Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Penny White #1

The Temptation of Dragons

Rate this book
Bishop Nigel smiled at me. ‘Holy water doesn’t harm vampires. Which is just as well, as it would make it impossible to baptise them.’

When I was asked by a dragon to give him the last rites, I never dreamed it would lead to negotiating with his cannibalistic family or running from snail sharks. Life as the priest of a small English village is quite tame in comparision. At least I have Morey, a gryphon with sarcasm management issues, to help me. And if all else fails, there’s always red wine and single malt whisky.

As if my life weren’t complicated enough, a darkly beautiful dragon named Raven keeps appearing where I least expect him, I’ve met a handsome police inspector who loves science fiction as much as I do, and my younger brother is getting into trouble for trying to pick up vampires.

That’s what happens when you’re dealing with an incredible and dangerous parallel world full of mythical creatures. And I have to learn to navigate it all without losing myself, or my brother…

230 pages, Paperback

First published March 30, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Chrys Cymri

21 books279 followers
Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, I live with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond my current budget. Plus I’m responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. I love ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When I’m not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) I like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, and North Korea.

Sign up to my newsletter and receive a subscriber exclusive story for free! Go to my website, www.chryscymri.com

You can read about my travels on www.travellinghopefully.co.uk

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
196 (47%)
4 stars
137 (32%)
3 stars
59 (14%)
2 stars
16 (3%)
1 star
8 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 160 reviews
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,590 reviews6,644 followers
May 11, 2023
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A good book. It does a great job of introducing the characters and empire/world building. The only thing is the book is a little bit on the slow side. This is understandable as this is the first book introducing new a new world and new characters. The other thing that worked against this book for me was I am not and never have been a Doctor Who fan.

I am a huge Star Wars fan so I got all thoes references. I really liked the mix of religion and the para/supernatural world. I also liked how the characters came together, and the mystery in the background.

Parts of this book I really liked, others were ok, nothing about it was bad, or boring. I like the modernised Priest, and how this is used to to bridge the gap into the other world. I would have liked more action but that is a personal preference.
Profile Image for Jane Jago.
Author 83 books168 followers
June 15, 2017
I gulped this in one sitting. And I am now absolutely hooked. The mixing of myth with everyday stuff is heady and it drags you along with it.

I'm rooting for Penny.

Just read it. You will be so glad you did
Profile Image for Laura.
1,039 reviews13 followers
October 22, 2019
5 BIG baby snail shark stars!!

‘Holy water doesn’t harm vampires. Which is just as well, as it would make it impossible to baptize them.’
I blinked. 'I beg your pardon?'
'We aren't the only intelligent beings in this universe', the Bishop said quietly.' And I'm not talking about dolphins or whales. There is another world in touching distance of ours, and their citizens sometimes cross over and walk among us. Most humans can't see them.'
Some whiskey went down the wrong way and I coughed.

If you were wondering who the unfortunate soul is who is getting a cold ice bucket dump of info - it is Reverend Penny White, a priest in a small English village. She's a Vicar and on the one night she has a few extra glasses of wine and hopes she won't get arrested for drunk driving because that will not make the Bishop happy... she tries to inconspicuously pass by a bad car accident and runs over.... a dragon! By giving said dragon his last rites, she is plunged head first into a huge conflict with far-reaching consequences involving the dragon's cannibalistic family and a whole lot more.

She is appointed as part-time Vicar General of Incursions in Eglwys Lloegyr, the equivalent of England in that other world we mentioned above. What Penny found hard to believe however and kept listening to with the incredulity of one waiting for the hidden camera to pop out ...
The Bishop of Eglwys Lloegyr under whom she was being assigned was a dragon. And to put the cherry on the incredulity cake, the Bishop's assistant was another dragon, while her archdeacons were a unicorn and a vampire... with a soul.

'There is a parallel world of dragons and unicorns and bears, oh my, and they're Christians--'
'Some of them are. Lloegyr is as multi-cultural as England...'

