Entries in dragons (40)

Thursday
Feb212019

No Man of Woman Born

As I understand it from what the author, Ana Mardoll, has tweeted about this collection, it was a response to/inspired by Eowyn from LotR and her slaying of the Witch King who no man could kill. This is a collection of short stories full of similar tales with trans and non-binary people as the main characters.

The stories overall are delightful and the characters are often precious cinnamon buns too pure for this world. Some of them fall pretty flat, but some of them are incredible and I love them (so par for the course with most short story collections).

I loved a lot of these stories, some of them original and some of them giving a fun, queer twist to classics like Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone. It was great to see such a queerly diverse array of characters out living their best lives and saving the day.

I especially liked seeing the gender fluid character and another questioning his gender and where he fits on the binary. The stories gave me a greater understanding of just what gender fluid means. And it was also nice to see someone going through the process of questioning gender, even if he didn't quite get to any decisions (most of us never do anyway).

My only real problem with this collection is the writing itself. There's often too much telling and too much backstory, often delivered in the form of lengthy flashbacks that honestly got distracting and killed the momentum of many of the stories. But they're also really short, so it wasn't that hard to push through and get to the end. And the end of each story was absolutely worth it.

This is a great collection for allies looking for a deeper understanding, people who like fantasy and aren't squicky about queer content, and for anyone trans, non-binary or questioning who are tired of the Bury Your Gays trope and just need to see someone like them be the hero.

Tuesday
Aug072018

Dragonbreath series

This is a middle grade book (for 7-12 year olds) that's basically Dennis the Menace but with dragons and other mythical beings.

The series follows Danny Dragonbreath, a real actual dragon who often has difficulties breathing fire, but whose loyalty knows no bounds. He's always accompanied by his best friend Wendell the iguana, and in later books, Christiana the crested lizard.

Danny's adventures are fun and whimsical and full of jokes, but also packed full of educational tidbits. There's also a really great bus system that can bring Danny anywhere. And if the bus doesn't go there, the portal in his great-granddad's fridge does.

Danny's adventures include evil clowns, giant bats, the deep sea, mythical Japan, fairies, phoenixes, and some very devious (but totally cute) pack rats. And the sentient potato salad.

This is a "for boys" series but me and my daughter absolutely loved it. We binge-read all 11 books in a couple of months. The author also has an excellent "for girls" series that I'll blog about later. Anyway, this series has fun illustrations and was an utter hoot to read. I highly recommend it, even if you haven't got a kiddo to read it with.

Thursday
Apr192018

Wings of Fire

I picked up this book, the first in the Dragonet Prophecy series, because dragons and because it came highly recommended. And I think if I was a preteen I'd enjoy this series a lot more. The things about this first book that I didn't like were precisely because I'm not quite the target audience.

The reading level and content is clearly aimed at middle grade kids, which is fine. It's just not for me. But in general I liked the story and the characters and the overall themes of found family and friendship. All good stuff. The world-building is really cool, too. I appreciated all the different dragon societies.

I'm definitely curious about what happens to the dragonets through all the trials ahead of them, but not enough to actually finish reading. I'll probably go on a hunt for spoilers once the series is finished.

I can see why it's so popular with kids, and I'd definitely recommend it for anyone with an MG kid or who likes MG books. This just wasn't my scene, which isn't the book's fault.

Tuesday
Mar132018

Seraphina

Okay, I've been busy as heck and still reading even though I haven't been posting at all. Mostly, I've been getting a lot of writing things done, some client work, and a vacation that turned into a nightmare. *sigh*

Anyway, I read this book a while ago now, so I'm hazy on some of the details, but I really liked it. It's about a young woman living in a place where dragons can "fold" themselves into human form. There's been a peace treaty for 40 years, but not everyone is happy about it. As tensions mount, Seraphina gets caught in the middle.

It's a story about love and family, a coming of age story, and a dragon-filled mystery all in one. It's really good and I really liked it. It was recommended to me because it has a lot of overlap, thematically, with the Fireborn series I've started writing.

While Seraphina is coping with being away from her father and learning to find her place in the world, she's got to deal with her mother's legacy, which is a lot to handle. And talking about it is spoilery.

It's vividly, beautifully written. A little slow in some places, but the characters are rich and wonderful. I love Orma the most. Hee! This appears to be the first book in a series, and I look forward to finding the others. Highly recommend to anyone who likes dragon stories.

Friday
Nov032017

The Last Namsara

I'm always excited to support local authors and Kristen lives right here in Kitchener! This book also has a REALLY PRETTY cover.

It's a pretty good story, and I really enjoyed the dragons (because of course I did). So it's got great dragons and good story in general, but I just really didn't connect to any of the characters. I found the MC completely intolerable. She was too spoiled and arrogant and honestly just a terrible person. But not the kind of terrible person you want to cheer for, like Miriam Black.

And I realize this is part of her redemption arc and she's a bit better at the end and it's interesting to see the change happen. But I still didn't connect with her or anyone else. But there's a lot of cool mythology built into the world and driving the plot. So if that sort of thing is your jam, this book will appeal to you.