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Named of the Dragon

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,823 Ratings  ·  443 Reviews
Tormented by horrific nightmares since the death of her baby five years before, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw agrees to accompany an author to Wales, where she encounters an eccentric young widow desperately afraid for her own infant's safety and a reclusive playwright who could be her only salvation.
Paperback, 295 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Berkley (first published July 13th 1998)
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Outlander by Diana GabaldonThe Winter Sea by Susanna KearsleyThe Rose Garden by Susanna KearsleyMariana by Susanna KearsleyVoyager by Diana Gabaldon
Dual Time Romances
32nd out of 207 books — 565 voters
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Modern Gothic
150th out of 452 books — 1,089 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sasha Alsberg
Jun 09, 2016 Sasha Alsberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good! I didn't want it to end. Susanna has a way of enchanting every line to give the reader the best experience possible. I fell in love with this book and cannot wait to read more from her!
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Another good (re-read) from Susanna Kearsley, who is on the fast track for overtaking some of my favorite "spooky" writers, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Erskine and Mary Stewart.

Canadian writer Kearsley pens the kind of books I particularly enjoy (and have a hard time finding) for a weekend read - an atmospheric, somewhat romantic mystery set in Europe (particularly Great Britain) and containing historic or mythic references. Named of the Dragon is set in a small coas
Katrina Passick Lumsden
A friend of mine here on Goodreads (I'm lookin' at you, Jill) told me that the first three books I read from Susanna Kearsley (The Rose Garden, The Winter Sea, and Mariana) were probably her best work.

I think Jill was right.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book. No matter what, Kearsley's talent with words and gift for world building captivate me, but the storyline, pacing, and characterization in Named of the Dragon left something to be desired.

First, let's get a feel for the setting.

Dec 05, 2015 TL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

I hate to give this a low rating but it just didn't work for me. This one didn't feel as well-balanced as her other ones. The elements I loved about her previous ones didn't mesh well here, it felt out of place.

I did love all the characters and the idea of the story... and the hint of a connection with a certain king and kingdom got me really excited. I'm a sucker for those type of stories and sort of re-telling, it's just a fun world to get lost in.

Maybe I was expecting more than what
Aug 20, 2015 Nikki rated it liked it
Silly story: when I finished The Winter Sea, I thought, darn, I really want a story by Kearsley that is set in Wales, in that landscape, which I love and feel part of. Because she does a great job with landscape, with the feelings it can invoke, but Scotland or Cornwall aren’t my landscapes.

Then I remembered I had already got a couple of chapters into Named of the Dragon. Suffice it to say that the landscape was satisfactory, and I would probably have felt homesick had I read this when not in Wa
Dec 31, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
As is typical for me and a Susanna Kearsley book, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

The main setting is the very atmospheric Pembrokeshire coast, Wales. Her descriptions make you feel as though you are right there. I've never had the good fortune to go to Wales, but I feel as though I have been there after reading this book.

Lyn Ravenshaw, editor and one of her top clients, Bridget, travel to Wales for to spend the holidays with yet another author (James). Imagine Lyn's surprise and delight at find
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
I started reading Named of the Dragon immediately after finishing Mary Stewart’s This Rough Magic. Kearsley has been compared to Stewart, and indeed Named of the Dragon has a very Stewart-like feel, updated to more modern times. Kearsley is as easily as good as Stewart at writing description and setting. In this case the setting is (mostly) Wales; since I’ve been there several times, I was able to picture it all the more clearly. It’s a landscape that speaks to me on a very deep level, and I lov ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Named of the Dragon, Susanna Kearsley
When one of her authors invites her to Wales for the Christmas holidays, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw hopes to escape the nightmares that have plagued her since the death of her baby five years before.

But shortly after she arrives at her host’s house, Lyn meets Elen, an emotionally fragile young widow who’s afraid for her infant son’s safety, and seems to view Lyn as the child’s protector.

As Lyn’s dreams become even more disturbing, she forms an unlikely alli
This was good, the writing was beautiful and descriptive, but it just didn't really go anywhere. It was a slow, sweet progression for our main character Lyn in finally coming to accept the death of her child but it didn't really feel complete. Definitely not a waste of time, as Kearsley's writing is fantastic, talk about sense of place, but not her strongest work.
This author has been on my radar for so long and I've wanted to read her books and just somehow never did. Finally, the perfect storm of opportunity with this re-release, blurb, setting, and mood made it possible. I got two delightful surprises nearly from the beginning.

