It's not always easy being a female 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.Dragon Actually
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...
Note: This review focuses solely on the first part of this book featuring Fearghus and Annwyl. You can see the second part of this review about Chains and Flames here.
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy Romance
Series: Dragon Kin, Book #1
My Rating:I found Fearghus and Annwyl's relationship slightly lacking and rushed, which is why the book gets a C+. It gets a B- for the fact that despite the quirks, I still craved to see what would happen in the end. If Aiken were to adjust certain aspects mentioned in the "what I think" section, I would bump this book up to a B+.
Annwyl the Bloody is out for her evil brother's head. That is, until she gets separated from her troops and cornered by her enemies. Upon receiving a fatal blow, the female warrior is saved by a huge, dark dragon... who incinerates her opponents as easily as one would flick a strand of hair.
She wakes up later to realize that she is not hallucinating: she is in a dragon's cave and she's not going to be his dinner for the night. From this point on, Annwyl and Fearghus form a slow, yet steady friendship that grows more and more strained once a tall, dark, and handsome knight is assigned to teach Annwyl how to really fight.
Will Annwyl stay loyal to her beloved dragon, or will she give in to the desires that plague her whenever she approaches this mysterious man?
What I think:
Two stories in one, can't complain about that, eh?
I would have preferred that instead of including the second story about Fearghus' parents, that Aiken focused more on developing the relationship betwixt Fearghus and Annwyl and lengthened the tale from the 200-something pages to 300 or so pages instead. If the primary focus of a book is going to be about developing a relationship, then you better do it well.
Aiken was successful in keeping my interest to an extent, despite the unrealistic way the relationship developed in my eyes. (I don't want to say much about it, just because I think I'll give a lot away if I mutter a word, so I apologize for not further explaining why I feel the way I do). Others may disagree with me about said development, but I stand by the fact that overall, Part I felt rushed and two-dimensional.
Despite the 2D characters, I finished Part I with a smile, and I enjoyed Fearghus the Destroyer's character as a dragon. He appeared more like a gentle giant, one that I wanted to jump onto and hug. However, when Annwyl found out what she found out towards the middle of the tale, I felt that Fearghus' character deteriorated. Pity really. As for Annwyl... eh she seemed kind of bipolar at times. I don't have much to say about her because I didn't care much for her as a character. Rawr I r mad. Rawr I will keel j00. Rawr I bow to no man! .... Meh.
The one true thing that irked me was the fact that Aiken would write 1/2 a page in Annwyl's point of view, only to switch to Fearghus for another page, and then back to her. It got distracting after a while, and I feel that this in the end ultimately hurt the book more than helped due to the fact that the focus was more on telling readers how the characters felt instead of showing them. That and you were never really given the opportunity to get inside the characters minds due to how briefly they would star at any given time.
I enjoyed some of the jokes and actions. It was at these points that the characters appeared more life-like to me, which is what ultimately redeemed Dragon Actually. Will go and read the second story and review it later. As of right now, I am slightly hesitant about buying any other books for this series. We'll see how i feel after I completely finish the book, though.