Snake-Dragon

I may have met my new favorite character. Zero the Emo dragon was amazing. The scene with the sand mermaids had me biting my nails.

You won’t take them from me.
The lightning struck me, entering through my head, snapping across my brain, down the back of my neck until it settled in my chest, wrapping itself around my heart. It was mine, and it’d always been there, but this was the first time I’d actually called it to myself, however unconsciously.

I could keep going on with the quoting. I highlighted the hell out of this book. This was just a numeration of some quotes. I will say, I’m patiently awaiting the audio of Michael Lesley. Although I read the book, I still could hear Michael’s voices for Gary, Tiggy, Kevin etc. in my head,. And I can not wait for the voice of Zero.
Is it Autumn yet?

I’ll end with some Sam wisdom.

”Most of the wishes you’ve made upon us didn’t come true.”

“Well, yeah. But they are not supposed to.”

“How do you figure that, Sam?”

“It’s not how wishing works. If we got everthing we ever wished for, we wouldn’t have the capacity to be thankful for all the things we’d already been given. I've got so much already. I don’t ever want to lose sight of why it’s important.”

“And you wonder why you were chosen,” the star dragon said.

*great sequel of TLSH
Profile Image for Catherine Russell.
109 reviews239 followers
November 25, 2020
Book: A Destiny of Dragons
Author: T.J. Klune
Type: Book 2 in 'Tales from Verania'
POV: First Person - Sam
Genre: MM Fantasy Romance
Rating: 4 Stars!

Age: Sam - 21; Ryan - 26.

He leaned in and kissed me, slow and sweet as molasses. And I took everything he was giving me and gave back as much as I could. Because that's what we did for each other. He might have been my cornerstone, but I wanted to be the same for him, even if he didn't have the magic I did.

What was that! A pseudo-cliffhanger? Oh my God. I'm so excited and my thoughts are so jumbled right now and I just want to start the next book, plus it's 11 in the night here but... here goes nothing. And I have also decided to use supernatural gifs here, so bear with me cause it was my baby and the show just ended and I'm vulnerable.

This book, this sweet, hilarious, action-packed book, this book gave me life. It's so good, everything from the characters to the supernatural plotline to the duologues and writing, everything was so much more than my expectations. Tales from Verania is my first MM fantasy series and I have to say it's blowing my socks off. Of all the Urban Fantasies I've read in my life, (Charley Davidson, Night Huntress, Fever,...) this one had, in my opinion, the best and most interesting worldbuilding. It's just so good. But beware, if you don't like snark and sex puns, do not read this book. Then when you finally do...the only question that begs asking is why didn't I read this sooner?? WHY?

I mean, wizards and knights? Why not. Hornless gay unicorn best friend? Sure. Half giants who smash? Now we're talking. Six-inch naked fairies who have helmets for their heads but not for their balls? No problem. But was that enough? NO. No, because we've got terrifying sand-mermaids. Eh? And a sexually aggressive dragon who's in a monogamous relationship with the aforementioned hornless gay unicorn and said dragon also wants to bone his stepson, aka Sam of Wilds. Say what now. We've also got snake dragon monster thing who's actually a teenage emo flying lizard named Zero Ravyn Moonfire. NO, go back And prophecies and visions, and possessions by villains and a KILF (king I'd like to you-know-what). I can't even right now.

You see what I'm talking about? Definitely not my usual read but so worth the time. And that's not all, 'cause mixed with all that is the banter between Team Sam. Hilarious, laughing-till-my-cheeks-hurt-banter between Gary and Kevin, the aforementioned hornless gay unicorn and sexually aggressive dragon, aka The Beast from the East, that have now broken up and are fighting over the custody of their stepson, Sam of Wilds. The banter that was often about... wait for it.

Yes, about dragon penis and the tendency of said penis to be attracted to Sam. Don't even ask about what I had to type in the search-bar to get that gif, let's just say that if someone checked my search history, they'd be traumatized. I was captivated by the creativity and besotted with the characters. I fear I just may have developed an instant and insatiable taste for T.J. Klune's word voodoo. As for the plot, the first half was almost setting the pace for the last half. That was when shit hit the ceiling. It was still hilarious but mixed with that were some serious emotions and...