If Penny didn't fully believe the Bishop's tale, the fox in uniform delivering her letter of application was a solid point in favor. And if she was still harboring any doubts regarding it's credibility, they all went up in a big puff when she had to accept the help of a snarky gryphon to catch a sharp toothed snail shark the size of a dog. And she didn't even need to know the language the snail was speaking to realize that he was swearing. And if you're not cracking a smile by now while reading the Vicar-gryphon snarky banter, I guarantee the drunk snail shark hiccuping and singing will do the trick!

'Meddle not in the affairs of dragons', I muttered, 'for you are crunchy when fried and good with ketchup.'
Unfortunately, this is exactly what Reverend Penny must do.

She's getting an associate to help her out:
'You've sent me a blue tit murdering creationist with sarcasm management issues.' - Mr. Moriarty - or Morey for short.
I keep seeing him like this:

image by Parthena on pinterest.com

Just keep in mind that he is small enough to perch on a shoulder but has sarcasm management issues enough for a huge dragon.

Penny gets the ride of her life on a Tacsi who unfortunately didn't remember to Not Drink And Fly! But despite his beery breath and loud belch, you can trust him to bring you to your destination. Just remember to 'hold on to the grab handles and, in the unlikely event of nausea, do not vomit upwind.' :D

She gets to meet a a darkly beautiful dragon named Raven, who keeps appearing where she least expects him.

Image by ILoveGeek on pinterest.com

And she even gets herself a little pet that makes even Morey's feathers stand on end at the introduction.
'Moriarty meet Clyde. Clyde meet Moriarty.'
The gryphon growled....
'You've gone barking mad. Positively, absolutely barking mad'

I for one must make a note here and say that I love Clyde!!! Can I get one too please?!

Penny is swept into an adventure that will leave her stunned at times and reeling at others, in an incredible and dangerous parallel world full of mythical creatures where she not only needs to prove her worth but also save a brother.

As you have noticed from above, The Temptation of Dragons is a tale filled with humor and snarky banter. But that is not all there is to it.

This is by all means not your typical Urban Fantasy. It is so much more than that!
Despite heavily focusing on religion, it does not preach. It will make you laugh but also think. For instance at society's view on autistic people.
'It's hard for them to fit into normal society.'
'Or maybe normal society finds it hard to fit in with them?'

And getting such an answer from someone who is but one tenth of your size does make you pay attention!

And it is not a shallow read either! It will tell you about faith, loneliness, loss and hurt:
'The day you loose someone isn't the lowest point.... It's all the days that follow when they stay dead and you have to carry on. But it does get better. Just concentrate on one day at a time, or even one breath at a time.'

It will tell you about family, love and forgiveness;
'Forgiveness is a journey, not a destination.'

As well as about failure and regret; and about what it takes to be a human with steel in both hand and soul!

Chrys Cymri gives us here a unique and outstanding tale, with remarkable word-building and beautifully fleshed out characters. The beginning will feel a bit slow since there is a lot of ground to lay, especially as this is the first in a huge eight book series that presents a complex and fully developed magical world. The explanation of the church hierarchy as well as the religious and political system, the types of mythical creatures with both their jobs and customs; it is all laid down in the beginning. So stick with it even if it feels a bit slow, because it picks up like a whirlwind after the half-way mark.

There is also another factor that may or may not appeal to the reader. The 'Doctor Who' references, as well as the Star Trek ones. :) Penny is a huge fan, especially of Doctor Who, so the book is peppered with those remarks. If you're a fan of the series, you're going to love them. I for one hadn't even heard about it, so they didn't affect me that much. But I wasn't bothered about them either. And I did love the Star Trek quips ! :)

All in all, The Temptation of Dragons is an amazing, unique and fascinating read that already ended up on my shelf of favorites!
I highly recommend it to all fans of Urban Fantasy, dragons and all things magical.
You have got to read this people!
It is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

Find this review and more on my book review and cover art blog The Magic Book Corner
Profile Image for Bonmedo Tambunan.
Author 8 books33 followers
July 5, 2016
I love this story. It is quite unusual fantasy story where Dragons, Unicorn, Vampire, Werewolf, Gryphons, and also some other fantastic out of the box creatures such as Snail Shark, meet with this era of iPhone and Facebook.

