Dragon Bound was an awesome book. I loved just about everything about it. I'm not even going to pretend that my favorite element wasn't Dragos, 'causeDragon Bound was an awesome book. I loved just about everything about it. I'm not even going to pretend that my favorite element wasn't Dragos, 'cause it was! I have an unnatural attraction to possessive, jealous, stalkerific heroes who are scary as heck, and Dragos is going on my list of favorite heroes of this type. I liked that although Pia started out as a thief who dared to steal from him, she became his own personal hoard. He acted like a dragon of old, used to having his way in all things. Even though he came on kind of strong, it was clear that he wouldn't do anything to hurt Pia. He cared enough to make sure that Pia was happy! He brushed her hair all the time! He was actually a softie underneath all that hard scaly dragon armor! Ms. Harrison knows how to write this kind of hero very well!
Dragos is like a Harlequin Presents hero done well (with an intensity times one hundred). He is unbelievably wealthy, prominent and gorgeous. He is also immensely powerful. And he was done so well, there was never that incredulity factor where I have this sarcastic cheerleader moment in my head: "Yay, he is so awesome!" (rolls eyes). Dragos truly was awesome! Sick girl that I was, I liked that even though Pia found him hot and fell in love with him, she could still see he was a scary guy. Who doesn't like a guy who would give you the world, but he could also slaughter a whole army of enemies for you? Who's so jealous, he doesn't even like his crew touching you? (PSA awareness moment: Not okay in real life, but I like it in books. So shoot me!)
I thought the world-building was really good. I loved the fact that this book has a strong fantasy element, equal to the romance. It wasn't just a backdrop for paranormal loving (which was verra nice, mind you). There was a lot of thought put into creating this world in which humans live alongside Wyr (shapeshifters) and Faerie folk of all kinds, and old magic is alive and well in this world, and into the adjacent magic realms. It seemed eminently plausible that one of the most powerful economic figures could be an ancient dragon. Don't I wish?
Dragos is an awesome hero, and Pia is an equally awesome heroine. She is gutsy, intelligent, funny, and sweet. She never gave me the urge to ignore her and focus on the hero because I didn't like her. I loved her a lot. I could see myself having similar reactions to the strange circumstances she faces. I loved how utterly fearless (although inwardly quaking) she was when faced with the very scary Dragos, and especially at the end when she finds herself in a very rough situation. I loved her self-deprecating, humorous way of looking at the world, very down to earth and resourceful. I loved her secret heritage, and how Dragos cherished that part of her, and all parts of her. I felt tears brimming when she discovers what she truly is. (You have to understand that I was the little girl who was in love with Pegasus, Unicorns, and all mythical creatures. It was a sweet moment for this little girl who has never truly grown up inside).
I loved Dragos' crew, especially Graydon (who reminded me of Butch from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward), and Tricks (a very hip elf who works as Dragos' PR rep and happens to be the true heir to Throne of the Dark Fae). How cool was it that his sentinels consisted of four gryphons and a tough female Harpy (she reminded me of my girl Xhex from the Black Dagger books). It was funny how Dragos came to life when Pia came around, and seeing how his crew reacted to the new Dragos.
I don't think my review can really add anything because there are some great reviews out there of this book. I really did love everything about it. It was just hip enough (but not annoyingly so), the story and the fantasy elements were fantastic, there were many laugh out loud moments (this book was really funny), and some poignant moments. I loved the relationship between Pia and Dragos, and how they had to work at some things, but they weren't going to give up on being together. (view spoiler)[ And my being a romance reader who likes babies, I was so happy that she even had that element. Not enough PNR books have pregnancy and babies in them for me (I know some readers hate that, but not me!) So I was glad she did have that in this book, and it was so cool how she did it. Definitely some 'aww' moments there. (hide spoiler)]
I know I want to hug this book tight to my book-loving heart. I will put this out on my favorites shelf for a frequent reread. I can't wait to see what Ms. Harrison does in the next Elder Races books. She has a fan in me!
My friends who said I would love this were right. High five!...more
I found the world that Mary Jo Putney created in this book to be very imaginative and unique. I loved the unicorn aspects, since I have been an avowedI found the world that Mary Jo Putney created in this book to be very imaginative and unique. I loved the unicorn aspects, since I have been an avowed unicorn admirer my whole life, and the fact that the hero of this book was also a virgin was great. In this universe, the Ton are Sorcerors and Sorceresses, and that was pretty interesting. Spells are everyday, common occurence, although some don't realize that magic is being used all the time.
