Author: G. A. Aiken
Title: A Tale of Two Dragons
Series: Dragon Kin 0.2
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
Braith of the Darkness likes going through life unnoticed. Not an easy task for a She-dragon of royal descent. But the evil plots of her father are turning her quiet, boring life upside down, and she has now become the enemy of the most vicious queen her kind has ever known. But for once, Braith won't have to fight alone. Not when the warrior dragon of her dreams is willing to risk everything to save her neck.
Addolgar the Cheerful wishes he could say he’s helping the pretty royal strictly for honorable reasons - but he'd be lying. It’s not his fault, though! He didn't tell Braith of the Darkness to have the most delicious tail he’s ever seen! Yet before Addolgar can get his very strong claws on that tail, heads are going to roll. Just hopefully not theirs...
After reading Chains and Flames, the other prequel/extra story attached to Dragon Actually, I wasn't entirely certain whether I wanted to continue with the series. Luckily, I decided to read A Tale of Two Dragons.
This book had even more of what I loved and helped to fix some of the issues I had with Chains and Flames. The dragons were amazing to read about. This book expanded their world greatly by bringing the fight with lightning dragons (a battle that begins at the end of this story and has already completed by the start of Chains and Flames) to the fore. I learned that the main characters to date have all been fire dragons and that there are lightning dragons, iron dragons, water dragons, and more, that exist in the world. Before this I knew that there was an issue with one or two lightning dragons, but had no idea that they had a kingdom and society of their own separate from the main characters'. I am looking forward to learning even more about the dragons in this world with each successive book.
One thing that I have liked so far in this series and was also highlighted here is how women are portrayed. There are the usual weak and helpless ones that the male dragons protect fiercely, but for the most part the women are as strong, if not stronger, than then men. The women fly into battle, are covered in gore, and revel in their strength. Braith's entire clan is comprised of strong women with strong minds. I did think it was a little juvenile of Aiken to make all the male dragons of that clan literally as dumb as rocks, but I enjoyed reading about strong women willing to take a stand.
I also thought the sex in this book was much more tasteful. It was inevitable for a graphic romance series, but it was well written. The sex scenes flowed naturally with the plot, allowing the characters to bond easily. The plot didn't suddenly stop to fit in a sex scene, which kept happening in Chains and Flames, nor were there so many scenes that by the end of the story I was bored with the repetitiveness.
What I didn't like about the story was that it felt like there were large chunks of the plot left out. For example, at the end of the story they all go to confront the queen, but instead of taking the time to have the characters sit down and plan how the confrontation is going to go, Aiken springs it on the reader. The fact that Braith was as surprised as I was with the plan--she wasn't told about it either, which I thought was stupid given she was central in creating the opportunity--gave Aiken the chance to then tell readers about it afterwards. There were a lot of scenes similar to that where Aiken told the readers the results after-the-fact, rather than fleshing out the scene properly. This could have easily been a full length novel instead of a short story.
I am enjoying reading this series and I do recommend this book. Even though this is technically a prequel, I suggest reading Dragon Actually and Chains and Flames first so the world and the dragons are familiar. The dragons are given much more depth as a people in this book, but there were a few scenes that fell short.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.