It brings lots of religious aspect to the story, and to such detail which got me thinking how the writer knew that much details. Only later then I found out that the writer is actually a priest :) it actually bring more excitement to the book. Something new.

Looking at the cover, I thought the story will be somewhat dark, mysterious and serious. While there are much mystery in the story to unravel, I was actually glad that the story contains lots of humor. I was actually laughing outloud reading some of the chapter, especially the one involving Morey. There are also love triangle story that I am sure will be cover more in the next book. Can't wait for that. The story is being narated in such a nice way, that it is hard for me the put down the book.

Now my problem with this story are:
The author use much reference to movies and terms (ie. Twerking) that might be current fot this time, but might not be say in the next year or so. Some of the movies mentioned in the story, I have to google first to find out what is it about.

And the second problem is, I think the author still owe us explanation of how the creatures from Lloegyr actually interact with human. Not only how the dragon actually able to mate with human, but something that is more simple such as how unicorn make a call, etc.

But overall, I love this story :)
Profile Image for Alex Stargazer.
Author 7 books18 followers
December 29, 2016
The Temptation of Dragons, while not perfect, did prove to be more fun than I’ve had in a while.

The Temptation of Dragons is quite an unusual book. It follows Penny White, a female vicar (!) in the C of E, who has discovered world of supernatural creatures. She meets a dying dragon to whom she offers confession; later on she captures a snail shark (a deadly creature with tentacles and sharp teeth); and she becomes friends with a half-cat, half-bird creature known as a gryphon. On top of that, there are vampires, unicorns, and harpies.

The worldbuilding is excellent; it is the strongest aspect of this book, in fact. The aforementioned supernatural creatures are in fact denizens of a world known as Lloegyr—a parallel world populated by many fantastical creatures. And one, ironically, that has the same religious distribution as on Earth. Believe me, Christian vampire bishops are quite a contradiction!

What makes Lloegyr particularly distinct is, as you may be able to guess, the language: Welsh (or Cymraeg, if my tiny bit of Welsh vocabulary serves me correctly). Indeed there is so much Welsh that I occasionally struggled to keep up.

Aside from this, there’s the characterisation. It’s quite good: the protagonist is a perfect example of a modern day Anglican vicar—pious, liberal, highly educated, and strangely normal. Having lost her husband 18 months prior to the events of the book, she has a drinking problem. I thought this a poignant touch to the usually implacable stereotype of religious folk.

The other characters are well-portrayed as well. Morey (known as Trahaearneifion in Welsh), her gryphon Associate, is a curious breed: a fundamentalist Christian who disapproves of mixed-species marriage, and yet who himself fell in love with a were-fox. The hypocrisy, I must admit, was rather appropriate.

The last character I wish to mention is a dragon by the name of Raven. This charming draconic specimen has been flirting with Penny—and our dear protagonist falls for him. A search dragon, he lives on a volcano (dragons prefer warm places), and he’s a professional sculptor. I found the incipient romance between the two to be compelling, particularly in light of the Lloegyrian prejudice at mixed-species relationships.

There are of course many other characters—vampire and dragon bishops, racuous harpies, and a pet shark snail—but suffice to say that the author does a good job with them as well (and I would be here all day if I had to go through exactly how and why).

So, onto the plot. This is perhaps were this book is weaker. Don’t get me wrong—there were plot points, particularly towards the end. The pacing was not really an issue. Rather, the problem is that the beginning of the book (and much of the intervening space in the middle, for that matter) is rather slow. The author gets away with this because the reader is probably too interested in learning about the denizens of Lloegyr, as well as obtaining juicy details into the vicar’s drinking habits.

Nonetheless, I felt the book would have been improved had there been a somewhat more developed plot—especially in between the first 10% and the middle 50% or so.