“Oh my gods," Gary groaned from behind us. "Would you two just go fuck already? This is so godsdamned disturbing to watch. It's like you're face-fucking me with a dick made of sugar. Stop it. You stop it right now and go fornicate before the rest of us get sucked into your black hole of love.”

I'm terrified about the next book, because of the prophecies and star-god's vague answers, I have a feeling something bad is about to happen. And I don't want any of my babies hurt. Cause that's what I consider them now and they better be alright in the next one because if not,

An absolutely addictive story with brilliant world-building and excellent pace. If you still don't know that these books are awesome and totally worth your time, this is my last attempted to lure you into giving them a chance. All in all, A Destiny of Dragons is a page-turner, and I'm looking forward to returning to Verania's magic cities!

“You remember when we shattered my virginity? Well, I latched on to you like a barnacle after that. I’m slowly sucking the life out of you, because I’m never going to let you go.” “Do you ever get the feeling like we failed as parents?” Dad asked Mom.

My favorite scenes;


Because sometimes, the power of love is greater than an oath could ever be. And as soon as the knight saw the boy standing near him on his wedding day, he realized that some things are meant to be broken so that others could be made whole.
And then they fucked.
Holy shit, did they fuck. In so many godsdammed positions, it wasn't even funny. It shouldn't have been possible, some of the ways they were able to bend. This one time, the boy took the knight up against the wall and just
railed into him and-

"Really, Sam?" Morgan of Shadows said, face in his hands. "This is what you've spent your time on?"
To be fair, though, I thought future generations should be aware of just how much sex I was having and who I was having it with so they could completely understand me as a person and realize how awesome I was. There were even pornographic stick figure drawings in the margins that illustrated my prowess.
"Yes, well, there's nothing wrong with having a heathy libido," I said, trying to figure out if I should write the time I sat on Ryan's face or if I should maybe go to church a little bit more. It really could have gone either way.
He didn't look pleased at such a prospect. "How much more does it go on?"
Pages upon pages. "Oh. Um. Not long."
"Sam." Only he could say my name with so much exasperation and fondness all at the same time. It was really quite remarkable.
"I might have written an ode to his penis in iambic pentameter that goes on for forty-seven stanzas," I admitted. "I feel better now that I've said that out loud."
"Of course you did." Morgan sighed.
"Did you know that penis doesn't rhyme with as many things as one might think? That was a lesson I learned far too late."
"Oddly enough, I don't spend time trying to rhyme words with penis."
"Wow," I said. "You put a lot of disdain in such a short sentence. I wish I could do that."
"It comes with recent experience," he said dryly.
"I'll get there, I'm sure."
"Of that I have no doubt."


The King was a barrel-chested man with long flowing white hair that fell on his broad shoulders and a kickass mustache that I had to hear Gary wax poetically about at least once or twice a week. Granted, it wasn't that much of a hardship, and if I'd met the King in another life, I'd probably have no problem in calling him Daddy.
Not that I told anyone that.
Except for Gary and Tiggy, because let's be honest, I told them everything.
Which, of course, meant they told the King. In the middle of him hosting a dinner with all his heads of state. To say the silence that followed was shocking would be an understatement. Morgan's face had been in his hands, the King smiled widely, all the while Ryan looked like he was conflicted about his duty to protect the King versus wanting to demand they fight for my honor right then and there. The sex had been really good that night. With Ryan. Not with the King. I couldn't even look at the King without blushing for the six weeks that followed, especially when he would wink at me every time he saw me.
He wasn't winking now, though.
"I don't know why I have to get shoved in that blasted room like that," he said, looking adorably irate. "I have a sword, Morgan. A sword. It's very large, I'll have you know. Many people think so."
"I bet he does," Gary whispered near my ear. "Probably takes two hands just to hold it up and everything."
"It does seem like it'd be pretty big," I mused.
"Mine's bigger," Ryan said with a frown. "I measured."
Gary snickered as I patted Ryan on the shoulder. "Of course it is."


