Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken [Part One+Part Two]

Published Date: October 6th, 2008
Finished Date: September 10th, 2011
Publishers: Zebra Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Series: The Dragon Kin Book 1

Blurb from Goodreads: It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer. Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe-a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong. And just wait until you meet the rest of the family...

My Review

This book comprises of two novellas - DRAGON ACTUALLY and CHAINS AND FLAMES (both are connected).

Part One: Dragon Actually

To describe what I felt immediately after I got to the The End, I would probably put it as "Lukewarm".

Annwyl the Bloody and Fearghus the Destroyer have both earned their reputation, and they mighty well deserve it.

Both have a great destiny upon them, and both destinies are rather intimately intertwined, if you know what I mean. Lol.

Annwyl leads a fearsome rebellion which has garnered the support from the neighboring kingdoms against her cruel brother. Both hates each other, and wants to see the other's head on a pike. The last one standing gets to rule Dark Plains.

Fearghus is a prince, but an emotionless and unfeeling one at that. All he wanted was to live peacefully and alone in his cave in the Dark Glen, but all that serenity and tranquility was shattered when Annwyl and her adversaries stumbled in fighting to the death.

Annwyl was losing the fight and was bleeding heavily when Fearghus emerged from his cave in his dragon form. The other soldiers tried to run but were burnt to cinders mere seconds later. Annwyl just stood in front of the dragon, talked some crap, and fainted (from the wound at her side). Fearghus was intrigued by this woman who didn't cower or grovel at his feet upon meeting him, so he, with the aid of his sister, healed her.

Therein begins a great love story between dragon and woman. But their lives in peace were not to be, and soon, Annwyl has to lead her loyal troops to battle against her brother, who has managed to procure Hefaidd-Hen as an ally, one of the most powerful and feared wizards of all time...

I thought it rather cliche, actually. And Fearghus's attraction to her was close to instantaneous, which, I think, lacked proper development. It was all too soon when Fearghus started being afraid that Annwyl would have to leave him one day. However, Annwyl took some time to warm up to him, prompting Fearghus to court her (in their totally bizarro ways. Well, one is The Bloody and the other The Destroyer. What did you expect? Tulips and daisies?). Looking at them slowly get past the denial that they're in love and start to warm up to each other was sweet, and that saved my impression of the book.

The final battle which I was led to think was supposed to be an epic finale, but lol, it wasn't. It was actually all said and done in the middle of the book. Know why, cause Fearghus and Annwyl still had a lot to settle amongst themselves. So the back part of the book was mainly dedicated to the romance department more than the fantasy sector.

It wasn't bad, not all that amazing neither was it downright boring. Lukewarm, really.

Random Musing:
1) The names in here are downright bizzaro.

Example: Briec the Mighty - it sounds like Brick. Lol, Mighty Brick.
                       Gwenvael. Can you guess little Gwen's sex? He's a man. Gasp.
Morfyd - It reminds me of morphine..
Fearghus - Fear girls. Really?
Annwyl - It just sounds funny to me.

2) When Fearghus piss Annwyl off in one of their snarky banters and arguments that is a love-hate thing for me, Annwyl growls. She's a human, how can she growl? I can't growl, would love to, but... How?

3)Oh, and can I just say that I don't like the cover? Lol.

My Rating for Dragon Actually:

Part Two: Chains and Flames

In a way, CHAINS AND FLAMES is very much similar to DRAGON ACTUALLY. CHAINS AND FLAMES is the story of how Berclek, Fearghus's father, met and courted Fearghus's mom, Rhiannon. And as the saying goes, like father, like son.

Rhiannon and her mom, the Queen of all dragons, hadn't had a very good mother and daughter relationship, and her mother, fearing her daughter's immense powers, sealed Rhiannon's magic and betrothed her to one of her most loyal commanders, Bercelek.

Hearing this, Bercelek needed no encouragement to Claim her, since he had already set his sights on her way back when they were merely 50 winters old (yes, back when they were younger, around 50 years of age. Lol)the very first time he laid eyes on her. But y'know, like Fearghus, Bercelek only likes those girls with a fearsome, strong-willed, and mighty obstinate attitude.

So that actually says a lot about our dear Rhiannon already, actually. She was very opposed to marrying the low born, loyal to her archenemy (her mom) Bercelek, but she hadn't any choice since her mom took the liberty to seal away her powers almost completely, rendering her unable to shift back to her humongous, beautiful, strong, white dragon form. All that and leaving her at the mouth of Bercelek's cave high up in the mountains, which means the only way out, is down.

Thus begin the slow seduction of the handsome dragon warrior to the girl of his dream, all kicking and scratching and ordering him around whenever he got near. That plus the traps and plots Rhiannon's evil mom have set in place for the couple...

I liked C&F more than DRAGON ACTUALLY. I'm not really sure why, with Rhiannon's masochistic love for being bound when Bercelek does his things to her (in bed, I might add), I found them more endearing.

The romance segment in here was developed much better; Rhiannon did not immediately take to being forced unto just another male by her overbearing and obnoxious mother. And although Bercelek kind of fell for her the instant he saw her, there was a good reason for that. It was an accident, really. Bercelek accidentally stepped on her tail when he was entering the throne room one day, and she turned around and almost killed him. And that turned him on. Weird, but it's a reason nonetheless.

Tho the romance did improve, the plot sure didn't. Lol, a little ridiculous and fantastic, if you ask me. Petty love affairs and family discord because of paranoia and frayed nerves. Very insubstantial.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banters between our protagonist couple and with Bercelek's family. I loved the sarcastic humor and those humor borne out of Rhiannon's innocence and Bercelek's possessiveness of her that Aiken imparted within.

Example 1: "He turned her to look at him, both hands gripping her upper arms. "Could you have been more obvious?"

She blinked in confusion. "Obvious about what?"

"Your blatant admiration of my father."

"Well even you have to admit he's bloody gorgeous!"

He didn't have to admit a damn thing.

She winced. "Oooh. Well that came out terribly wrong..." "

Oh, speaking about being gorgeous, one thing I'm kinda miffed about is everyong, and I mean EVERYONE in their realm is beautiful. I mean, what the hell?

Example 2: [Something was happening to Rhiannon when she was in Bercelek's home and was surrounded by his parents and his many siblings.]

"Then... she dropped. As if one of the gods slammed her with his mighty claws. But the force behind it was so great, Rhiannon’s body slammed through the floor of the Great Hall, disappearing from their sight.


“The dungeon! She’s gone to the dungeon!”

“We have a dungeon?” "

Oh, and I loved some of her descriptions. HEE-larious.

Example: "With a groaned sigh of resignation, he released her wrists and rolled onto his back. Still, she had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing at the sight of his erection creating a nice tent with the bedding."


Nice tent with the bedding...Like, WHAAT?

Haha, yep, other than that are the many sweet moments that Rhiannon and Bercelek had nearer to the end. But at the start, it's more of Bercelek's hot wooing. He was very confident and very alpha. Very dangerous combination, indeed. Yum. LOL.

It was a relaxing read, not too fast-paced or adrenaline pumping.

Anyway, yep, I would give this book a 4 gladly, or maybe a 4.5.:)

My Rating


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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