Tag Archives: dragons

Love in the Time of Dragons

MacAlister, Katie. Love in the Time of Dragons (2010). 331 Pages. Signet. $7.99

The Light Dragons: Book One || Dragons Universe Book Eight

Please be aware that though this is the first book in a new series, it is not a stand-alone, and the following may contain spoilers for the preceding books.

Tully Sullivan is Dr. Kostich’s apprentice, a mage-in-training who got dragged into the Dragon’s conflict at the end of Me and My Shadow. Except, she’s not a mage. Five weeks after she first arrives at Drake and Aisling’s house, she wakes up as a guest in Gabriel’s London house. She has no idea what has happened, and does not understand why everyone seems to be insisting that she is Ysolde de Bouchier, Baltic’s mate. But Tully doesn’t remember this– in fact, she doesn’t remember much at all. What she does know is that she has vivid dreams, yearly fugues, and a son (named Brom) who must be very worried about her.

Unfortunately for Tully, nobody is able to wait for her to come to terms with Ysolde. As Baltic’s mate, she is responsible for his crimes, and she is brought to the sárkány to face the charges. However, it is only a matter of time before Baltic figures out she’s back. Ysolde is his mate, and she was dead. Once he finds her, things will never be the same for her again.

The drama which has been building, all the intrigue which has left us wondering as we’ve read the last seven books has hit a crescendo with this book. Questions are (at least in part) answered, while yet more arise. By the end of the book (which is somehow shocking and expected simultaneously) you’re questioning nearly everything which the characters have taken for granted thus far.

The wait for the next book is going to be killer.

The Quick Version:

The drama which characterized the segment about Gabriel and May remains, but things have gotten funnier again. Ysolde and Baltic have that love/hate thing going on that makes things firey and fantastic. There is also something that is just so charming about a domineering dragon, and his willingness to do anything for his mate. I’m dying for the next book, which will be quite some time in coming, since this book was released on May 4, 2010. The book was fantastic, and scores a 5/5.

Please be aware, this is not a stand-alone book.

I know you’ll want to read it, so get it off Amazon or from Swaptree.


Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Me and My Shadow

MacAlister, Katie. Me and My Shadow (2009). 352 Pages. Signet. $7.99

The Silver Dragons: Book Three || Dragons Universe Book Seven

This is certainly not the last Dragons book– Love in the Time of Dragons is the next book — but it is the last book about Gabriel and May. Much like with Aisling and Drake before, their series might be over, but they are not gone.

Kostya continues to petition the weir for recognition of the Black Dragon sept. Cyrene continues insisting that she is Kostya’s mate. Drake’s mother is an evil, obnoxious woman. Aisling has given “full custody” of Jim to May for the remainder of her pregnancy– which means that Jim will continue being loud and obnoxious and Not. Funny.*Something weird is going on with Sally. Magoth has been unleashed on the mortal realm (and is still obnoxious). And so on and so forth.

The only thing which really concludes in this book is May and Gabriel’s romance; they really and truly are committed to each other, and have found their personal happily-ever-after. Oh, and Aisling has finally given birth.** However, May has finally found herself- in more than one sense- and her relationship with Gabriel has strengthened in such a way that it will last through their immortality.

Things get more and more complicated with Baltic. He’s basically the center of everything, and we know next-to-nothing about him. Hopefully this is not the case in Love in the Time of Dragons, because I believe it is his chest decorating the cover. I should be reviewing that by this time tomorrow, with the way I inhale these.

The Series as a Whole:

May and Gabriel manage to be different from Aisling and Drake while following the same basic plot; Girl has some powers. Boy notices girl, Girl notices boy. Girl gains lots of powers and complicates life. Boy does not run away from incredibly powerful, complicated girl. Boy and Girl overcome obstacles, and live happily ever after. But then, aside from the powers point, that’s really ever romance novel ever, and who really reads them expecting something original? The fact is, seven books in, I still enjoyed the set enough that I want to read the eighth. The series scores a perfect 10 of 10.

The Quick Version:

This book makes a good end to the rest of the Silver Dragons novels, though as stated repeatedly, the overall plot of the Dragons universe is not done. I did enjoy it, and I did actually laugh aloud a couple times. As a whole though, this series is less funny than the Aisling Grey series, which works, because the dramatic and action-oriented plot has become much more significant than the slapstick humor of the first portion. There are still scenes where I laughed– I snorted out loud while I was sneakily trying to read this book at work (and was so busted by a customer).  It gets a 4.5/5, because I really did enjoy it, even if some of it made me cringe.


* I have not thought Jim was funny more than once or twice the entire series. In seven books I have laughed at him maybe twice. He is not a good character. He is annoying, and needs to go away.

** She’s been pregnant through four books now. It’s about damned time.

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Up in Smoke

MacAlister, Katie. Up In Smoke (2008). 328 Pages. Signet. $7.99

The Silver Dragons: Book Two || Dragons Universe Book Six

This book did not have me laughing as much as others have in the past. In fact, a lot of the scenes which I think were meant to be funny were really just… painful. I’ve never really liked Jim- he annoyed me more often than he made me laugh. Magoth is just… too annoying to really be a scary villain.

