There Be Dragons on the Horizon – the dragon in the garden (Erika Gardner)

pier

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this urban fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

the dragon in the garden (Erika Gardner)

Title: the dragon in the garden

Author: Erika Gardner

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Publication Date: February 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781310425547

Source: NetGalley

So a confession of a sort: this pirate is not that into urban fantasy.  Now to be fair there are some such novels that I have liked including magic bites which I reviewed on me blog.  But in general it doesn’t usually float me boat.  However I kept being mesmerized by this cover and title on NetGalley:

dragon garden

Every time I saw it I felt compelled to click on it again.  After multiple views, I gave in and requested it thinking, “well, if I am not approved then I have me answer.”  Then I got approved.  I couldn’t help but be giddy.  I am a sucker for all things dragon, and I had to know about why the dragon was in the garden.  A compulsion had come over me.

So I read it and while I can say that I did not love this book, I do think that it is me not the book.  And that’s okay.  The story is about a woman,  Siobhan, who has the sight and has a pivotal role in the fight between evil and mankind.  This book has it all – kick-ass heroines, a variety of angels, an Oracle, a prophecy, demons, fey, other dimensions, and above all an awesome dragon.

The dragon was the highlight for me, the world-building fun, and the snark along with silly details like slogans on t-shirts made me happy.  Siobhan was a decent main character.  I could have done without the love triangle though.  And how people were always rushing in to save her.  I mean I get that she is learning to use her powers but still.

Also there was a lot of sitting around and exposition for the first half of the book interspersed with brief “fights.”  It is the first book in the series and the plot seemed slow but I imagine that will pick up in the next book.  While I do not plan on reading the next novel, if ye like urban fantasy, ye might want to give this one a try.  Just make sure to tell me what ye think of it.

Oh and here is an interesting blog post by the author about the book in case yer interested.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Tirgearr Publishing!

The publisher’s website had this to say about the novel:

Siobhan Orsini has the Sight–no lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her. After inheriting her grandparents’ house in CA’s wine country, she meets a talking dragon–a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. Seeking the Oracle, Siobhan learns her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Can she save humanity?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Erika Gardner – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the dragon in the garden – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

There Be Dragons On the Horizon – the waking fire (Anthony Ryan)

pier

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

the waking fire (Anthony Ryan)

Title: the waking fire

Author: Anthony Ryan

Publisher: Ace

Publication Date: currently July 5, 2016

ISBN:     9781101987858

Source: NetGalley

This is a novel with dragons and pirates and spies oh my!  At 592 pages this is an epic fantasy of a book and is the first of Mr. Ryan’s new series, The Draconis Memoria.  In the Arradsian Continental Holdings, there are four types of dragons – Red, Green, Black, and Blue.  Certain people can use this drake blood to do cool things by ingesting it.  The poem of its uses:

Blue for the mind.  Green for the body.  Red for the fire.  Black for the push.

And yet there is a myth about a White drake.  Does it exist?  If so, what does its blood do?  Well ye can read this book and find out.  But some thoughts before ye do.

  1. I loved the distinction between the types of dragons. Each color has particular ways of living and fighting. Black dragons of course were me favorite.  But be aware that there are not enough fulfilling dragon encounters in this book.  Lots of humans and dragons fighting but the dragons seemingly were a side note to their blood.  The dragon blood got WAY more conversation then the dragons themselves.  Sad.
  2. Loved the character development overall. I found the three main perspectives of Clay (adventurer), Lizanne (spy) and Hilemore (sailor) to be both engaging and unique. Hilemore was me favorite and not just because he was a sailor (Arrrrr!).  It was nice to get good female characters in this book like Tekala (girl) and Zenida (pirate).  I also liked Steelfine (Islander) and Braddon (head adventurer) a whole bunch too.  The characters kept me reading even though I had some problems with the plot.
  3. The White: The sections dealing with finding out the secret of the myth of the White were some of the weaker parts of the book to me. The mysteries surrounding it were just not fun and way too drawn out. Lots of wandering around with no real objective and then heading in a direction where the adventurers happen to find a random clue that leads them to wandering some more for another random clue.  And the thing with the Artisan and damn box made me crazy.  With no explanation and only more mystery at the end.  Ugh.
  4. Clay: I liked the character a whole bunch but his sections of the book had him making mistakes the entire time in terms of decision making and who he trusted. I mean the foreshadowing was so bad that I kept thinking to myself that I had to be wrong because it couldn’t be that simple. Ugh.  And the relationship with his uncle Braddon was just plain annoying.
  5. The evil ones: the politics and world building of this novel were a little weak. I wasn’t always sure who exactly the bad people were supposed to be. The Emperor and Morradin, for sure;  they seemed to have that stereotype of being bad guys for just the sake of money and power with no underlying philosophy or thoughts.  The politics seemed weak and included just so there could be a war and some battle scenes.
  6. Battle scenes: I actually liked many of them. This book even had a siege which I didn’t completely hate.  Many of the fights with the dragons were fun.  I did not, however, like a lot of the deus ex machina of the battle scenes.  There were multiple sections where character A (good guys) are fighting character B (bad guys) and are outnumbered and doomed when suddenly out of nowhere something happens (usually involving Blues) and suddenly character A is magically saved!
  7. Plot twists: There were a couple of truly not fun plot twists. Some dead people that should have stayed dead. Some relationship issues that I would have preferred to not exist.  An ending to the book was supposed to be a plot twist but wasn’t.
  8. Dragon chomping: To end on a happy note, there was one particular human that got chomped that made me super frickin happy.