First, I didn't realize what this author's writing style would be and soon discovered that I felt like I could have been reading one of several of my favorites. I had to chuckle when I saw in the description afterward that the a
Feb 18, 2014 Krystal rated it really liked it
This Kearsley gem is more along the lines of her more thriller/mystery books with the splash of paranormal, similar to Season of Storms or The Shadowy Horses. Fans of her more romantic books, like The Rose Garden, might be a little disappointed. The romance aspect is only hinted at throughout and doesn't really resolve until the very end. Which was fine by me. I was kept more than occupied with the spooky happenings at a fabulous Welsh home, all spiced up with Arthurian legend - a new one for Ke ...more
Jillian Mcclelland
Oh, I liked this. But then, I love everything Kearsley writes, so I am a bit biased. Although I believe this was her first novel, it set the tone and style that she would continue to use throughout her other books. A blending of past and present, mythology and fact, and romance with suspense that is always engrossing and completely entertaining. Lyn Ravenshaw is a great heroine; a little bullheaded, but endearing and relatable. I think at this point Kearsley wasn't sure how to flesh out a palpab ...more
Diane Lynn
I really enjoyed this one by Susanna Kearsley. Her writing is so expressive. Towards the end I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I never saw that ending coming which is always nice. Loved the Merlin/Arthur tie in. Lucky for me I read The Crystal Cave last year so I knew what SK was talking about since the Merlin/Arthur legend is not my strong suit.
Sep 25, 2015 Aimee rated it really liked it
This is not my favorite book by Susanna Kearsley, but it is still a very entertaining book and I really enjoyed it. Kearsley has a wonderful way with describing the small town in Wales where most of the book takes place. There were several times that I had to go back and reread a description of where the main character, Lyn, was at the time, whether it be a small wooded area, an old castle, or a famous writers study. The author does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are actually there ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyn is a literary agent who's planning to spend her Christmas with her family in Canada, but then one of her clients offers her an interesting alternative. Bridget invites her to spend Christmas in Wales together with her famous author boyfriend James. Lyn decides to take the offer. They're staying in a house together with James and his brother. James is looking for another agent, so Lyn is hoping to combine a lucrative deal with her holiday. Only she doesn't count on old emotions coming to the ...more
Kathy Davie
Oct 24, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, homey, fiction
A standalone fictional novel revolving around Lyn Ravenshaw, a literary agent mourning the loss of her baby five years ago. Takes place in Angle, Pembrokeshire in South Wales.

This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an honest review.

My Take
Named of the Dragon was beautifully done, although I didn't get a real sense of it being Christmas. Oh, the words were there, but I wasn't feelin' it. I suspect most of what I did feel was a blend of my own memories of Christmases in E
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 01, 2016 Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ marked it as to-read
Shelves: suspense
May 1, 2016: $1.99 Kindle special. I bit.
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I am already a huge fan of Susanna Kearsley's book and thought I had read them all. Then I discovered this earlier book of hers published in 1998. It is not rated as high on here as some of her others, but it just happened to be the right book for me! So five stars because I could not put it down last night until one this morning and could not wait until evening today to finish it. And as I always do with this author's books, I enjoyed every minute I was in it. Even in her books that were not fa ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susanna Kearsley is one of my favorite authors, she knows exactly how to hook me in. Plus, I love modern adaptions of mythologies and folklores so "Named of the Dragon" should have been a home run for me. But I'm really sad because I read this at a time that I'm really stressed out in my life and had to squeeze reading it into very long days, often falling asleep mid-sentence. I'm so out of it right now that I've even been feeling guilty for not getting to my Christmas novels and I failed to con ...more
Rio (Lynne)
Oct 30, 2013 Rio (Lynne) rated it really liked it
Kearsley's writing is unique. She holds my interest even when her books aren't fast paced or full of page turning storylines. Named of the Dragon, like many of her other books, simply follows characters everyday lives, nothing really happening, but she keeps me interested with the location, characters and her witty way of throwing history into the fold. In this book Lyn, a literally agent goes to Pembroke for Christmas with one of her clients. Knowing Pembroke's history, I'm intrigued. She stays ...more
The characters and dialog were absolutely delightful most of the time. Lyn was occasionally just a bit dense, but I think we all are sometimes. Perhaps not the best of Kearsley but good fun just the same.
I've meant to try a Kearsley book for a few years now. I didn't love Named of the Dragon. I did enjoy the setting, and that it had a distinctly Gothic feel. I don't remember reading anything else based on Arthurian myth, which is a nice bonus. I think my problem is the way the myth blended with reality, which, in my opinion, was choppy. I don't know if it wasn't enough myth, or that what was used was too vague, but I didn't feel a strong sense of "rightness".