The prose is another aspect of the book that I enjoyed; it is highly readable and relatively detailed, though there were one or two things I disliked. The first was the colour descriptions. The number of times I heard grey-white, green-black, or—particularly where it related to dragons—orange-red was enough to leave me distinctly irritated. The author really should abandon this awful habit of making complex colours by combining simple colours. I would prefer ‘turquoise’ over ‘green-blue’ or any other pseudo-imaginative constructions.

I also found the prose could have done with a few more dramatisms, though that may be personal preference speaking. In any case, suffice to say that despite my complaints, the prose was largely fluent and pleasant to read.

Anyway, my review thus far makes it clear that many of the individual components of this book are strong. But this is not the only question I need to answer; for as I’ve discovered, a book can have many strong elements and yet still fail to come together. So: does the Temptation of Dragons come together as a coherent and exciting whole?

The short answer is yes. Put simply, I enjoyed the book (reading it well past my bedtime) and felt that the ending served neatly to close the tale and open the ground for a sequel. My rating, therefore, reflects this. Those of you who have read my other reviews may be aware that I rarely hand out 5*—and while the Temptation of Dragons may not be quite perfect, it comes close enough.

Rating: 4.5/5
Profile Image for Cyril Patrick Feerick.
88 reviews9 followers
January 3, 2017
This was an expertly written story by novelist Chrys Cymri. 'The Temptation of Dragons' grabbed me quickly and kept me involved throughout. From talking dragons and unicorns, to a religious undertone, it may seem over complicated at times but the author did a masterful job of developing each character and that allowed me to keep track of who was who. The synopsis provided on the back cover fills in many of the spaces without destroying the mystery of the story. At times funny, this female version of Dr. Who meets Harry Potter is a great fantasy read to start your new year.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,822 followers
March 21, 2017
One of the most imaginative and unique fantasy books I’ve read in a long time.

Reverend Penny White is a priest in a small English village. Life as a priest is far from exciting, or so Penny thought. On her way home, she sees a car accident and ends up giving last rites to a very large dragon hidden in the shadows. Yes, a dragon. A chance encounter that changes Penny’s life forever.

Now, she’s dealing with adjusting to an alternative world (located ironically in Wales) and all of its paranormal inhabitants. Watching Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t prepare her for this. Working full-time as a priest and part-time in Lloegyr, helping when needed. But when she meets Raven, brother to the dragon she gave last rites to, sparks fly in the most unusual way. Will Penny give into her feelings for Raven while keeping up with the two worlds she’s straddling or will she reject it all for the quiet village priest existence she craves?

In order to give this book justice, I must share the thoughts I had when reading:

“Wow, the worldbuilding is so superb, so descriptive, I want to live there and brush up on my Welsh.”

“The dialogue is classic British cosy fiction with modern cultural references (Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, twerking, Sherlock Holmes, etc.) and told from Penny’s viewpoint. BBC, if you’re reading this, pick up the rights to this literary series right away so millions of us can watch this on the telly. Oops, my British accent got the better of me.”

“The slow-burning attraction between Penny and Raven was addictive. I had to keep reading to find out what happened next.”

“Penny’s relationship with her associate, Morey (named after Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes), made me laugh out loud. He’s a riot and when he disappears, it’s Penny (and a lovable snail shark) who restores him to his sarcastic self.”

“Penny White is not your pious priest; she’s human like all of us and it’s her humanity that is at the heart of this story.”

If you’re a fan of fantasy with doses of humor, please don’t hesitate and pick up this book. You’ll be swept away by the mythical creatures (including dragons), humorous dialogue, adventure and one priest who’s always been intrigued by dragons. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

My Rating: 5+ stars

This review first appeared: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Gloria Piper.
Author 8 books37 followers
February 27, 2017

Unique and imaginative. Here is a delightfully witty tale about relationships and attitudes, with some mystery thrown in.

Vicar Penny White loves science fiction and fantasy, so she is pleased and a bit frightened to work with church officials in a world of intelligent dragons, unicorns, vampires, and the like. She'd love to work there full time, but her duties to the mundane congregation of her human world devour half her energies.

