Queen of Dragon: Not bothering with the next one

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsShana Abe Drakon Queen of DragonsQueen of Dragons by Shana Abe

So here we are in the third book. The plot has something to do with the mysterious Drakon princess, Maricara, who was introduced in The Dream Thief and Kimba the White Lion — I mean, Kimber, the son of Kit and Rue from The Smoke Thief. There’s something to do with someone murdering Drakon, I think, but frankly I didn’t make it far enough to find out. Which is kind of sad, actually, because if the reader isn’t sure of what’s going on by page 70 or so, you’re doing it wrong.

I suppose a large part of the problem was that nothing was going on. One party is talking and doing tedious stuff, the other party is talking and doing tedious stuff, and that’s it. The main characters — the love interests, for crying out loud — do not even meet one another until page 50. We don’t actually get to see them interact until about page 60, though, because Ms. Abe felt the need to write a ten page long detail-by-detail account of Maricara breaking into Kimber’s manor home, so the reader is treated to a flashback that is not only boring, but jarring.

I don’t get much feel for the characters before I quit reading, which is a pretty good mark of how bland they are. But I don’t really want to get to know them either. I don’t enjoy any of it anymore. I could deal with the backwards mindset of the Drakon in The Smoke Thief, but it’s completely out of hand at this point. Why do the women have no choices? Why is Maricara betrothed, without her knowledge or consent, to Kimber at the age of 15? Why are the Drakon still not allowed to get out and experience the world even a little bit? The events of the past two books should bring some growth to the Drakon society—like, perhaps, allowing Rue, who was a very intelligent and capable woman in The Smoke Thief, to be on the council — but there’s been none. In fact, it’s devolved even further.

The Smoke Thief was fun. The Dream Thief was not. And Queen of Dragons was so slow and dull that I couldn’t get far enough to discover if it might be fun. I was excited when I bought this book, but it was nothing more than a massive disappointment. I won’t be bothering with the next one. It’s just not worth my time and money.

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BETH JOHNSON, one of our guest reviewers, discovered fantasy books at age nine, when a love of horses spurred her to pick up Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns. Beth lives in Sweden with her husband. She writes short stories and has been working on a novel.

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