So, Named of the Dragon wasn't a win
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 10/25/15:

Lyn Ravenshaw is a literary agent in London who hasn't had the best few years. Her husband who was less than her perfect match and preferred a bottle of booze to her company, dies in a car accident. Soon after, Lyn's infant son, Justin, dies at birth. The grief and disappointment are almost too much for one person to bear, but somehow Lyn manages to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

As the holidays approach
Carol Kerry-green
My fourth Kearsley novel and though it didn't live up to Marianna or The Winter Sea, it was nevertheless an excellent thriller to the end. I certainly didn't see the ending coming, which is always nice, so often it's easy to guess where a book is going, this one kept me thinking right to the end.

Lynette Ravenshaw accepts an invitation from Bridget Cooper, one of the author's she represents at the literary agency she works for, to spend Christmas holidays with her and her boyfriend James Swift in
RoseMary Achey
Dec 30, 2015 RoseMary Achey rated it liked it
This is an older Susanna Kearsley novel-originally published in 1998 and re-released October 2015 with a fresh marketing campaign.

It clearly demonstrates that we all get better with practice. This novels lacks the crisp prose and integrated storyline that are present in her more recent works.
Oct 22, 2011 Ali rated it liked it
Shelves: romace
I actually give this book a 3.75. I was wasn't disappointed per se, it just had a different feel from the other Kearsely books I've read. The connection to Julia Beckett(Mariana) had me on a high though. That was a little welcome delight.

I felt like I wanted to smack the majority of men in this book. Their egos were killing me. I did however like the way Kearsley made you want to hate and love them though. She really puts thought to who they are and what drives them.

The setting was lushly writt
Helen White
Not bad, I'm not really up on my Welsh mythology and to be fair this didn't really inspired me enough to find out more. It's a half decent tale of myth and very slow romance (so slow it barely happens). It's a shame that this feels more like a short story that was padded out to novel size.
Mar 10, 2016 Ashlynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
All this time I was reading Named of the Dragon, I kept thinking it had a slightly slow build up. But then I realized as I was nearing the end that even though the action of the story took a little long to get to, I was totally engrossed in everyone the whole time. Bridget and her domineering personality, James and his subtle infatuation, Lyn and her quiet ways, Gareth and his secret was there all along and I didn't even realize it. I can tell you about each and every character a ...more
Convinced by her crazy friend Bridget to spend holidays on the Welsh Coast, Lyn is hoping for some peace along with the chance to explore the ancient sites and getting to know Bridget's latest boyfriend, who just happens to be a famous author. With feverish nightmares plaguing her since the stillborn death of her only child, Lyn's dreams begin to change as she meets the mother of a young son who fears for his life. Cryptic clues from Arthurian legends give clues that there is a mystery that goes ...more
Carolyn Hill
Dec 17, 2015 Carolyn Hill rated it liked it
Re-read from 1999. I pulled this off my shelf because I was in the mood for light gothic - a bit mystical, part ghost story, and the right season - Christmas. I also had a scene in my mind that I thought might have come from this book that I read fifteen or so years ago. Not so sure now. Either I'm remembering it wrong or it came from another book. I always enjoy Susanna Kearsley because she's good at setting a mood, description, and creating unique, believable characters, as well as having an h ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #228 Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley 1 1 Dec 12, 2015 12:55PM  
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Aka Emma Cole.

Susanna Kearsley studied politics and international development at university, and has worked as a museum curator.

Her first novel Mariana won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize and launched her writing career. Susanna continued her mix of the historical and paranormal in novels The Splendour Falls, Named of the Dragon, Shadowy Horses and Season of Storms.

Susanna Kearsle
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