All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Eight Simple Rules For Dating A Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

on March 29, 2018

Eight Simple Rules For Dating A Dragon (The Embraced #3)
Kerrelyn Sparks
St Martins Press
2018, 448p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

I really love this series. Five women, all born during the night the twin moons of this world ’embrace’. All children born on this nights are gifted with special talents but for a long time those children were also outcasts so the women were sent as young girls to an island to be raised in secret. They’re as close as sisters and Gwennore is kidnapped protecting one of the children of one of her sisters, willing to do anything in order to keep that little girl safe.

Gwennore is taken to the land of the dragons (Norveshka) and although they’ve kidnapped a princess, their motives are confusing. Gwennore realises that the country is hiding many secrets, including the truth about their powerful dragons and also stories of an ancient curse which has driven the ruling family mad for generations. General Silas Dravenko vows to return the young kidnapped princess to her parents but because of Gwennore’s gift he begs her to stay and help break the ‘curse’ and solve the terrible effects of the plague that regularly sweeps the land. Gwennore is reluctant…..but the General is pretty persuasive.

Silas appeared in the previous book assisting the pirate Rupert and the first Queen’s gift with the stones already predicted Gwennore’s destiny lay in the land of the dragons. As an Elf, this was surprising. Due to her isolation on the Isle of Moon for her protection, Gwennore has never even met another of her kind, although their reputation in the land of the dragons are of a savage killing race, regularly raiding across the shared border. The Norveshkans have been at war with the elves for years, so long that no one even know really knows why. Gwennore is surprised by how at home she feels in Norveshka, how beautiful she finds it, especially the forests. But she still wants to return to her sisters, despite the best efforts of the General.

Norveshka have closely guarded their secrets and because of this, Silas spends a lot of time either lying to Gwennore or not telling her key things or pretending he doesn’t know other things. It’s not really a deliberate attempt to be manipulative, but it sort of comes off that way because she keeps asking him to be honest with her and he keeps not being able to because of who he is and the Norveshkan history. Gwennore is achingly slow to connect the dots at some stages – she’s rescued during the kidnap by a dragon, who she can communicate with directly by hearing his thoughts and answering him. This is curious because as an Elf, Gwennore shouldn’t be able to hear the dragons. It takes her an astonishingly long time to figure out why the dragon keeps coming when she asks it to. But it makes things an awful lot easier when she does.

I liked the way that this book both had a mystery that was contained to the local area (the curse, the plague and the effects on the population) as well as continuing the mystery that has run through the previous two books with the Chameleon attempting to manipulate the monarchy in yet another nation. The new rulers are working together to learn more about him but so much is still unknown – his true form, for a start. Which makes it incredibly difficult to know when he’s around. Usually it’s not until his plans are well underway and someone recognises the pattern and by then it’s hard to know what form he’s taking. As a shifter, he can basically be anyone or anything and they really need Brody, a shifter himself, around who can smell his ‘signature’. With each instalment it gets more interesting and I can’t wait for the endgame.

I would’ve liked a little more romance in this one – it’s there but Gwennore stands quite firm against Silas for the longest time, because she believes she’ll never be accepted in his land (especially because of who Silas is) due to the long and bloody history they have with the elves. He’s pretty open about what he wants and I did like the ‘rules for dating a dragon’ that he invents as a bit of fun. Gwennore has been very sheltered in her upbringing so she’s pretty (ok very) inexperienced and she’s horrified when people assume that they are lovers. I loved the revelations about her background though and I’m pretty curious to see the land of the elves….hopefully that happens in the next book (the stones! the stones!).

These are good fun and I’m always excited to see a new one and satisfied when I finish one.


Book #58 of 2018

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