A sequel further explores the romantic bond between a human and a dragon.
In the realm of Gilifland, the swordsman Akron travels with his dragon master, Emerald, through driving, frigid rain. Emerald is a lovely humanoid dragon, and an entire clan of dragon folks large and small moves with the duo. Mercifully, the band locates a magical cottage set up by pixies, with vast stores of clothing, food, and weaponry. At the cottage, Akron regroups around his infant dragon son, Alexander, and plans countermaneuvers against King James, a power-hungry ruler with his sights set on the surrounding kingdoms. Under the cozy environs, a young, single dragon named Alaw tries to devote herself to Akron. Emerald is shaken by this challenge and finally tells Akron, “I’m in love with you.” Their bond strengthened, the couple fly—courtesy of the gigantic Adelhied—deeper into Gilifland and encounter Sir Akir and Sir Balloch of the Black Company. The knights escort Akron and Emerald to the court of the Queens Antonia and Grace. There, Emerald’s long-held secret is revealed, and Akron learns the truth about his lineage. Together, the two just might teach the world that love transcends any barrier between species. Continuing his atypical fantasy saga, Gordon (Emerald, 2015) brings numerous genre trappings to what is at heart a series of domestic vignettes. The narrative elements—like a grasping king, magic, and imperial spies—imply adventure. Yet the bulk of the story describes clan relations, including Akron’s parents, Iona and Ailill, and social progress, as when the swordsman teaches Emerald to write her own name. While this seems geared toward YA audiences, Gordon emphasizes sex a lot, as in Akron’s line: “I have wanted to feel your scales press on my” naked body. “It’s finer than any leather.” Casual swearing coarsens the piece further. Adults will laud the author’s focus on child abandonment but may grow frustrated by his tendency to fill the plot with extended fireside chats within the main arc. Like its predecessor, this tale has the engine of an epic but is content to putt along.
A fantasy that saddles endearing characters with humdrum domesticity.