"My liege," Ryan started, only to be interrupted when Gary sneezed a sound remarkably close to "Kiss-ass."
I punched Gary in the throat. "Let him do his job," I hissed at him.
"Oh, please," Gary said. "You just like it when he acts all Knight Commander-y. Forgive me if I don't want to stand next to your power boner for the next ten minutes."
I said, "I don't get a power boner, what the hell," even though it sounded like something I would get rather easily.
Ryan bought a closed fist to his chest and bowed low toward the King. "If the King wishes, I can provide a situation report immediately."
"Oh my gods," I said to Gary. "I get a boner for power."
"Do you think he knows he's not really whispering that?" Mom asked Dad. "Because it seems like he thinks he's whispering."
"I'm pretty sure he doesn't know he does a lot of things he probably shouldn't," Dad said. "We're not to blame for that at all. We're wonderful parents."

I wore a beard similar to Justin’s, something that Sir hadn’t missed, given that he’d raised an eyebrow as we approached and said, “I’m down for twins.”
I should have known it was going to go downhill from there.
“Now, I understand you’re looking to be dominated,” Sir said.
Justin squeaked.
“Uhh,” I said. “I don’t think that’s quite what I—”
“Did I say you could speak, boy?” Sir asked sharply.
“No, Sir. Sorry, Sir.”
He waited a beat, as if making sure I wouldn’t step out of line again. I didn’t, because I didn’t want to get fisted or have something shoved up my pee hole.
“Now. We should probably discuss hard limits,” Sir said. “I’m okay with most things, even the… fluids… some others might have problems with. Even the more solid ones.”
“So unbelievably gross,” I breathed in awe.”
“Heyyy,” I said with a wave. “What. Is. Up.”
“Hey, he says,” Gary snapped, flipping his mane prettily. “Can you believe this? You raise a child most of his life, watch him go through painful years of puberty to become a reasonably attractive man, only to find him negotiating kink contracts with a leather Dom and saying hey.” He sniffled. “I’ve never been more proud of anything in my life.”
Tiggy frowned. “Sam a pain slut?”
“I highly doubt that, kitten. You know how he gets when he stubs a toe. He doesn’t pop a boner, that’s for sure.”

Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,219 reviews454 followers
July 1, 2018
4.5 Stars!

Not surprisingly, I don’t have much else to say or add to the multitudes of reviews loving this book hard except that I concur! This is full of adventure and so much snark that the genius of Klune consistently shines through!

Sam is still Sam. Kinda oblivious, definitely talkative, one who finds himself in all the crazy situations one can dream of and then some, but when push comes to shove, he is a man of honor and goodness.

Right by his side is the ever faithful Gary, Tiggy (I love him so hard!!), and Kevin who take sadistic glee in calling Sam on his shit!

Ryan is dreamy as ever, and I reveled in his jealous claiming (or being claimed as it were) whenever the need called for it.

Was this a little long winded? Yeah.
Over the top? Sure.
Absolutely ridiculous and shameless? Of course!!

Funny as all get out! Omg yes!!

However, throughout all the zany shenanigans this still had heart at its core. The power of friends, family, and love, fuel Sam’s desire to do what is right and he is one BAMF!

This was made all that much better by the amazing fantastic narration from Michael Lesley who brings these unforgettable characters to life! I can’t sing his praises enough!

Though I’m nervous and anxious as hell for what’s to come, I know it will be fabulous regardless!!
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews296 followers
July 3, 2017

A Destiny of Dragons is my most anticipated read of 2017. I have been waiting for this book since I first read The Lightning Struck Heart and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Did it meet my expectations? Nope. It exceeded them.

This story has a more serious tone than TLSH. Now, that isn’t to say it doesn’t have humor; there’s plenty of snark and witty banter, but it doesn’t have the cracky hilarity that I found in the first book. And, to be honest, I think I liked it better that way. Sam’s got a destiny (fuck yeah!) that he’s trying his damndest to deny. Avoidance isn’t working for him so has to suck it up and accept that he’s fated to be the hero. It’s written in the stars, after all.

I loved that we got to know each of the characters on a deeper level. My favorites were Ryan and Kevin. So many layers to these two! Ryan is a bit of a douche, but in a fondly exasperating way. His jealousy was hella entertaining to read about. And Kevin, well, whaddya know, he’s surprisingly deep when he’s not perving on everyone and everything.

My favorite part of the story has to be the scene in the desert when Sam discovers just how awesome he really is. My heart was in my throat the whole time I was reading that part.

And Tiggy! We got more of Tiggy and I gotta tell you, that half giant is so amazing. I love him so much! Fierce protector and lover of brooms, Tiggy is wonderful and I would be proud to call him my friend.

