This might come as a shock, but dragons are actually my favourite.
It’s probably something to do with my Slytherin soul, my tendency to hoard shiny things, and my predisposition to eat annoying people. So if you say “this book has dragons in it”, I’ll be reading it. IMMEDIATELY.
I thought it’d be fun to do a mini review collection of just dragonish books I’ve read recently. And there’s been a nice unusual amount published this year! So, thank you 2017, for providing us with dragons. There has been a dragon-drought.
Thank you to Bloomsbury AUS and Netgalley for the review copies!
And also I bought one because #DragonAddiction.
Thank you Bloomsbury! Published March 2017.
This book is actually the CUTEST thing. I mean it’s about (a) dragons and (b) chocolate — aka my two favourite things. Obviously I was going to love it. It was cute and sassy, and reminded me of Ramona Quimby…with dragons. Plus chocolate. DID I MENTION THE ENTIRE BOOK IS CENTRED AROUND CHOCOLATE. It’s a middle grade, so not my usual fare, but I still loved it!
(This book is basically what would happen if Willy Wonka and I co-wrote a novel.)
OTHER THINGS TO LOVE:
- Aventurine was a very winning protagonist! I mean, she loses her ability to be a dragon because she gets sucked into a trap via chocolate. That would be me.
- Her passion is CHOCOLATE.
- It’s set in a chocolate shop!!
- You will die of hunger reading this.
- Aventurine is also like a naive little feral dragon human-child who considers biting people when they annoy her. #Relatable
- Aventurine has an epic friend who is like a 12-year-old bourgeoning business woman. Will work for chocolate.
- I will work for chocolate, tbh.
It maybe lagged a little in the middle, but overall it left me with a warm happy fuzzy feeling. And also very near starvation. Basically toss that vegetable sandwich you’re eating right now, get some chocolate, and eat this book.
This one I bought. #DRAGONS
I have a bit of love/hate for this one. Because, like DRAGONS. They did them so well! There’s dragon riders who slay evil dark monsters of the forests and the dragons talk and are kind of vain. #lovely But the story was soooo slooooooow and the protagonist, Aliza had about as much personality as a bucket.
It’s basically a Pride and Prejudice retelling + dragons. Genius, yes?! Although I haven’t actually read P&P because I’d rather throw myself into the void, but I do love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries youtube vlogs! So I think I followed the gist of the original tale alright?? It was an entertaining and creative retelling. And I LOVED how there were women dragon riders/warriors. However Aliza…yeah…no. You know that song “there’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, todayyyyyy”. Heard of it? Please? I hope so? MOVING FORWARD: Aliza is the bucket and her personality fell out through the hole. She’s so passive it was boring. However she WASN’T waiting for a man to make her life interesting — so applause. And she was a woman of colour, so yay for diversity!
The romance was so dumb it was hilarious. Actual transcript of how it went down:
Daired: Okay don’t look at her.
Daired: Don’t speak to her except to pass the potatoes.
Daired: Let her paint your dragon tho.
Daired: BUT DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT!!
Daired: Erm, hello Aliza! So will you marry me? I’ve been in love with you for months.
Aliza: what even???? no?????
I mean, I laughed. I’m not sure I should have. But they had ZERO CHEMISTRY OR FRIENDSHIP BEFORE HE PROPOSED AND I JUST??? It did get better though. And Daired was kind of adorably awkward.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
- monster slaying!!!!
- dragon fights!!
- people nearly die all over the the place
- the middle is so boring I actually nearly died
- Aliza is a potato
- Even if there’s dragons, I realise I still fail to be fully engaged by period dramas.
This was such a puddle of disappointment. I picked up solely for the dragonish title, but it was SO STINKIN’ SEXIST it spoiled the entire book. Also there was next-to-no world building which made the whole book so SO confusing. Basically so many cliches. Think of the most generic fantasy story ever (oh a king’s wife has a baby in secret!! and she dies!! and the son will fulfil a prophecy!! but only if he’s hidden his whole life!!!) and boom. We gotcha. Also this king has 5 children by 5 wives and has hidden them in 5 different places FOR NO REAL REASON except probably because he was thinking, “LOL @ YOU WORLD! THIS IS AN EPIC GAME OF HIDE ‘N’ SEEK!”
OTHER REASONS I AM DISGRUNTLED:
- super long and wordy
- ergo boring for me
- one of the types of dragons are “fruit dragons” and which made me think of the actual thing called dragon fruit so are they riding a fruit salad???
- everyone is either SUPER BAD or SUPER GOOD because I apparently know nothing as a reader
- love triangle where I’m supposed to believe Terith loves two girls and equally
- yet I DO NOT BELIEVE SO
- the entire PREMISE is a dragon race and the winner gets to pick any women he wants to marry…
- because women are OBJECTS???
- how about no
- oh and women can’t ride dragons or do, like, anything…except be your wife
Why am I still here. Cool dragons that did cool things, but 0% world building and stupid sexism.
This one is about killing dragons and kissing. Which is a huge no from me. It’s also slowly dying from many fantasy cliches and a serious dose of problematic racism that kind of had me blinking in shock that I’ve not heard this book called out across the book blogging community. Like, at all???
We have a problem.
BRIEF LIST OF HORRORS:
- Sorrowlyn is called “headstrong, fiery, and rebellious” by all…except all she does is cry and wait for a boy to save her.
- Her #1 asset is her virginity. Can we…not.
- Pretty white Sorrowlyn is being forced to marry someone in the horse lord tribes and they’re described as dark skinned and “savage/barbaric”…not to mention using food to describe their skin tone. And this line is ACTUALLY IN THE BOOK: “barbarian warrior or not, that he is the kindest man I have ever met.”
- Well no no no no.
- Dragon slaying = no.
- Instalove romance.
- Princess Sorrowlyn needs (a) rescuing, (b) can become a magical great warrior with no training, (c) is “ugly” because she has “brown hair”, (d) is a super Special Snowflake Magical Virgin™, (e) is super racist, and yet (d) tons of people love her for no reason at all.
- The plot is just walking.
- Look at me over there just napping.
- The fantasy world is SO SEXIST. Because we can have dragons, but God forbid a lady kiss a man first. No no, corsets and submission.