Monday, February 18, 2008

Review of Father Of Dragons

Hello there. Jade has invited us Divas to post here on the blog, so I thought I'd start with some recent reviews of books I've read. Here's the first one.

Title: Father of Dragons
Author: Emily Veinglory
Genre: M/M, fantasy
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US$4.50
Other Information/warnings: “Some M/M sex, some dragons, even some sex with dragons.”
Summary: Hurt…alone…haunted. Life can’t really get any worse for Xeras. In fact, it might not even be worth continuing. Then it does get worse. After all, being made to father a dragon can on no way be a good thing. Or can it? Having lost everything that matters to him, somehow Xeras isn’t really surprised to stumble on a she dragon in her den, he’s only surprised to wake up from the unfortunate blunder. The encounter changes him, changes his life, and since there’s nowhere else to go but up, it’s possible it could be a change for the better. No one ever said the road would be an easy one to travel, though, and while he does manage to make a few friends along the way, he also takes a few falls. Learning to believe in his own worth might be the hardest change to make, but anything’s possible with the love of a good man, and a good dragon.

My review:
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Certainly, not what I got. Miss Veinglory managed to deal me a pleasant surprise. Given the publisher’s warning: “Warning, this title contains the following: Some M/M sex, some dragons, even some sex with dragons.”, and the idea that a man must birth a dragon, there was a morbid fascination for me to delve in and see on how many levels this story could go wrong. Like the main character, my curiosity has often landed me in trouble. Not this time. With a healthy dose of sardonic humour and touching insight, the author very quickly won me over to Xeras’s cause.

Here is not a hero striving to save the world, only a man hoping to salve his broken heart and somehow, bring an end to his misery, even if it means bringing and end to his existence. Through what seem at first like a series of unfortunate events, he is, in fact, kept alive, first by a dragon, then by a man he meets in the road, and finally, by his own growing will to do the right thing. Through it all, he struggles to accept his own worth, questioning what people see in him to admire when he sees nothing there himself.

It is interesting to note that Xeras’s main love interest is not the secondary character in this novel. That place is filled by the ghost of his dead lover, whom he believes to be no more than the manifestation of his own guilt. Both characters are very nicely drawn, especially since, for much of the book, Xeras believes the ghost is all in his head, and the feelings they have for one another, even beyond death, are obvious. If I could wish for one thing from this story, it would be that the other characters, Xeras’s new love, Duke Carly, and Carly’s sister were more fully fleshed out. Given that we are forced to observe them through the eyes of a man wanting nothing more to do with people and relationships, this can be a tricky proposition. A few of the minor characters were nicely drawn if slightly stereotypical, but with quirks that kept them from turning cardboard.

In the end, I found this a quick, fun, and ultimately satisfying read, watching Xeras fumble toward love, fatherhood, (after its own, lizard-y fashion) and, ultimately, a healing of the heart. Using humour to keep it from getting maudlin and angsty, this story doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still manages to be touching. I have to say, this is one time my curiosity paid off.

My Recommendation: This is not just another dragon story, and it is well worth the time.