Book Review: The Dragon Tree Legacy by: Ali Vali

Rating: 4/5

Publisher:  Bold Strokes Books

Publish Date: December 18, 2012

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bold Strokes Books

Synopsis: At age thirteen, Major Wiley Gremillion sat with Aubrey Tarver under their dragon tree, sure of her future. She’d share her life with Aubrey and continue her family’s tradition of military service.

But as a sniper with Special Forces, code name Black Dragon, her enemies cost her a future with Aubrey. Walking away was the only way to keep Aubrey whole. Now retired, Wiley knows she’ll be alone, dividing her time between her canvasses and helping others with her unique military skill set.

Time hasn’t dulled the pain of losing Wiley for Aubrey, but she has to set that aside when her choices put her life and her family’s lives in real danger. The only way out is Wiley, but after so many years, Aubrey’s not sure that’s an option.

Aubrey’s first call sets off a firestorm that will take all Wiley’s experience to escape, and along the way they might find what they lost. Together they started their story under a tree, and they’ll fight to make sure it doesn’t end on the streets of New Orleans.

Review: When we’re younger, we see a certain path for ourselves which we think will never change. Wiley and Aubrey thought they’d share their lives forever. When a major event rocks Wiley to her core, she must leave Aubrey behind to keep her safe from Wiley’s world. Wiley is now retired from the military and paints to help sooth her soul, and has a side ‘business’ of righting wrongs which can’t be fixed by ordinary means. Yet, when Aubrey calls her – frightened – Wiley puts everything aside to come to her rescue. Which stirs up old feelings and a new potential crisis.

I really enjoyed ‘The Dragon Tree Legacy’, especially when Wiley is expressing the different sides of her character – the sniper ‘Black Dragon’ and her “softer” side. The main characters, Aubrey and Wiley, leap off the page. I was happy when the secondary characters of their parents and Tanith (Aubrey’s daughter), were not flat foils to Wiley and Aubrey, but had a strong presence and characterization. I liked the story of the goddesses Tanit and Tanith, the two sides of a coin, which meant so much to Wiley and Aubrey. ‘The Dragon Tree Legacy’ is a solid and heartfelt story, with plenty of action and Ms. Vali easily engages readers to feel what the characters are feeling. I had only read one other book by this author (‘Balance of Forces: Toujours Ici'), but I’m definitely a fan!


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