To retain her ability to see creatures of the nonhuman world and to enter it, she is assigned an Associate, Morey, a smart-mouthed gryphon, who is a fundamentalist Christian. Penny is a liberal. They struggle to get along.

Penny is overwhelmed with activities, from the boring to the mysterious, from dealing with missing teaspoons and love relationships to a family crisis and a dragon's death.

Description is just enough to get us from one situation to the next, so we don't get bogged down. I was mildly confused with so many characters and not always sure who was speaking because of the author's way of paragraphing. But consistency helped to clarify such instances. I was soon swept into the tale, with its easy pace but mounting tensions.

The most important characters are developed enough to be sympathetic. I like them all, and my favorite is Morey. While we reach a satisfying conclusion, the story could easily be continued in another novel as we explore more of Penny's relationships, hopefully with the same wonderful characters.

Profile Image for Tori.
2,812 reviews477 followers
Want to read
March 24, 2017
Originally posted at SmexyBooks-http://smexybooks.com/2017/03/march-m...


The Temptation of Dragons is an interesting fantasy based mystery that brings together a widowed female priest with an alternate world. Father Penny White somehow “sees” an injured dragon and offers him his last rites as he lies dying. This brings her to the attention of the Lloegyr (supernatural shapeshifters and otherworldly beings) and those who handle the alliance between them and humans. Father White is offered a job as the new liaison and soon finds herself embroiled in a supernatural murder mystery while trying to keep her baby brother from mortal harm.

Growing up, I loved Andrew Greeley’s Father Blackie Ryan mysteries. They were a compelling mixture of family, humor, religion, mystery, and a touch of the paranormal. I think I enjoyed them the most because Father Ryan always preached through a benevolent (female) God and never used the bible to excuse bad thoughts or deeds. When I was offered this for review, I thought this would be something similar, just more fantasy imbibed. Ehhh…not so much so.

The world set up is extremely detailed and well defined. Cymi is knowledgeable on the church and also well versed in fantasy-both of which are a huge part of our heroine’s life. I enjoyed the meeting of various characters of the other world. Snail sharks-LOL. I found it very interesting and odd that Christianity seems to be the supernatural religion of choice. While a fan of fantasy and mysteries, I found myself unable to fully connect with the story or the characters. Extremely verbose, the dialogue far outweighs any action. The religious aspects are a strong component of this story-far stronger than I was comfortable with. I also had issues with the continuous inclusion of various fantasy based tv shows. It was never ending. I got to 30% and realized a majority of what I read was religious instruction/definition.
Profile Image for David Tucker.
Author 1 book45 followers
October 9, 2016
This story grabbed me from the moment I started reading it. I am easily bored from the old rinse and repeat fantasy, however this really felt fresh and gave me an enjoyable world, or alternate world, to live in. The interplay between characters and the witty banter of supporting characters kept each page fun, enjoyable and … fresh. The actual story was not as dark as I am accustomed but I still really enjoyed the mystic crossover as I started believing in the fantasy world created.

The religious element helped keep a grounded feel, as at times I felt I was far, far from reality – but hey its fantasy right. The multi-faceted characters, and their roles within society really turned this book from a 3 star to a 4 star for me. I felt they gave the story substance and I was interested in their backstory and motivations.

The story-line had many twists and crazy, out of this world experiences, I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers, especially ones looking for a new take on classic ideas.
Profile Image for E.P..
Author 27 books111 followers
June 16, 2016
Penny is your typical geek: lives alone, watches too much Doctor Who and Buffy, enjoys whiskey maybe a little more than necessary. Oh, and she's a woman. And a priest. She ends up performing the last rites on a dragon, and the next thing she knows, she finds herself (to her intense delight) liaising for the Church with an alternate world where Welsh is the dominant culture in Britain and vampires, dragons, and unicorns are real.