So, go read this book. It’s an epic story of grand misadventures, shenanigans, courage, awesomeness, betrayal, friendship and love.

You can’t go wrong with that, right?

Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,563 reviews2,938 followers
May 25, 2020
Okay, fantasy which can make you laugh out loud is rare, but this is genuinely fabulous. It's certainly not a PG Series as there's loads of lusting and sexy-time, but there's also an awesome storyline, a great set of LGBTQ+ characters and, DRAGONS.

If you love book #1 I am sure you'll also love this one. My fiance and I read it together (listening to the audiobook over the course of a good few months when doing DIY/long drives) and we both think it's brilliant.

The plot is second only to the humour and sass which really steals the show. It's based on Sam who is the King's Wizard's Apprentice, and who is tasked with a pretty big destiny which involves some Dragons...

The characters are stellar and the new ones introduced in this book continue to entertain just as much. The narrator brings them all to life absolutely brilliantly too.

5*s and we're excited to continue the series!
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
December 7, 2017
If you thought the e-book was good...

You really, really need to listen to this one on audio...

When this was first released back in June of this year I read it...there was no way I was waiting any longer for more Sam, Knight Delicious-face, Gary, Kevin and Tiggy and I loved it the story was all kinds of epic and awesome and I distinctly remember writing a rather effusive review...pictures were included, here's the link if you're curious... Review: A Destiny of Dragons

Michael Lesley was the narrator for 'A Destiny of Dragons' and while I was totally enchanted with his narration in 'The Lightening Struck Heart' (TLSH) the first book in this series...I'm pretty much convinced that with the second book Mr. Lesley has exceeded my expectations. While I would have loved being able to listen to 'TLSH' again before jumping into the second book time just didn't permit that luxury but Michael Lesley's recreation of the voices for TJ Klune's unique characters in this series easily and effortlessly took me back to Verania with all it's magic and intrigue.

While I've listened to roughly 160+ audiobooks and I've become far more comfortable with what does or doesn't work for me in this format. I still don't profess myself to be any kind of an expert on anything other than what I like or love as the case might be in this instance. I truly couldn't imagine anyone else capturing the feel of this story better than Mr. Lesley has.

When I first listened to 'The Lightening Struck Heart' at the encouragement of a friend...she was so insistent that she actually went to the extent of gifting the audiobook to me...thank heavens for persistent friends or I might still be missing out on this treasure. I was so incredibly surprised by how much I enjoyed the audiobook...I'd already read the book so I knew I'd like the story but Michael Lesley's narration took this story to a whole new level for me so needless to say I read 'A Destiny of Dragons' and loved it and then I heard from a certain persistent friend that once again Michael Lesley was going to be the narrator...so needless to say...SIGN ME UP! I was so on board to listen to the audiobook. What I truly wasn't expecting was that I would enjoy this one even more than I did 'TLSH" on audio...I truly didn't think it was possible. Apparently...I was wrong because this one wasn't as good for me the audiobook was even better.

'A Destiny of Dragons' is a more than solid follow-up to 'The Lightening Struck Heart' and for anyone who's a fan of TJ Klune and audiobooks...this one's a must. I know the third book in this series has been released and I am very unashamedly waiting for the audio edition of it because once again it's going to be narrated by Michael Lesley so I have zero doubt that once again it's going to be fan-freakin-tastic!

An audio book of 'A Destiny of Dragons' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,222 reviews408 followers
November 5, 2020
3.5 stars

I didn’t love this like I thought I would. And I feel so sad about it.

This book felt VERY different from the Lightning-Struck Heart, which is my favorite book of all time (I even got a cat whom I named Sam). TLSH was funny, upbeat and just such a happy book. This book was all gloom and doom. Yes, there were the jokes, but it was hard to really get into the fun of it when there was the constant threat of death and betrayal, and then more death.

What I loved about the first book was the bonds between everyone. I loved how Sam was with Gary and Tiggy, how he treated Morgan, how sassy he was with Randall and how much he loved Ryan. Well, the love thing with Ryan was still very strong in this one, so I absolutely did love that. And I do have to say that Gary, Tiggy and Kevin were still great friends. But I hated how there was a lot of hurt and pain focused on Morgan and Randall. ouch.. that hurt.

