#Book Loves Djell, It’s All Scuzzed in Space

Dawn of Vengeance

by Ronie Kendig

Genre: Sci-Fi | Space Opera

Star Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️   


Ronie Kendig is no stranger to giving us fast-paced, action-riddled, love-infused stories and she proves this again in Dawn of Vengeance. I have to admit, after thinking on Brand of Light (book one in the Droserean Saga) for a while, I just didn’t love it. Partially because I couldn’t quite get on board with the heroine, Kersei. Dawn, though? I loved.

For one, we move away from Kersei’s storyline a bit more and really focus on Marco. He seems real this time around. Here our hero shows his imperfections as he tries to learn how to rule a kingdom of people he doesn’t really know and become accustomed to an entirely new world. Literally. With Marco, we get to know Kalonica and several interesting characters who really make this story shine. Especially Isaura. Seriously, I think you’ll love her.

But there were some secondary characters who surprised me with how quickly they made me fall in love. Like Eija and Reef, Roman and Daq’Ti, and Myles. I even like that Kendig gives Darius some redeeming moments here. While I can’t say I like him, I can’t say that I don’t. Every good “villain” or antagonist should have some qualities we can identify with, something that we can see and say, “But for the grace of God . . . .” With Darius’s storyline, I think Kendig displays this truth all too well.

Toward the end, the plot lines—even those continued from Brand—are pulling together in a magnificent way that made me purchase the Kindle version of book three, Shadow of Honor, immediately after finishing Dawn because I was too impatient to let the hardcover arrive. (Anyone else like that when they read a good series?) I can’t wait for some of these characters to meet—at least I hope they do—and for some of them to be reunited.

Honestly, one of my favorite things is the imaginative and brilliant space-y language it’s just so fun! I’ve even found myself using “djell” and “scuzzed” in my own vocabulary, likely much to my poor husband’s confusion and annoyance. (Or maybe he didn’t even notice because made up exclamations are normal for me.)

Overall, this was a fantastically entertaining book, filled with the twists and turns Kendig is so known for. Despite the few things that slowed down my reading, I truly enjoyed this second book and would recommend giving it a read.


I call this section “Not as Much Favorite” both as a nod to comedian Brian Regan, and because, well, Kendig is such a skilled writer, there’s not much I can say I fully don’t like.

Tigo and the rest of his Eidolon team are most missing from this book. Some gaps are filled in for us, but I still have so many questions. Shadow, does provide some answers, but I’m still a tad disappointed we lose that story thread in this book. These were some of my favorite characters in book one.

Kersei. I don’t want to give away too much, but she comes across as petulant and childish, which made her scenes hard to read. I still couldn’t identify with her in this one.

Locations. Some of the names of countries and areas within countries start with the same letters or sounds. This made it hard for me to keep up with where the characters were.

Names. Some characters have two names, but they only go by one at a time, and these aren’t like first name/last name, these are used like given names. For example, Mavridis is also Ixion, and those names are used interchangeably. It took me a while to figure out those are two names for the same person. This could just be operator error, but it would be so awesome to have a list of characters and terms like Kendig frequently includes in her paramilitary novels.

Faith. There are elements of faith and characters who live like they have faith, but it’s not mentioned often, and it’s not a super clear connection.

Plot. At times I felt like I was trying to keep up with too much, but I think that could be attributed to the similarities in locations and the confusion over names.


I’ve always loved the way Kendig handles romance—a little bit of spice but mostly nice. In this book, though, the romance is a bit more edgy. With plenty still left to the imagination as far as the act of sex itself, the lead up is more descriptive than I’m used to seeing in her books and probably more detailed than I prefer.


Sometimes we do not get what we want, and when something good and true does come along, we are blind to that . . . treasure.

Ypiretis, p. 216

What you do with that hurt, with grief, is not determined by whatever happened or whoever perpetrated it against you. They do not have that power unless you give it to them.

Isaura, p. 175


Life doesn’t always go as we expect, and when those “plot twists” come, we have a choice. We can embrace that this might be God’s way of giving us His best for us, or we can mope and dream of the past, and thereby remain stuck in it.


I’d love to hear from you! What Ronie Kendig book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? Have you read another space opera that you enjoyed? Or, what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!

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