So I guess overall I wanted more from this novel.  I found it dragging in places and it was extremely hard to get through.  I was extremely conflicted writing this review because there was a lot of good in the novel in terms of ideas and characters and yet it just wasn’t a cohesive enough whole for me.  I don’t even know if I liked enough of this to read the next book in the series.  A shame too because I normally adore all books with dragons in them.  But I was grateful for the chance to give this book a shot.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Ace!

The publisher had this to say about the novel:

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Anthony Ryan – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the waking fire – Book

There Be Dragons on the Horizon – the dragon round (Stephen S. Power)

pier

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

the dragon round (Stephen S. Power)

Title: the dragon round

Author: Stephen S. Power

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: currently July 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781501133206

Source: NetGalley

This book contains dragons and a sea captain out for revenge.  That was enough to pique me interest.  Two of me favorite things.  The novel started out with a bang.  I love the Captain, Jeryon.  I loved the apothecary.  There are dragons and mutiny and fighting.  Jeryon ends up on a deserted island, struggling to survive.  And finds a baby dragon.  I was very happy from the entire beginning of the book all the way through the training of the dragon.

Then the revenge part happens.  Sigh.  I have to admit: the book got choppy from there.  The book has been compared to three things: 1) the game of thrones series; 2) the temeraire series; and 3) the count of monte cristo.  I have read all three of these things (ye should too!).  Ummm, this novel can’t compare and here is why:

1) I believe this novel is compared to the game of thrones series because of the change of perspective chapters and the politics.  The novel is split into two parts with five chapters in each part.  Of course each chapter has subsections.  Part One is mostly from Jeryon’s perspective.  Part Two begins with the perspectives of the mates and what has happened to them since the mutiny.  Part One – loved it.  Part Two is where the plot begins to decline.  The politics are just not that interesting and involve disputes within branches of the military and, of course, money.  The characters are not as well developed and overall just plain unlikable.  George R. R. Martin’s character perspectives are rich and varied and help showcase the political wrangling.  Even with the multiple points of view in this novel, the politics were at the best boring and at the worst, unclear.

2) I believe this novel is compared to the temeraire series because of the dragons (duh!) and the style of fighting when dragons are involved.  I will admit that I enjoyed the dragon fights in the beginning of the novel.  They are certainly not extremely fancy but were very fun.  However when it comes to Jeryon and the dragon is where this novel is lacking.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I love both Jeryon and the dragon.  But the relationship between the two is more like master and pet, not partners.  I wasn’t expecting the dragons in the book to be as knowledgeable and intelligent as Naomi Novik’s Temeraire (whose are?), it seemed like the dragon in the story was more of an intelligent dog.  Also once we get into Part Two, the dragon fighting fizzles and becomes more lackluster.  How can that be?

3) I believe this novel is compared to the count of monte cristo because it is a sailor who life’s plan is ruined by other crew members and he wants revenge.  I would agree with that comparison very loosely.  The difference is in the details.  Dumas’ Count is crafty, intelligent, and fabulous at plotting.  Ye get to watch and savor the downfall of the Count’s enemies.  In this novel, the revenge begins and ye get to see none of the real plotting.  And what little ye do see is lackluster.  In Part Two, ye see none of the plotting for revenge and very little of Jeryon’s story.  Ye find out about things as the mates find out and it is just sad.  The hows and whys of Jeryon’s choices are avoided.  I wanted that story and didn’t get it.

These things aside, the novel was enjoyable and I did finish it.  Part One was lovely.  Part Two, not so much. I certainly didn’t hate it but when comparing it to other works, the flaws are noticeable.  The ending was a doozy, though, and had two crazy plot twists.  I will give the sequel a try to find out what happens in that regard.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Simon & Schuster!

The publisher’s website had this to say about the novel:

A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.

He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crew members decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Stephen S. Power – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the dragon round – Book

HERE BE DRAGONS – seraphina (Rachel Hartman)

Ahoy there mateys!  What better subject for a first post then dragons . . .

seraphina (Rachel Hartman)

Ah dragons! I am always ready for a dragon story and this was a darn good one. The main character, Seraphina, was feisty, intelligent, strong, and fun. Watching Seraphina make mistakes like a real person and then learn from them was refreshing. She is not a super heroine but rather a thoughtful and hardworking one. Particularly entertaining were her discussions with Orma, a dragon, and his responses to seemingly normal questions and situations. The dragon lore in this book was very different from what lore has been in other dragon series. I almost wish there was a lot more of it. Same goes for the history. It is reminiscent of medieval culture. I loved the religious aspects of the Goreddi culture. It is not overdone by any means, but the way that it is referenced in the characters’ speech and the settings helped fill out the world. The book ends suggesting there will be more to come in this series. I cannot wait to read the second novel.

If you would like to read more about the author visit her site and blog at:

Rachel Hartman – Author

Amazon says this about the book:

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…
 
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

To purchase this book from amazon visit:

Seraphina – Book