There was this constant feeling of sadness throughout this book. A sadness TJ is a master in, but what wasn’t at all present in TLSH. And that’s what disappointed me in this book. This just made me feel sad while the TLSH made me feel so happy. In TLSH they went on this quest, but it was a happy quest. I mean, Justin was never in any real danger, so it was not depressing in any way. But here with the prophecies about death and destruction left and right… yeah, not a happy book.

I hated the prophecy where it is being said that

Of course this also had some amazing parts, because we’re still talking about Sam here. I LOVED the scene where Sam goes all badass. Definitely a 5 star scene.

But I still felt as if everyone was against Sam in this (not his friends, but everyone else), and it didn’t feel good. Of course it could totally be this is all necessary so that the other books can be amazing and Sam will show everyone how great and badass he truly is. It won’t make me like this book more, but I hope it will make me understand the necessity for all this gloom and doom.

It’s still Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, Kevin and the wonderful addition of Zero, the emo teenage dragon, so I can’t give this any less than 3.5 stars, but this is not a book that made me happy, while I was hoping it would be.

Why couldn't this series just remain my happy place? :(

Oh, and I want to kill Vadoma. Slowly, and painfully. What a bitch.
Profile Image for Ann.
1,452 reviews128 followers
March 30, 2018
Edited to add my review for the audio . . . .

I honestly had some trouble starting this review.

What can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? For some fangirling reference, check out our group review when the book was released https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.c.... I stand by it all and then some.

So, to at least keep this review from going stale, I’m going to focus on the sublime pairing of T.J. Klune’s words and Michael Lesley’s narration. Listening to A Destiny of Dragons is not a passive experience, it doesn’t run in the background while you’re driving, doing chores, blah, blah, blah. Listening to this book is an event that is all encompassing in the best possible way. Thank sweet baby jeebus for the 30 second rewind nubbin on the app; because I get to laughing at a Gary rant and miss a whole passage, or Sam will have an epiphany that is perfectly worded and then spoken in Sam’s “contemplative” tone that always gets my attention, or Ryan will just be Ryan and I want to hear him again.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and am a huge fan of quite a few narrators. Some though, some can just make the words come alive and when the perfect match between book and narrator come together, the book gets elevated and as listeners we get to experience the story on a more intimate level. Michael Lesley is simply amazing. There are A LOT of characters and these aren’t just MC’s and secondary characters, these are KLUNE characters. They have completely unique personalities, rapid fire interactions and the entire gamut of emotions from start to finish. He nails every scene and every bit of banter and I’d love to sit down with him over beer and nachos just to listen to him tell me all his behind the scenes stories of creating a T.J. Klune audiobook.

I’ve gushed over the narration and now I just want to ramble a bit about the series as a whole and what it means to me. One of the best experiences in the world is loving something with your friends. It’s a quiet thing really, it doesn’t take a lot of expense or effort, but the sense of community it creates is priceless. It’s a strength in our little world that I know I take for granted too often and when I was thinking about what I could say about The Tales of Verania that wouldn’t be a repeat of what I’ve already said, words didn’t come to me, but feelings did.

I’m not a super mushy person by nature, but when I love something I’ll smother it hard with all my feelings and when I think of this series, outside of the specifics of the story, it just plain makes my happy. I love that the characters are not perfect, I love that they’re relatable and I love that I can respect them. I love that I can be a part of their epic adventures and that I’m not alone, my friends are with me for the ride. I’ve talked about this series with friends I’ve met in person and some whose real names I don’t even know. I bought the audiobook for another friend and he and I have listened together and texted back and forth throughout every chapter.

I know that this isn’t the only series that brings readers together, but this is the most meaningful one for me personally. It’s not just the words or the narration, it’s the sense of comaraderie with fellow readers and listeners both the author and the narrator created that I am truly thankful for. It’s a seemingly minor thing that is actually a pretty big deal.

I have to say a big thank you to both T.J. Klune and Michael Lesley for giving me something to love so hard with my fellow book (and audiobook) pals. Thanks guys, see you in the next book!

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Original review from reading . . .

I’m with Jenni Lea on this one, this A Destiny of Dragons was the book I’ve been looking forward to the most this year and man, did this story deliver and then some. All the fabulousness was present, all the snark and all the dysfunctional unconditional love. We can all agree that Lightning Struck Heart was basically the most fun a person can have reading a book, agreed? Well, Destiny of Dragon’s is that much fun, but it’s also more. I wouldn’t say it’s heavier than TLSH, I would say it’s bigger. So much bigger.