May has been bound to Magoth since she was created, and it has caused her nothing but pain and frustration and trouble. Until she met Gabriel, however, she had managed to put up with it. But when Magoth tried to give her an order which would hurt Gabriel and the dragons, May refused it. The most creative punishment Magoth could come up with is giving May the role of Demon Lord’s Consort. (Perhaps because she loathes him so much that it’s actually punishment to spend time around him).

Gabriel surprises May when he tells her to go through with it, and actually become Magoth’s Consort. It would allow Magoth access to the human world, but it would also mean that May could be with Gabriel, fulfilling her duties as a Wyvern’s Mate.

That’s just the first few chapters. It moves quickly, and is full of drama. It was strange, because MacAlister’s books are usually funny, but I didn’t laugh more than a few times. The story is intense, and leaves you wanting more, but concludes at least reasonably well.

The Quick Version:

This book is awesome, but it’s not as funny as others. Certain characters remain annoying, a few new characters are annoying. The drama and suspense in this one are pretty impressive, and really make it a page turner. It only gets a 3.5 out of 5, because there’s a bit too much identity crisis.

If you want to read it, get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Playing with Fire

Macalister, Katie. Playing with Fire (2008). 331 Pages. Signet. $6.99

The Silver Dragons: Book One || Dragons Universe Book Five

I was more than a little worried when I picked up this book that I would find a repeat of the preceding series (girl finds out about being Wyvern’s Mate, girl resists, girl runs, dragon chases, happily ever after-ish). Instead, we get a new story, a new heroine, and a continuation of the unresolved plots from the Aisling Grey: Guardian series. The Silver Dragons series does not stand alone, and it is important that you take the time to read the Aisling Grey series first. Things are explained, but will make a lot more sense if you’ve read the first half. Anyway, all the familiar faces are back in this new series- which is really only “new” insofar as our heroine is new. Aisling and Drake are both present, and important to the series. Jim is there- and slightly less annoying now that he’s not in every scene, and of course Gabriel, Wyvern of the Silver Dragons, is there, as is Kostya.

May Northcott is a naiad’s doppelganger- made from shadow and common sense. She is also a top-notch thief, but because she is bound to a Demon Lord, she must steal whatever he wants. Her most recent mission has gotten May into far more trouble than it was really worth, and has gotten Thief Takers — magical bounty hunters — on her tail. Unfortunately, in her effort to return an incredibly valuable item which she took by accident, May got caught in the back garden of a Green Dragon house (and of course there is a huge misunderstanding; we all know that Drake is incredibly overprotective).

It is there that May meets Gabriel, and there that they find out that she drinks Dragons Blood (again, you remember this from the first series) and they learn that she is a Wyvern’s Mate. In fact, because doppelgangers are made, not born, she is effectively a loophole in the curse against the Silver Dragons. Unlike Aisling, May does not continue fighting and trying to get away from Gabriel; she realizes early on just how attracted to him she is, and becomes his Mate very quickly. Very early on she is officially Gabriel’s Mate. However, being bound to the Demon Lord Magoth complicates things, and she finds herself facing a hugely important decision, one that will affect the rest of her immortal life.

The Quick Version:

This may have a different series-title, but it is definitely a continuation of the first set. It does not stand alone, and if you really are interested, I would advise going back and reading the Aisling Grey: Guardian set. However, May is another strong heroine, one who you find yourself rooting for, and one who does not do the wishy-washy indecision that so many romance heroines are tainted by. We get a bit more of Aisling and Drake, and a lot more of Kostya, as well as a few (vague and confused) references to where the hell Chuan Ren and Fiat have gone. As a continuation to the original story, this book gets a 4/5 (if it was a standalone, it would get a 2, because a lot is not explained again).

If you’ve already read the other books, you can pick this one up on Amazon or through Swaptree.

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Talking to Dragons

Wrede, Patricia C. Talking to Dragons (1995). 255 Pages. Scholastic. $4.95 

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book Four (or Book One)

Depending on who you ask, this is either the first book or the last book in the series. If you feel that this is the last book, be aware of spoilers. If you feel that it is the first, welcome to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

Daystar has lived right next to the Enchanted Forest his whole life, but he has never spent much time there. His mother, Cimorene, has drilled two rules into his head since childhood; always be polite, especially to Dragons, and never say yes to an unknown favor. When he is sixteen years old, he enters the Enchanted Forest for the first time.

Armed with a magic sword, and good manners, Daystar is sent on a quest, even if he doesn’t have a clue what he’s supposed to do. He makes the acquaintance of a fire witch, meets a small lizard, and a young dragon, all without figuring out much more than that the King is sleeping in his castle.

Eventually Daystar learns that the sword he is carrying is very important, that Morwen the Witch and Telemain the Magician are both very powerful and very helpful– and know considerably more than he does about his quest– and that his mother was very right in teaching him to always be polite to Dragons.

