Tag Archives: Dragons

A not-review of Dragons of Wales, by Andy Frazer

This isn’t so much a review as just a brag about, “Look at this cool thing I got.” Look. Look. Look!

It’s even signed and anyone who knows me knows I love a signed book. I hoard them like some sort of jealous dragon, which is an apt description considering.

I came across Andy Frazer and his Dragons of Wales through Twitter. I quickly fell in love with the little guys and gals. So, I followed to the Kickstarter and gallery/shop, where I ordered a couple books. Yeah, a couple; I have a some Welsh friends who will be getting a copy for Christmas. (Good thing they don’t read my blog.)

The book is small, only about 80 pages of A5. But it’s full color and just a lot of fun. Frazer’s dragons are small themselves, bird-like. Each stunning (and to-die-for cute) picture is accompanied by an interesting little ornithological-like description which include a mix of information about plumage, preferred environment, behaviors, mating, size, diet, etc. It’s a conversation starter, for sure. My coffee table is improved by its presence.

At this point I’d love to add a bazillion pictures of brightly colored, itty-bitty Welsh dragons, but I’d feel obligated to ask Frazer’s permission to do so, and I don’t want to have to ask permission. Because then it would feel like I’m doing a promotion and this isn’t a promo. It’s just me squeeing over pretty dragons. And I’d feel all sorts of awkward and fan-girl being like, “Um, Mr. Frazer, Sir, can I litter my blog with your hard work? No, no, I can’t pay you or anything. But it’d be exposure.” Um, no. There are plenty of images available if you check out the Twitter or Artstation link, above. You should check it out.

I’ll just include one to give you an idea of what they look like (and hope I’m not violating a copyright or anything). This is the Zara of Zacmik. I chose it because I like the name.

There, see I have a cool new thing. *Smug*
Ok, I’m not really smug. That would be an unattractive characterization. But I’ve very happy.

Review of The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova

I’ve spent the last couple days roughing it….in a tent…in 100+ degree weather. I’ve been wholly without internet and, honestly, didn’t get much time to read. Too busy floating the river, staying hydrated by any means and generally engaging with nature. Despite all that, I did finally finish Elise Kova‘s The Dragon’s of Nova. I reviewed the first in the series, The Alchemists Loom, last year. I got both through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall. 

To start with, can I just note that Kova’s book always seem to have the most beautiful covers? Seriously, I love them all, this one included.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this one quite as much as The Alchemists Loom. It was set at a faster pace, which was a relief and I understood the world coming in, which was also beneficial. I even loved Cvareh. I appreciate a male who knows what (who) he wants and is willing to do what is needed to win them. In this case, take a back seat to her needs and play support. And a whole culture that makes no distinction on the gender of romantic partners was a bonus.

Unfortunately, as much as I liked Cvareh, I didn’t so much connect with Arianna. I felt like half of the attention that would otherwise have been focused on her was given to Florence. And of the time given to Arianna’s POV, I didn’t much care for her gruff persona and dishonesty with her own emotions. I did like Florence, however. There is a character that grew into herself.

Like book one, this one comes to a natural stopping point. But it’s a stopping point, not an ending and certainly not a conclusion. I don’t know how many books are planned for the series, but this isn’t the last one.

Review of Dragonhunters, by Garon Whited

I received a copy of Dragonhunters, by Garon Whited, from Netgalley. I read it on vacation, as I traveled from Tennessee to Florida.

Description from Goodreads:
You don’t become a hero for the money. The money’s nice, sure, but you become a hero because something inside compels you, drives you to it. Defending people from monsters simply doesn’t pay well enough to make it a good career move. 

As for hunting dragons… well, the money is usually good, but the job really bites. 

A group of five professional heroes goes into the lair of the dragon. Who will win? 

Spoiler: The dragon. 

But it turns out killing a hero sometimes does nothing more than make him even more determined. 

Sometimes, heroes are never more dangerous than when they’re dead!

Man, what an interesting set-up that failed almost completely for me. Look, there are a ton of really fun ideas in this book. But the writing is so flat, the dialogue so formal and fantasy-quest-like (you know what I mean) that it distances the reader so far that I didn’t connect with anyone. I finished the book feeling like I hadn’t gotten to know anyone, nor did I care about any of them or their endeavor to kill a random dragon. No one had a believable emotion. No one seemed to react at all to, you know, dying and being resurrected, or becoming the locus of four ghosts. And the traveler that caused the whole mess is never explained at all. He pops up in the beginning and then disappears, never to be seen again.

For a while, in the beginning, I thought this might be a parody of a fantasy quest story. And it might have worked in that vein, but it isn’t. It’s an attempt at a real thing, as far as I can tell, and I was just really glad to see the end of it. Perhaps there will be readers that love it. I’m not making a blanket, “It’s bad,” statement. But it sure didn’t work for me.