Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review of "Dragon Actually" by G.A. Aiken

I just happened upon this book while going through a large stack of older novels, and I consider myself lucky for finding it! I think the title caught my eye first - What, you didn't believe that? Alright, the handsome looking man caught my eye first, but really, the title interested me. Honest.

From the back of the book:
" It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a villiage just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger.

She's wrong.
[ And just wait until you meet the rest of the family...] "

I really enjoyed this. In fact, I got home about six-ish, started reading it almost immediately, and couldn't put it down until I finished a few hours later. I just loved the characters of Annwyl and Fearghus. And I like the fact that Annwyl couldn't defeat her brother on her own, not because she wasn't strong enough, but because her absolute anger would trip her up somehow, would leave her open to attack. And that is what the strange knight is helping her with, to overcome her anger and make sure she's ready to face her enemy. I also really, really loved the family dynamic between Fearghus and his siblings, and even with his parents, as well. Obviously that last bit on the back cover signals the reader to the fact that this will be a series - which I am sooo excited about. In fact, "Dragon Actually" includes a shorter story in the back of the book, "Chains and Flames," that tells the story of Fearghus' parents and how they got together. I quite enjoyed that, as well.

This wouldn't be a fair and balanced review unless I talked about any and all cons of the book, but it'll be hard to come up with anything substantial. Really, the only thing I had issues with were names, and that was because I didn't know how to pronounce them. Annwyl and Fearghus.. Nope, still not sure. I almost wish there had been a pronunciation guide included somewhere. And I'm not sure I liked the fact that Annwyl never really bothered to get the knight's name, especially as things progressed between them. But I, who can be quite nitpicky, was willing to overlook these things because I enjoyed the overall story so much.

I'm giving "Dragon Actually" a FIVE out of FIVE stars. I loved it, I'm going to re-read it, I've already got my hands on the second in the series and I can't wait to read it. I hope you all get a chance to check this book out, as well. As far as I know there are at least three in the series, and I hope there will be more to come. Fearghus has quite a few siblings. I certainly plan to do some more research on this author.

Happy Reading! And definitely check out "Dragon Actually" by G. A. Aiken
~!~ Morning Glow


Patti said...

I thought this was really cute too. I've got the 2nd book but haven't read it yet, you make me want to go grab it!

Dot S. said...

I read all three books and can't wait for #4 coming in Sept 2010. I agree that the names are a bit off-putting. I hate to interrupt a read to try and figure out a name. GA Aiken is Shelly Laurensten and she writes a shifter series also.