Title and Author:
Dragon's Curse by H. L. Burke
Name of Reviewer:
Reason for choice of rating:
Some romantic elements, and some innuendo/unwanted attention from the knight character towards Shannon
H.L. Burke's Dragon's Curse is the first of a four-book series called "The Dragon and the Scholar." And although I've only read book 1 so far, this is a series I am very interested in reading the rest of and owning. A fun, fantasy romp with a hint of romance, I very much enjoyed the story.
The main character, Shannon, is not your typical fantasy maiden. She is not a princess, nor is she a down-trodden orphan searching for her parents, nor is she an overlooked handmaiden. No, she is a scholar. A no-nonsense, pragmatic, scholar. And an extremely good one, at that. She has studied and worked hard, and when a prestigious assignment comes available, she does everything she can to persuade the powers that be that she is the right candidate for the job, even though it's her first actual field assignment.
Her task? To do what she can to heal the burn-wounds of the young, crippled king who bears a deep vendetta against all dragons because one of them killed his brother.
However, her task gets a bit more cumbersome as she attracts the unwanted attention of an arrogant knight and a dragon sets up residence in a nearby cave. Though it is against all reason, Shannon ends up secretly befriending the dragon and now she is torn between her duty to the king, her lack of interest in the knight (but no desire to see him actually get killed fighting a dragon, particularly on her account), and this blossoming, forbidden friendship.
A fairly short read, this story is packed with action, entertainment, witty humor, and a most enjoyable dragon. Shannon is a blunt, somewhat scatterbrained, but very capable character, and an excellent foil for an extremely sarcastic dragon, who oddly shares her deep love of books. The plot is a fun ride, with enough twists to make it interesting, and a couple of surprises thrown in along the way. The foreshadowing was a little heavy-handed, and I figured out some of the surprises before they were actually revealed, but not so far in advance that it detracted from the enjoyment of the read in any way. I am greatly looking forward to diving into this series again at some point and following the continuing adventures of these characters who have definitely become dear to my heart through this first excursion with them.
This is a clean fantasy read that I would recommend for ages 13 and up - I would say younger, but the unwanted attentions/words of the knight character towards Shannon might be a bit too mature for some readers.
13 and up
Books and movies you would compare this to:
Ladyhawke, DragonHeart, Dealing with Dragons
What mood did this book leave you in?
With a smile and curiosity to read further in this world
Dragon, Epic, Fairy Tale, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Reviews by Readers
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