Eventually, Daystar makes his way to the Castle of the Sleeping King, where he figures out what everyone has been hoping he’d do all along. The book climaxes with an epic battle, and ends on a good note. It resolves the story without ending everything. It’s not exactly “happily ever after” but all the characters are set up to find their ever-afters easily.

The Series as a Whole:

I choose to think of this as the fourth book, because I’ve always read it last. It makes a solid close to a long story, one which has been well written, and is really enjoyable. The appearance and re-appearance of familiar characters makes it feel like one contiguous work, which is nice. Each one has just enough difference from the last that you’re interested, and things are steadily growing off what has already been set up.

As a series opener, it’s fascinating; you start with the end, you know the happily ever after, and so the “What” is solved. Reading the rest of the books is like learning the “Why”, which is really not a bad way to do things. Beginning with the end is a fun way to tell a story.

The series gets an overall score of 5/5.

The Quick Version:

This is one of the first Fantasy series I remember reading, and because of this I know I’m at least a little biased. However, I’ve read it so many times that I nearly have the book memorized and I still enjoy it. This book in particular is good. Daystar makes a great protagonist, and whether you know what’s going on or not, you find yourself rooting for him. It scores a 5/5 for being a great book.

Want to read it? Get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

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Filed under Book Review, High Fantasy, Humor, Young Adult Fiction

Calling on Dragons

Wrede, Patricia C. Calling on Dragons (1994). 244 Pages. Scholastic. $3.95*

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book Three

Because this is the third book in a series, there are very likely to be spoilers for the first two books. Proceed with caution.

It is purely by accident that King Mendanbar discovers that  his sword has been stolen by wizards, allowing them to once again steal the forest’s magic. The bold theft is what will lead our familiar (and not-so-familiar) cast on yet another adventure to save the forest. With the sword out of the Enchanted Forest, however, Mendanbar must remain at home to be the focus of the protection spell. This means that Cimorene must lead the party, and Mendanbar is by no means happy about it.

In Calling on Dragons we see their adventures from Morwen’s point of view, which means that we get to hear what her cats are actually saying for the first time. They lend a comedic edge to the book which it would otherwise have been missing. (And it gives us some insight into cat romance). Killer, the six foot tall talking blue donkey-rabbit who blunders into more and more difficult and stupid situations. He makes things funny, but can at times be very annoying.

We see a lot more of the world outside the Enchanted Forest or Mountains of Morning, mostly due to the adventure.  Telemain speaks in magical technical gibberish, and Kazul stops him. Morwen is practical, Cimorene equally so. Killer is silly, and the cats are funny. There is also a very entertaining scene with a cranky magic mirror. This book, like the others, will have you laughing and enjoying yourself.

The Quick Version:

As I have said on other books which are the third in the series; it’s more of a bridge than a stand-alone book. The story begins, but does not conclude, and has a rather severe cliffhanger at the end. It is still good, is still very entertaining, and in a lot of ways is my favorite book in the series. It gets a 4.5 out of 5 because of the cliffhanger.

If you want to read it, pick it up on Amazon or though Swaptree.


* This is the price on the old edition which I received used.


Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, High Fantasy, Humor, Young Adult Fiction

Searching for Dragons

Wrede, Patricia C. Searching for Dragons (1992). 242 Pages. Scholastic. $4.99

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book Two

Because this is the second book in a series, there are very likely spoilers to the first book. Proceed with caution.

Mendanbar is an unconventional King, which is good, because the Enchanted Forest is an unconventional kingdom. He tries to be active, and take part in his kingdom, instead of getting caught up by formal events like his father, the previous king. One day, while he is out on one of his unconventional walks, he finds a vast dead region in the forest, and dragon scales scattered around the scene. Some confusion and consternation leads him to Morwen, who sends him on to talk to King Kazul.

When Mendanbar gets to King Kazul’s caves in the Mountains of Morning, he finds Cimorene, who admits that Kazul is missing. This is where the title comes into play, as they go on a search for Kazul which leads them on quite an adventure. They meet giants (one of whom Mendanbar advises to leave his current rampaging business and go into consulting), ride a dysfunctional carpet, meet Rumplestiltskin’s grandson (Herman the dwarf), and finally come across Telemain the Magician.

With some help from Telemain and Morwen, Cimorene and Mendanbar manage to get to the root of their problem and locate the missing King Kazul. I’ll give a hint about the end; there are wizards involved. Everything wraps up reasonably well, leaving some room for the adventure which is sure to come in the third book.

The Quick Version:

With nearly as many laughs as Dealing with Dragons, you will find Searching for Dragons to be an enjoyable book. It is targeted toward children, but as with the first book (and the rest of the series) it remains enjoyable as long as you are willing to have a sense of humor about your reading. The ending is predictable (which is fine by me, really), but this book feels like it is missing something which the first book has. I like Mendanbar a lot, but he just seems too clueless about magic at times. The book scores a 4.5 out of 5.

Pick it up from Amazon or Swaptree.


Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, High Fantasy, Humor, Young Adult Fiction