TLSH was an amazing book; A Destiny of Dragons is the beginning of an opus.

Sam is . . . well . . . he’s Sam and he’s in denial about his destiny. He’s not thrilled about the prophecies he’s hearing and he reacts like the man child he is. Sam’s transition from wunderkind wizard to a man growing into his powers is represented perfectly in ADoD. He still has the cockiness of a teenager (absolutely NOTHING will come between he and his cornerstone, prophecies be damned!) but his instrospection grows as the story progresses and I appreciated the way the author showed me how Sam was maturing throughout. I felt like a part of the adventure and I took myself off the grid while I read because these moments were all about Sam, Team HaveHeart and me.

There’s more backstory and history that ties what we know of Sam and what we’re learning of his destiny. And while there is a lot to absorb and all the elders are all vague and whatnot, as prophetic destinies are destined to be, the plot is so well paced and tied together it flows organically and easily. The humor is front and center too, because how could it not be, but it does balance perfectly with the rest of the story.

Sam is nothing if not loyal and as Sam matured his loyalty grew to encompass everything his destiny is calling on him to protect. He’s always been fiercely loyal to his biological and chosen families, but in Destiny of Dragons Sam’s allegiance to his country, his King and the citizens of Verania becomes everything and it’s overwhelming and wonderful all at once. It’s not easy and it speaks to his growth as a character as he works to unravel his fate and the fate of all he loves.

I can’t recommend this book enough, it was so much more than I expected. All the moments and conversations that Sam had with new characters were always fun to read, because, Sam, but they also had a ton of meaning and I ate them up. Sam is growing into himself and he’s pretty badass in the most charming of ways. Ryan is delicious and immaculate, of course and Tiggy is quietly and unassumingly brilliant. Gary and Kevin slay me and I couldn’t love them harder if I tried. Morgan and Randall broke my heart on a lot of different levels, for their past pains and the inadvertent pains created. The King is the leader we all wish we could have and the Prince is growing on me a little more every time he makes an appearance. The banter is delicious as expected and I snortled out loud repeatedly.

I anxiously await meeting more dragons, skipping out on RL and joining the adventures of Sam and his band of heroes.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
June 29, 2017
If you read 'The Lightening Struck Heart' than...

you know you want this book and if you haven't read TLSH...what the hell dude? Seriously what are you waiting for? You need this book in your life. For one thing because it's awesome and secondly because you can't read 'Destiny of Dragons' without reading 'The Lightening Struck Heart' first and who wants to miss out on 2 awesome books when they don't have to...just putting that out there for the universe...

'Destiny of Dragons' is fantasy...no wait it's epic fantasy done in an incredibly unique way. It's 400 pages of humor and feels that sucker punch you in the best possible way when you least expect it and best of all...there are dragons...Kevin is back...
but there are more...because...hello? Destiny of Dragons, Sam has a destiny to fulfill and it involves...dragons or so David's Dragon, the dragon made of stars says...
'Destiny of Dragons' is the beginning of Sam's quest and of course there's no chance that he's going anywhere without Gary, Tiggy, Kevin and Knight Commander Ryan Foxhart, his cornerstone who is the love of his life.

Along with all the awesomeness that we were given in TLSH, we get to meet a new dragon...a 1400 year old emo dragon who lives in the dessert and looks like a snake with wings...
We also get to meet the white dragon who lives in the middle of the Dark Woods...sorta'...kinda'...almost...
and as if this is not enough there are more dragons to come in the next part of this story...dragons, so many dragons. Hopefully there will be more of the white dragon and we'll finally meet the mated dragons who live in the mountains...
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But, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here because this story is honestly worth reading for more than the dragons...although that is reason enough in this reader's humble opinion, but for those of you who maybe don't share my love of dragons...what is wrong with you? Seriously, we need to get you therapy...kidding...not...ok, maybe a little bit. But now's not the time for that let's go back to the book because it's way more interesting.

