I have to admit I'm still uncertain about how I feel towards this book. What got me first interested in this was the conflicting reviews I read here a...moreI have to admit I'm still uncertain about how I feel towards this book. What got me first interested in this was the conflicting reviews I read here about the content of the book. Especially the relationship between the two protagonists.
I took me a while to get into the book because of the writing. Maybe it's because english is not first language, but it was hard for me follow the story sometimes. Most of the time I just wanted to skip through to later chapters. We weren't given much backstory to the characters, we know a little bit more about Lessa, how she ended up where she was before she was found by F'lar, the male protagonist, and why she is the way she is. The plot was hard to follow for me, especially the Threads threat I didn't get much, I admit, so the action was lost on me. But I did like the idea of the relationship the dragons and their riders have. The way they communicate with each other and are always in constant sync. I also liked the idea of travelling between times.
Now, about the relationship between the two main people, Lessa and F'lar, one thing I couldn't comprehend is the idea of F'lar shaking Lessa when he's upset with her. I just simply couldn't picture the motion in my head, don't know why. One other thing is the sex part. If I didn't read around that the riders mate with the riders of their dragons mate I don't think I could've understood that right away in the book. I didn't understand the rule, in fact, most rules, where they come from etc. The relationship didn't seem all too horrible to me, save for the shaking thing which I couldn't comprehend, and in fact, Lessa and F'lar both seemed a bit immature and childlike towards one another. It was like they were playing a weird couples game with one constantly shaking the other when not pleased and the other constantly whining and rebelling against whatever she can think of while they both yelled at and dared each other. I found myself liking a secondary character, F'Nor- the half-brother to F'lar and another dragon rider, much more than the others. I didn't get the much misogynist feel from this, considering the period and notion it was supposedly written against. I thought it might've been necessary to describe the men with a certain mind-frame against women while in the book they also come to terms, even if slowly and at times a bit grudginly, with the fact that women are a part of the war they fight against the enemy.
Overall, it was an ok book for me, one I couldn't quite connect with though.(less)
This edition was two books in one. The first is the actual story, of Fearghus the Destroyer and Annwyl the Bloody whereas the second one tells the sto...moreThis edition was two books in one. The first is the actual story, of Fearghus the Destroyer and Annwyl the Bloody whereas the second one tells the story of Fearghus' parents. Since there are two stories in this book, I'll give my ratings separately for each.
Dragon Actually - 3 stars
Now I've heard a lot of good things about this series. The fact that this is about dragons was enough to push me to read them but I also heard they were quite funny which was a plus. It's not that easy to find good paranormal stories that will make you laugh. As much as I enjoyed the funny lines in the story, and they were a lot of funny lines in the story, the romance was not as good as I expected. It seemed to me like Fearghus and Annwyl were way too fast to start caring for each other. Lust I understand, lust is sort of a given in these stories but the love and the care usually comes a bit later. Or I like it as such. But in this one, the two spent some hours in each others' company and suddenly they cared for each other, or they didn't want one another harmed, or leave the other etc. I would've liked it more if this transition from lust to love would've taken a bit more time, or maybe done more smoothly so it wouldn't bother me much.
But I did like the different relationship Annwyl had with the 'arrogant knight' Fearghus and the 'dragon' Fearghus. I liked how she lusted after the man but befriended the dragon. It was nice to see that she actually preferred the company of the dragon, and funny too considering the two were the same and it annoyed the hell out of Fearghus.
I think I liked Fearghus. He was your usual moody arrogant hero, and he was charming at it. But Annwyl..Well, Annwyl annoyed me sometimes. She wasn't flat out annoying that I wanted to slap her all the time, but she did get on my nerves from time to time. I think while trying to be portrayed as a strong heroine, the line got blurred at some parts and that's when she became a bit of a whiney slut for me :) But I liked the pairing, I think in the end they fit together nicely.
Chains and Flames - 4.5 stars
Now this was the one I liked. Truly liked. The hero was the right amount of moody and arrogance and charming, the heroine was the right amount of strong and arrogant herself but also very likeable. The criticism I had for Annwyl's character? Well, Rhiannon, mother to Fearghus, was what Annwyl lacked sometimes. She was strong and didn't have to try too hard to appear the deadly way that she is. She didn't suddenly get enraged and saw red and be gripped by bloodlust, she was deadly with a scary smile on her face. I liked that. I liked her.
And Bercelak, father to Fearghus, well, let's just say in Dragon Actually, no justice was done to this man. He was a killer dragon for sure, and moody, and demanding, and arrogant, but he was also quite the considerate gentleman. When he wanted to be that is. So the man I read in Fearghus' story was nowhere near the man I read in this one and I came very close to even not reading this story because he was so mean in the previous one. Both him and Rhiannon. But I'm glad I read it because it saved the overall rating I'll give this book.
I loved how the two of them, Bercelak and Rhiannon that is, constantly had a battle of wills. They both wanted control but also were secretly willing to hand it over under certain circumstances. I very much enjoyed the banter between them, loved the chain plays, and the turn of lust into love and care came at the right time. There was enough time between them for me to adjust to the feelings they had for one another. Sure it was expected, and inevitable, and considering this was a rather shorter story than the other, at least I think it was, the timing was well balanced.
I will definitely read the rest of this series because there are still several siblings I'd like to know how will fare with their mates. I'm also looking forward to more banter and fun which I'm sure will be a part in the next books. And I hear they get even better with the upcoming books so I'm looking forward to that.(less)