The geek-stumbling-into-the-alternate-world premise is an oldie but goodie in fantasy literature, and it is handled well here, with the unique addition of Penny's job as a vicar, as she navigates both the new world she's discovered, and the troubled waters of female ordainment, same-sex marriage, and declining interest in the church back in her home world. As she discovers, her counterparts on the other side have many of the same problems, with particularly fierce opposition to mixed-race--meaning between, for example, humans and dragons--relationships. The secondary characters, particularly Morey, the gryphon with fundamentalist leanings assigned as Penny's partner, and Clyde, the young snail shark she rescues, are charmingly entertaining, and I greatly enjoyed the use of Welsh, although sadly, I don't actually speak a word of it. Maybe that should be next summer's project...anyway. The prose style is a pleasure to read, alternating between a very British dry wit and moments that I found quite touching, as Penny's pastoral duties have her arguing over pew replacement one day, and then counseling the dying the next. Priests and members of religious orders are normally side characters in fantasy, so having one as the main protagonist, especially one as sympathetic as Penny, is a refreshing take on a classic storyline. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I think it should have broad appeal to fantasy fans.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Judy.
3,064 reviews16 followers
April 28, 2021
This is first in the Penny White series, which features an Anglican vicar who has suddenly become aware (by way of finding a dying dragon on her way home) of a parallel world which includes dragons, unicorns, gryphons, and even a type of (large) carnivorous snail. Occasionally beings from the other world end up in ours, and Penny applies for and is given a part-time job coordinating with the diocese in the other world where they speak Welsh and the religious break down is similar to England. In this first book in the series she is getting acquainted with beings from the other world, and investigating the deaths of beings who apparently were poisoned for having relationships outside their own species. It's a strangely compelling world which I am eager to revisit in the next book in the series.
Profile Image for S.K. Wee.
Author 13 books344 followers
October 5, 2017
What an amazing story! Penny White is a female priest in England overseeing a small parish. One evening on her way home, somewhat tipsy, Penny hits something in the road and when she exits her vehicle she comes face to face with a dying dragon named Dominic who wants nothing more than his last rights and blessing before he dies. What else could she do? Though unbelievable, Penny’s devotion to her calling takes over and it isn’t until she arrives back home that she begins to discount the entire incident as an active, vivid imagination. But soon enough her bishop contacts her with a job offer. Due to her recent involvement with a member of a parallel world, called Llaegyr, she becomes a liaison between the two worlds and her whole world becomes quite complicated. Her new associate, Morey, moves in with her. He is a purple gryphon with a strict religious ideology and the two soon clash on many levels. Also into the mix comes Penny’s deadbeat brother, who returns from New Zealand penniless and needy. Penny meets many new and interesting creatures from beyond as they team up together to solve the mystery of Dominic’s death. They also need to deal with an infestation of snail sharks that have snuck through the thin areas between the worlds and attack small pets and farm animals. This is where Penny finds a baby snail shark who has just lost his mother and she, of course, takes the young pup home and names him Clyde.
Having been brought up Catholic and having relatives that were members of the clergy, I learned at a very young age how human and fallible the clergy can be. I loved Penny because she brought her faults front and center while dealing with all the upheaval that has come into her life. Great fresh storyline and awesome characters throughout. I mean, who wouldn’t love a drunken dragon tacsi driver. Yes, I’ll be reading more of Penny’s adventures. Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Cecily Wolfe.
Author 20 books491 followers
November 14, 2017
What a fun and enthralling adventure! There is a lot to love in this charming story, not the least of which is the references to so many fandom favorites that will make connections with many readers. This incredibly creative and exciting tale also has believable characters and relationships between them, which adds depth to this multi-genre expedition, which should appeal to a variety of readers. Wonderful & imaginative.
Profile Image for Dale Lehman.
Author 12 books155 followers
January 11, 2018
Penny White is a faithful and caring Anglican priest with a bit too much familiarity with alcohol. That might explain why, coming upon the scene of a traffic accident, she finds herself giving last rites to a fatally injured dragon. Yes, dragon. Curiously, inebriation didn't conjure this situation. The deceased dragon is real, and her pastoral care for the exotic creature is about to catapult her into a new Church role: Vicar General of Incursions. Turns out our world and another coexist in close proximity, connected by "thin places" where those who can sense them--or who just stumble upon them--can cross between. Stranger still, that other world is populated by, among other things, dragons, unicorns, griffons, harpies, and snail sharks.