Aside from the humor in this book and trust me it is laugh out loud funny, there's Tiggy who...well, most adorable half giant you will ever...EVER meet. Gary the unicorn...who's still missing his horn and along with his sparkles is the drama queen to end all drama queens. Kevin the dragon (see pic a top of review), Kevin is seriously unlike any dragon I've every encountered and I gotta' say folks the only thing bigger than Kevin is his libido and that's all I'ma gonna say about that. Lastly is Ryan...I loved how much Ryan we got in this book and how much we got to see him and Sam interact. Their relationship has grown and they just seemed to be so comfortable with each other and it's not a rose colored glasses thing going on here. These two see and love each other warts and all and it's so obvious in this book how strong the connection between Sam and Ryan is and this is all topped of by moments of feelz that had me grabbing for the tissues.

Things don't stop there though there's Sam's parents, Morgan and Randell, the king and Prince Justine, Sam's grandmother and Ruv...so many characters in this book that whether they are good or bad they truly only add to the epic awesomeness that is "Destiny of Dragons".

Honestly I would have to write a book to explain how much I loved this book...it was so much that I'm already waiting for the audio book to be released so I can listen to it.

Ok I think I've rambled on enough for now. I know I haven't really said much about the book but that's what blurbs are for and most importantly I wanted to keep this spoiler free so that if you've read this far and you haven't read the book yet I've not written anything that will keep you from enjoying this story as much as I did.

An ARC of "Destiny of Dragons" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
April 18, 2018
The writing and the acting together, makes magic…

I thought about reading A Destiny of Dragons when it was originally published. T.J. Klune is a brilliant writer. His stories come to life and you see each character, the world they live in and the lives they lead. I know I could have read with my own little eyes and experienced that wonder and been completely satisfied. However, I knew that if I added in Michael Lesley and his fantastic voice-acting…well, I would be treated to a masterpiece. One without the other is good, together it’s MAGIC.

Honestly, I don’t read a lot of MM romance. There’s just something about T.J. Klune’s style and the Tales From Verania series that sucks me in. The humour is OTT, crass and completely camp. I’m part horrified, part in awe of his ability to buck social niceties. He riddles his stories with sexual connotations, innovations and associations, adds in a few butt jokes and scares you with thoughts of dragons and unicorns “getting it on”. I found it almost freeing that the characters were able to talk so openly about their sexual experiences and feelings. Sure, Garry and Kevin take everything to the next level, but you come to appreciate it for its comedic value. There’s no room to be offended or prudish because you’re too busy busting a gut laughing.

This is the second story in the series and we are once again brought along on Sam, the King’s Wizard APPRENTICE (I can hear Garry adding the “APPRENTICE” with his usual sarcasm and derision), journey to save the world. Sexy Ryan the Knight, Garry the hornless unicorn, Tiggy the giant and Kevin the Dragon are back to help Sam in his quest. Morgan and Randall are still around, sighing and harrumphing at Sam and his motley crew. Justin is still sulking after Ryan stood him up at the altar. The King is still a kind ruler, and Sam’s parents are as loving and supportive as ever. We also get to meet some new characters that will put a smile on your face or bring a tick to your eye. I loved and hated them exactly as I was meant to. They all came alive for me.

The story sucked me in from start to finish. I hated that real life kept interrupting my listening time and I squeezed in as much ear-bud time as I could at every opportunity. My heart was pumping, my smile stayed plastered and my mind was whirling through it all. Was the gypsy lying, can Sam trust Morgan and Randall again, will Ryan’s fate lie in jeopardy. I was NEVER bored.

Special mention really must go to Michael Lesley. HE HAS MAD SKILLS!! If you could give the equivalent of an Academy Award to an audio, Mr Lesley would get a Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Every character has its own original, slightly quirky and completely lovable voice. I tell you, MAD SKILLS!!

If you can buck social niceties for a few hours and don’t mind a little crude, crass and completely camp humour, I highly recommend the Tales From Verania audio series. T.J. Klune writes magic and Michael Lesley performs the heck out of it. BLOODY BRILLIANT!!

Profile Image for Chris, the Dalek King.
1,168 reviews148 followers
July 3, 2017
A Destiny of Dragons is the very much anticipated sequel to The Lightning-Struck Heart. The first book in this series was a bit of a shocker for me, with an odd yet absolutely hilarious concept and execution, so I couldn’t wait to see what was in store next for Sam of Wilds and his band of merry misfits.

