I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
I got this book as an ARC from Netgalley and this my honest review of it.
Jill is running around frantically searching for a present for her nieces birthday when she is lured into an old antique shop by a little old lady.*
She is shown an old worn tapestry depicting a knight and a maiden and suddenly she finds herself in the past surrounded by peasants just as they are about to send off a virgin sacrifice to appease a dragon
But they are perfectly happy to have a complete stranger to switch the original village girl with-so they tie Jill up to a stake and leave her for the dragon.
Fully expected to be eaten Jill is suprised when the dragon carries her back to his lair and turns into a man. He introduces himself as Baelin.
As it turns out ,Baelin has been a dragon for over 216 years ever since a witch cursed him to spend all year but one month in this dragon form.During that month he and the chosen maiden has to find a way to break the curse by perform tasks based on the knightly virtues.
Jill not the sort of girl to sit around and tells Baelin she believes its much more likely that opportunities to do this will present themselves if they leave the cave and so they set off on their quest to but they will not have an easy time of it being hunted by the henchmen of the witch and running into dragonslayers.
I was pleasantly suprised by this book
This book is like Dragonheart and not just because it features dragons but in that it has the same feel to it. Sure some might call that movie cheesy and they have a point in this.
But secretly inside you really enjoyed watching it very much. In that way this book Oh and both has cool dragons of course
If you expect something serious this book might disappoint you but if you dont mind reading about the road trip of a modern day damsel and a knight with tarnished armor who is actually a dragon you will have a riot.
The dark witch who cast the spell on Baelin at first I considered pretty one dimensional as villains go.Shes an evil nymphomaniac who never got over being rejected by him But then the author reveals another layer to her wich makes you feel a smidgeon of symphaty for her. Just a smidgeon,she is still the antagonist you know.
But something tells me this will be explored more in upcoming books as I dont think we have seen the last of her.
The medieval era in "Fire of the dragon" is not neat and clean. Its dirty and brutal and the setting feels real.
Of course this is admittedly an England where things like dragons and witches exists but it feels authentic in other aspects and not just as window hangings so you can tell the author has done her research into the period.
There are some instances in this wich had what I would like to describe as "questionable author choices" At first I thought "ok what was the idea of even having this in there" only to have it make sense as I read along.
But in the end hero and heroine and their relationship with each other is what really make this book work.
Jill is less the damsel in distress and more of a damsel errant as a character even if have to admit I found Jill very obnoxious at first. but then...we get to see her in a weak moment.. After that I started to appreciate her spunky attitude more and even start to like her.
When she tries to "help" Baelin avoid detection from a dragonslayer by claiming he was allergic and had a hump on his back was hilarious.
She also the one who make the first move in their relationship by kissing him and it just seemed very natural for her to take that. Not because she is a pushy and sexually aggresive modern woman but because she just have a strong attraction and love for Baelin and want to express it.
I find it a bit hard to explain but it was a touching moment.
"Without inflicting a single blow,this tiny maiden had defeated the mighty dragon,body and soul"
And Baelin...Baelin is just wonderful in that he manages to be both strong and gentle but have his own doubts and weaknesses without me thinking "quit moping and get over it already" His resolute following the knightly code of chivalry is such a big part of his character it never came across as phony or silly but admirable.
He wants Jill but know what she wants the most is to return to her own time and as he has his curse do he even deserve to have her even if she wanted to stay? He just a really honorable guy.
"She looked at him sitting there on his knees in front of her,so big and brave and yet
suddenly so vulnerable"
If there is one thing I had an issue with it was I would have wished the ending was a bit longer and a bit different. There is a happy ever after so dont worry(show spoiler)
But its not an ending I can really complain about. The antagonist is not defeated as such but her curse is broken wich kind of equal situation.As I mentioned Before I have a guess we will see more of her.
The next book in the series will be Rodericks and though I dont know for sure I have an inkling about where it might be headed.
The series is called the "Bestiary" after all....
*old strange ladies in connection with antique stores seem to be involved in a lot of time traveling incidents in romance