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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken This is actually two stories. The first is about Fearghus and Annwyl. I had read the back-of-book summary and it sounded like a good story. Well, it could have been better.

Fearghus is a shape-shifting dragon who likes his solitude. Annwyl is an insane warrior chick who leads an army against her evil brother. They meet when the dragon saves the amazon from a group of her brother's soldiers. Normally he would eat her, but she'd shown herself to be very brave and he was intrigued.

I can't really say what the problems are with this story. Fearghus keeps his ability to shift to human form from her for a while, and that gets a little tedious. Mainly because I don't buy that she wouldn't be able to handle it. She's nuts. She's prey who shows unsolicited affection for a predator. If any human could accept the shift, it's her.

One thing I can definitely point to that bothers me is Annwyl constantly hitting the human Fearghus. He hits her back, but only in the context of sparring. In their personal interactions, she often loses her temper and goes after him. It's one of those things I just don't like.

Fearghus happens to be a prince. His mother is the great dragon queen (the dragons are a matriarchy) and his father and she come off a bit nuts themselves.

So, anyway, there's war, magick, trickery, sacrifice and reconciliation. But it all left me a bit glad to be done with it.

Then, lo and behold, the next page is a second story! I was reading it on Kindle and I did think it was odd that the Fearghus and Annwyl's story ended at 63%, but I thought it might be a glitch.

Anyway, the second story is about Bercelak and Rhiannon, Fearghus's parents. I liked this story much better.

She's a spoiled princess and he's a "low-born" soldier who has worked his way up to the top of the Queen's guard. He's always had a thing for Princess Bratty and she's always disdained him as her mother's lap-dragon.

Turns out she's been pretty abused by her mother and Bercelak is not at all a lap-dragon. The Queen gives Rhiannon to him, against her daughter's will, and he proceeds to make her fall in love with him.

It's a bit choppy, but better than the first one.

After Fearghus and Annwyl's story I figured I wouldn't read any more books in this series, but then after Bercelak and Rhiannon's story, I thought maybe I'd find out what comes next. The excerpt from the next one was interesting enough that I'll probably go for it ... with lowish expectations.

Shana Abe's drakon series -- at least the first two books of it -- does the dragon/human shifter theme better. But this isn't bad for a non-challenging read.