The Vicar General of Incursions has to deal with accidental crossings. Somebody has to do that because, trust me, you don't want a snail shark infestation! Still, Penny has enough on her plate already: her much younger brother, just returned from New Zealand with computer skills but no cash and even less sense of responsibility; her husband's accidental death in a boating accident a few years before; deathwatch beetles eating the pews; clueless parishioners; other people's tragedies. For anyone else, it would all be too much. But Penny has a thing for dragons, not to mention Dr. Who and Star Wars and whatnot, so she can hardly refuse the appointment. Besides, at least one dragon seems to have a thing for her. As does a certain police inspector. And more seriously, the death of that dragon in a traffic accident may have been no accident.

The Temptation of Dragons reads like a cross between Harry Potter and The Vicar of Dibley. It's a fun romp through fantasy and reality, tinged with humor and pathos. Both story and writing are solid, proving that indie writers can indeed publish material every bit as good as anything that comes out of a traditional publishing house. There is a healthy dose of Anglican religion, but not in a preachy way. It's simply a necessary part of Penny White's life, done well because Cymri is also a priest. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in Penny's life, The Cult of Unicorns, as well as the subsequent novels. So, zero complaints, five stars. Well done!
Profile Image for Maria Grace.
Author 84 books230 followers
May 21, 2022
Unique and wonderful

Like nothing else I have read. An urban fantasy, completely unique with enthralling, real characters that I definitely want to spend time with.
Profile Image for Anita Nasr.
Author 1 book13 followers
March 3, 2017
Absolutely fantastic. Chrys Cymri has created a fascinating world populated by such interesting and likeable characters, starting with Penny White, the vicar who doubles as a sort of supervisor of visitations between our world and a fantastical other. My personal experience is that I had started, out of order, with book two in the series. But I was enjoying it so much, I had to go back and read book one to soak up all the world-building. It was definitely worth it. The Temptation of Dragons is a very well written and developed story. It’s funny, inventive, insightful and addicting.

If you’re a fan of fantasy, pick it up now. If you’re not, give it a try. You won’t regret it.
Cymri is a gifted and brave writer. I can’t wait for the next book in her series.
Profile Image for Frank Palumbo.
Author 2 books10 followers
September 17, 2016
The Temptation of Dragons (Penny White) (Volume 1) CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 31, 2016) 230 pages. Reviewed by Frank Julius Palumbo.
Penny White and the Temptations of Dragons is a first person narrative set within England and focuses of a female priest with a taste for whiskey and wine and interested in television programs such as Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As Penny is driving home one night, she encounters the police attending to a vehicle involved in an accident seemingly with nothing. After her car rides over what she believes may be a person, she encounters a dying dragon, invisible to all but her. The dragon, near death, asks for his last rights and states that his religious name is Dominic and that he is of the Order of Saint Thomas.
Subsequent to Penny’s self-proclaimed hallucination with a Dominic the Dragon on the side of the road, Bishop Nigel drops by for a visit. Bishop Nigel informs Penny that there is a parallel world, complete with Christian clergy composed of dragons, unicorns and vampires, who of course, gave up bleeding humans since he became a Christian. The purpose of the Bishop’s visit is to offer Penny a position as the new Vicar General of Incursion, which entails the prevention of illegal and accidental travel between the two worlds.
After agreeing to apply for the position, Penny’s application is delivered by one of the Weres, a group of other world senescent animals composed of foxes, bears and other mammals that appear as humans to all except those that have touched a being from the other world, in Penny’s case, Dominic the Dragon monk.
With the many characters of the other world, such as a snail shark with a fondness for whiskey and welsh songs, and Penny’s associate Moriarty, a small Gryphon who is argumentative and wise-cracking with a desire to debate the bible, the author has devised a believable and highly entertaining read. The writing is well done, clearly articulating the background and the various features of the strange and wonderful creatures that inhabit both worlds. If there are those of you looking for a little romance, you came to the right place. But be prepared to fire the imagination when Penny’s love interest is a magnificent dragon named Raven.
I have no doubt that that his book will be a favorite for many readers, who will be eager to read the next installment.

