The Dragon's Curse
I generally don’t pick up books I think I’ll hate. The Dragon’s Curse by Victoria Zagar looked like it could be great, with a terrible racial war, two men fighting against the war and their families (or rather, one family, the other isn’t bad at all), and dragons. But that story was not this story. In 86 pages, I went from excited to disappointed to completely overwhelmed by the WTF-ery going on in this story.
Aidan, nephew to the good king, has been meeting with Varion, son of the bad king, for ages now, the two of them trying to sidetrack the war Varion’s father is determined to have. But nothing helps and they are separated, Aidan fighting against racism and destruction of the Dragonfolk (a cursed people, born from the blood of dragons), while Varion is stuck fighting with his father, eradicating the Dragonfolk from the land, and saddled with a deathbed promise he made to his mother.
All of this had so much potential, but it was destroyed by 5 major things (and a bunch of minor things that I don’t really have the energy to get into anymore):
First of all, the writing? Not that great. I mean, not the worst thing I’ve ever read, but bad enough that I will probably not look for this author again. And by probably I mean definitely.
Second, 86 pages was nowhere near enough to tell that story, much less that of the romantic relationship. It was more a summary than anything else.
Third, I didn’t care about Aidan, but especially not about Varion. I had issues with him. Major issues. Aidan’s storyline is full of stress and danger, and hoping that he’s doing the right thing. Varion? He’s the most passive hero I’ve ever read. His story is about things happening to him, and it isn’t until the very end that he shows any kind of momentum.
Fourth, where were the dragons? Oh, yeah, not actually there. Why didn’t we have dragons? Instead, we have Dragonfolk, of whom we only actually meet one, and a dragon goddess, who is basically just there to make the ending work after the whole set up.
Finally, the whole dragon curse. Now, this is a bit of a spoiler, but still – the curse (placed by an ancestor of Varion’s) is because of jealousy (wah, I can’t turn into a dragon, damn them because they can! wah!) and a) makes the women ugly, with faces covered in scales and b) KILLS THE MEN WHEN THEY HAVE SEX. YES, IF YOU EJACULATE, YOU DIE. THE END. NO EXCEPTIONS. Don’t you love how the curse equates women’s beauty with men’s death? Or at least, the lack of sex. I particularly liked that touch. Because goodness knows I think my beauty is worth more than my life (Sarcasm. In case you couldn’t hear it.) That is just so full of WTF that I don’t even know what to do with it. Honestly. I just….I got nothin’.
Basically, don’t read this. I can’t think of anyone this book would be good for. Unless you like dragon boys who die if they orgasm.