Unsouled, and the Cradle series as a whole, is described as something called martial arts fantasy. The magic system has defined levels of skill, with each skill level gaining distinct abilities and possessing unique attributes. It's not a design that I generally prefer, but it worked well in Unsouled. Which matters, because Unsouled is not necessarily the kind of book that you read for the compelling characters or political drama. You read it for the vivid magical fights.
There's something about dragons that stirs the imagination. Whether they're vicious wyrms, wise, ancient lords, or symbiotic fire lizards, dragons of all shapes and forms seem somehow fascinating (this may have something to do with why so many people go through a "dinosaur phase," which begs the question if fantasy authors writing about dragons simply never quite grew out of it). This can result in dragons, like dwarves, trolls, elves, and other creatures that frequently populate pages in various forms, that seem flat, one-dimensional, or simply indistinct. How many times can we read about how the dragons almost disappeared, but then someone finds and egg and returns the symbiotic dragonriders? So any time I come across a new and interesting take on dragons, I get excited.