Simon is the biggest strength of this book. I admired him tremendously. I really appreciate an honorable hero, and Simon is definitely that. It's nice to read about antiheroes, but I find that too many romance novel heroes are unprincipled, in either their dealings with women, or their life philosophy. As romance novel readers, we have come to accept heroes who sleep around and don't commit to women, because they are just waiting for the woman they love to change their ways. I don't mean to judge this, but I grow weary of it at times. Honor is a multi-faceted thing, and a lack of honor can show in many ways. I think rakes show a fundamental lack of honor, even though they may only sleep with women who "know the score." Simon is not like this at all. He is not perfect, but he really does care about doing the right thing. He takes his sense of responsibility very personally, even to the degree of offering to marry the heroine who's reputation has been harmed by their association, even though she easily could leave the Ton and build a life elsewhere without anyone knowing she has been "ruined."
So it really fitted Simon when a spell cast by an evil warlock turned him into a unicorn. In my mind, unicorns are synonymous with purity and nobility, and I don't mean being born a royal or peer nobility. I loved the scenes where he is in unicorn form, and finds himself irresistibly drawn to the heroine, who is a virgin, but is also his soulmate, although he doesn't know it.
Every scene that Simon was in sizzled and kept my attention. To me he is a one of a kind hero. The heroine, Meg, was interesting and likable, but she didn't really stand out to me from other heroines. The secondary characters were all very interesting, and you cared about them. The villain was a detestable piece of work that you despised.
I can't give this book five stars because the resolution fell a little flat for me. One of the major reasons was a pet peeve of mine. I am a big proponent of world building and establishing the rules in a fantasy or urban fantasy book. It's obligatory, just like writing a mystery must include introducing all the possible subjects before the killer is revealed. Ms. Putney did build a fantastic world and did lay down the rules of this world, but towards the end, she shifted gears in a way that felt very abrupt. All of a sudden, the worship of the earth as a Goddess became part of the mythology of this story, when initially it didn't seem as though this was the belief system of these sorcerors and sorceress. Initally the world was setup with characters who lived in a magical world, but seemed to follow a Judeo-Christian belief system (and she didn't make this clear that it was merely for show but they were in reality pagans. You really do believe they worship the Judeo-Christian God). Then all of a sudden, the origin of their magic and the root of their beliefs became more pagan. That was too jarring for me, and really got me off track as I read the climax of this book. So I can say that I enjoyed this book and found it to be a keeper, mainly for Simon's character, and for the innovative world that Ms. Putney built, I can't say it was exceptional. Very good, but not exceptional. So although I was a bit disappointed with this book, I would love to read the other books in this series at some point to see where she goes with this series. I do have to thank Ms. Putney for creating the wonderful Simon. ...more
This book is hilarious, fast-paced, and intensely well-written.It's quite long, at just under 500 pages, and there is so much going on. Yet the storytThis book is hilarious, fast-paced, and intensely well-written.It's quite long, at just under 500 pages, and there is so much going on. Yet the storytelling is so involving that you don't have time to be bored. Although this is definitely a fantasy book, it also is a story about an everyday type of hero, even a reluctant hero. Rupert is a man who was raised to live in his brother's shadow. He is the unwanted second son of the Forest Land Kingdom. His father deliberately did not encourage a close relationship between him and his son because he thought he might have to one day order his death to prevent civil war in the kingdom, as there can only be one king. Also the rather cutthroat world of court politics did not encourage him to trust. As such, Rupert is a loner by nature, his one friend his trusty unicorn.
The story begins when Rupert sets out on his quest to find and kill a dragon, as ordered by his King. Unfortunately he must travel through the Darkwood, which is a place of ancient evil and darkness. This journey starts Rupert down the road to becoming the strong, capable man that he is meant to be. Watching Rupert evolve is fascinating. I found myself falling in love with Rupert early on in this story because of his will to do what is necessary, but also his heart and ability to love and give of himself selflessly.
When he meets Julia, neither of them knows how pivotal they will be to each other. Julia is a cast-off from her own kingdom, meant to be a sacrifice to the dragon, who doesn't want to eat her, and actually would prefer if she went away with the Prince. The dragon is a jovial personality, who becomes friends with Rupert, and accompanies Rupert on his journey back home. So begins a trek that will test the mettle of the four, in every way. For the Darkwood is expanding, and the night is spreading, and the bloodthirsty demons with it.
This book has a lot of sad things happening, and a lot of people die, but there is also a lot of humor. To me, that is the best thing about Green's writing: he is very funny. But he also uses words richly but not floridly, to tell a great story. At times, this story can be bloody, but Green's humor and what I believe is his goodnatured approach to life that shines through in his stories keep the book from being depressing.
I wouldn't want to spoil anyone, but it definitely has a happy ending, or I wouldn't love it so much. For those romantics, there is a great love story between Rupert and Julia. This couple is made for each other, and you are glad to see them find love with each other.
There are magical creatures and magic throughout the book. If you like such things in a book, you would love this one. I don't know that I've read much high fantasy, but I would consider this in the vein of high fantasy, but with a sense of humor and lots of action that keeps it readable and moving along at a rapid pace.In the end, I cannot say enough how much I love this book. I definitely look forward to reading more about Rupert and Julia's adventures, which continue in the Hawk and Fisher books. ...more