This story picks up a little bit after the close of book one. Sam and Ryan are (finally) happy and in love, and the world seems to be coming up roses and hornless unicorns. Yet all that is thrown into jeopardy when Sam’s mysterious grandmother shows up spouting prophesies and trying to convince Sam that he’s got the wrong man (and cornerstone for his magic). And Ruv might seem like a nice (hot) guy, but there is nothing and no one coming between Sam and Ryan. Not even world-ending catastrophes, sparkly dragon constellations, or an ancient evil with familiar connections.

Even if everyone seems to be saying otherwise.

I’d like to say up front that I absolutely adored the first book in this series. I can’t even with that book. It was so unique and funny, yet it had such heart to it, that it will probably always be one of my favorite books by Klune. However…I can’t say that the second book did quite as much for me. I didn’t hate it, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel nearly half the connection to the characters or the plot that I did on finishing the first book.

There was something about that first story that really dug into me. Sam having to rescue Prince Justin so that he can marry Ryan, the man Sam loves, it was written so incredibly well. It was personal and heartbreaking. Even when it was also fucking hilarious. Here though, the plot reverts back to the whole “one man must save the entire world” trope, and it lost a lot of that simple, and entirely relatable, premise that made me fall in love with these characters and world. There was something about the way that this book tried to become this huge world-encompassing thing, that made it really hard for me to care about what happens. Loving someone you can’t have, I think that is something everyone can relate to. Being the only one who can save the world from an ancient evil…not so much.

And the story tried to make it more personal by this whole threat to Sam and Ryan’s relationship, but after everything that happened in book one, there is absolutely nothing in this universe or the next that could actually convince me that Sam and Ryan would break-up. Lightning-Struck Heart sold their love story so well that it made this whole “other cornerstone” sub-plot absolutely pointless. For all that Ruv might be an alternate, there is no way he would be. I don’t and I can’t buy it. So that made this whole subplot feel like an unneeded addition that helped drag the pace of the story down. Which is sad because I do think there was a good core element that could have really shone in this. Ryan is mortal, Sam is (mostly) not. I really wish they would have played up this very real problem and not wasted time on the whole “will he/won’t he” angle.

There were moments, scenes in this book that really worked for me. Zero was great, and I think that scene at night when it was just Sam and him, was one the best scenes in the entire book. It felt more grounded, less jokey. It made me care about these characters in a way that had been really lacking up until that point. In fact my favorite parts of this book were when the book stopped trying to be funny, and focused on being real and honest. Klune can really bring the heart(break) and I really wished that there was more of that here, because when it did show up, it made the story like 1000 times better.

The sad fact is that for all the books attempts at being funny, I’m not sure I ever laughed more than once or twice. I honestly can’t tell if that is just because I’m not in a very laugh-y mood at the minute, or it was all on the book. I will say though that I found a lot of the “funny” parts to be hugely detracting from the plot and pacing of the book. It felt like every time we got to a huge scene or to a touching moment, then it would almost instantly revert back to butthole jokes. I don’t know if there was less of the whole Gary/Kevin/Twiggy sideshow in the first book, or if it was just better interwoven with the plot, but where I found these guys hugely entertaining in book one, in Dragons I couldn’t wait for them to go off page. I don’t mind sex-jokes, really, but not on every single page. It seriously dragged down the pace of this story; and for a book that is only really a third of an overarching story, I found that to be a huge problem.

And while the fact that this is clearly only part of a self-contained story line didn’t bug me all that much, I do think that others might find the unfinished-ness of this book a bit off-putting. It did have a slight, self-contained story arc, but it wasn’t something that really stood out. By the time the “climax” came around, it kinda felt out of sync with the rest of the story. It never felt like there was enough build-up to it, and so I guess I’m not sure it felt like it earned the big battle at the end. Or at least, it didn’t feel like it earned the sense of dread it wanted me to have.

In the end I can’t say I enjoyed this as much as I really wanted to. Maybe if it hadn’t been the follow-up to the truly out-of-left-field awesome that was book one, it would have fared better. I think I came in expecting it to be just as great, and it never really reached that mark. It wasn’t a bad book, though. And I certainly enjoyed it enough to go on reading the series. I just hope that the author will focus a bit more on the heart, and bit less on the laughs.

3.5 stars

This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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