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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Legend of Shark Island by Heidi Peltier is the first story in The Book of the Delmar series. Dylan Murray has the chance of a lifetime to spend the summer studying sharks, but all his plans change when he meets Princess Terra Delmar. He's drawn into the history of the Delmar royal family who are the protectors of the island and the people, and if they fail in their duty, a giant shark returns to punish the family. After Dylan encounters the shark, he ends up in the hospital and returns home, but his thoughts are plagued by the attack and haunted by the announcement of Terra's engagement. When Terra's brother asks for his help, Dylan returns and is drawn into the politics of the island's future after it's revealed that Terra's fiance doesn't have the best interests in mind for the island or its people.
Dylan's adventures begin, not when he arrives on the island, but when he returns and is swept into the political and romantic drama. Heidi Peltier divides Dylan's journey into three parts which follow the progression of his time on the island and the decision that sends him on a path to a new future. The first time Dylan is on the island delves into an introduction of the culture and legend of a giant shark that keeps the royal family in line to protect the people. The first part is full of mystery as Dylan uncovers the truth of the legend and the eventual acceptance of it. The second part revolves around Dylan's return home and his attempt to get back to normality. But the island has already left an impression and so has Terra, with whom he discovers a deeper connection once they're separated.
The final part of the story follows Dylan's return to the island when he's sought out by Terra's brother. Starting from his return, the story is riddled with political drama which coincides with the fight to save the island from a power takeover. Terra's fiance is revealed to be manipulative and power hungry, which creates tension between her and Dylan and adds intensity to the fight for the island. The drama provides conflict to the romance of Dylan and Terra, adding to their forbidden love while challenging generations of traditions and giving a twist to the idea of a royal not marrying commoners like Dylan. The Legend of Shark Island is full of action-packed moments with sharks, political drama, a fight for power, royal traditions, romance, and legends.