Title: Dragon Rose (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms Book 2)
Author: Christine Pope
Blurb: The shadow of the cursed Dragon Lord has hung over the town of Lirinsholme for centuries, and no one ever knows when the Dragon will claim his next doomed Bride.
Rhianne Menyon has dreams of being a painter, but her world changes forever when a single moment of sacrifice brings her to Black’s Keep as the Dragon’s latest Bride. As she attempts to adjust to her new life — and to know something of the monster who is now her husband — she begins to see that the curse is far crueler than she first believed.
Unraveling the mystery of what happened to the Dragon’s Brides is only the beginning….
Okay, confession time: I expected to hate this book. I thought it would be ridiculous and stupid and that I’d spend about 600 words ripping into it.
Obviously that hasn’t happened. I actually really loved this book? Don’t get me wrong, there’s still bits that I’ll criticise, because I do love a good moan but there’s a lot less for me to moan about, for once.
I’ll start with what I liked about the book and then move on to stuff that I didn’t like.
The food descriptions in this book were amazing, I know that sounds like such a daft thing but I actually felt hungry at parts in this book. In fact, most of the descriptions in this book were good. My favourite is this one:
“The last traces of sunset painted the carved panels on the walls in flickering shades of russet and wine…”
I couldn’t tell you why this stuck out to me but I just loved it.
Some other reviewers have mentioned that there’s a lot of talking about painting and I agree but I personally liked that the heroine had a hobby. There’s so many YA heroines that don’t have an interest in anything other than their boy/girlfriend. Rhianne also seemed to have her head screwed on in some parts too.
This was also the first time I’d read a re-telling of a fairytale. In this case, Dragon Rose was based on Beauty and the Beast and this is where I need to admit that, despite being a Disney fan, I’ve never seen either of the films! Therefore, it did take me a while (22%) to clock on to the plot but I did really enjoy it!
Now, on to the stuff that I didn’t like. There’s a bit of sizeism in here but it only happened the once (that I can remember, feel free to correct me if I missed some more somewhere else) but it did make me go “wait, what?”
“‘Good thing you’re slender. We had a plump one some twenty years ago, and had to make up a whole new set. He was not happy.’”
However, I did carry on reading even though it though me out of the flow a little bit.
I also think a lot of the foreshadowing was poor, without going into spoilers, but a lot of the time Rhianne would say something and I would just know what was going to happen, so that was a little disappointing.
There was also some “you’re not like other girls” stuff and “you’re prettier than your friend” stuff which irked me because I hate the “Not Like Other Girls” trope and you shouldn’t let a man put down your friends either, it just means he’s an asshole.
The last thing that I’m going to moan about is something that creeped me out. Alright, so the Dragon is 500+ years old but his brides are between the ages of 16-20? Kinda creepy, dude.
Overall though, I really did enjoy this. I wasn’t making excuses to not read, instead I was getting annoyed that I couldn’t get to my Kindle. This book probably won’t appeal to everyone but I really did enjoy it, despite its few faults.