Review of The Dragon Business, by Kevin J. Anderson

The Dragon BusinessI won a paperback copy of The Dragon Business, by Kevin J. Anderson, from Goodreads.

Description from Goodreads:
King Cullin may be known as “the Dragon Slayer,” but he fears his son’s legacy will be as “King Maurice Who Speaks with Proper Grammar.” The boy keeps his nose buried in parchments, starry-eyed at the idea of noble knights and eager to hand royal gold to any con man hawking a unicorn horn. Tonight, though, Cullin will educate the prince in the truth behind minstrels? silly songs of glory?

Long ago, in a kingdom, well, not that far from here really, young Cullin traveled the countryside as squire to brave Sir Dalbry, along with Dalbry’s trusted sidekick Reeger, selling dragon-protection services to every kingdom with a coffer. There were no dragons, of course, but with a collection of severed alligator heads and a willingness to play dirty, the trio of con men was crushing the competition. Then along came Princess Affonyl.

Tomboyish and with a head for alchemy, Affonyl faked a dragon of her own, escaped her arranged marriage, and threw in with Cullin and company. But with her father sending a crew of do-gooder knights to find her, the dragon business just got cutthroat.

Review:
This was amusing, as it was meant to be. It is almost wholly satire, after all. It’s witty and well-written. I generally really enjoyed it. But there came a point when the joke just kind of got stale and all the anachronisms (which are purposeful) started to grate. But if you’re looking for a laugh that pokes fun at fairy tales, pretty pretty princesses and knights in shining armor, look no further.

As an odd aside: I take issue with this sentence in the description: But with her father sending a crew of do-gooder knights to find her, the dragon business just got cutthroat. It simply doesn’t happen in the book. Go figure.

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