Profile Image for Jessica Jesinghaus.
Author 9 books171 followers
February 26, 2017
Check out this review, and many more, on my blog https://jessjesinghaus.wordpress.com

4.5 out of 5 stars

Please allow me to start this review with two words: Penny White! I need a Penny White in my life. This heroine rocks. She's in her mid-thirties, a widow, a Vicar in a struggling English parish, and a lover of all things sci-fi. She's not afraid to swear (after removing her vestments, of course) and her affinity for wine and a good scotch bring her squarely into that indefinable realm of a wholely relatable fictional character. She's not perfect, in fact she's perfectly flawed, and if Penny were real I'd be first in line to fill out an application to be her BFF.

The plot of Temptation of Dragons strains credulity, but in a rollicking good way. Dragons are real. Gryphons, vampires, harpies, unicorns & snail sharks (What in heaven's name are snail sharks? Why, they're voraciously carnivorous snails who move at lightning speed and who have a smile that could make Jaws jealous.) all live alongside one another in a parallel realm Lloegyr and, sometimes, in our own world. The Church is aware of their existence and Penny finds herself tapped to fill the role as Vicar General of Incursions. In other words, she'll be the one responsible if a fantastic beast should start causing trouble on her parish turf.

She's in over her head, coming to (exuberant) terms with the strange new world, learning to navigate the oft tricky politics of the denizens of Lloegyr and it's religious establishment. Thankfully she has the assistance of Moriarty, Morey for short, to guide her through. Morey is a young (for his species) gryphon: opinionated, quick to irritation, but indispensable to Penny. Their friendship isn't instantaneous, it takes hard work, but in the end you know they're ready for whatever adventure hurtles their way next.

I loved the way Chrys Cymri was able to blend fantasy & religion into such a spellbinding tale. This book is full of hope & humor, mystery & strife. The laugh-out-loud moments were too numerous to count and any book that can manage to throw in a relevant Torchwood reference gets high praise from me!
Profile Image for Sadie Forsythe.
Author 1 book265 followers
June 12, 2017
Oh, I really quite loved this. It was fresh and light-hearted, even with the occupational heavy topic. It had an unusual heroine, being that she was a 36-year-old, ultra geeky, Whovian, widowed vicar. I just adored her. There were interesting side characters. There was a mystery that was interesting enough to engage me and leave room for other things. There was a very mild romantic sub-plot that never came to a head or eclipsed the rest of the story and involved two very different males (though not as a love triangle, as neither relationship progressed far enough). There were grammar jokes and Bechdel test reverences and the book wraps up, while allowing for future adventures. All good things.

I only have two real complaints. The first is that I was very distracted by the logistics of inter-species relationships and marriage. There was no sex in this book and I don't really anticipate there being any in any future books. It's just not that kind of book. But if you're going to posit marriage between dragons and humans or elves and unicorn, I would like to know how biology is worked around or what compromises are made in the relationship. While I got the sense you were supposed to suspend disbelief on the subject, I found the hanging question quite distracting. Secondly, I did not feel that the brother and his guilt excused his very poor, almost cruel behavior. Perhaps I just don't have enough Christian forgiveness in me, but I finished the book still feeling cheated and indignant on Penny's behalf.

I should also mention the faith aspect of this book. Since the main character was a vicar, her faith was obviously important to her and there is quite a lot of it in the book. This is a sharp edge for me to walk with books. I don't consider myself Christian and I hate, HATE being preached to in my fiction. But this book managed to portray Penny's faith, integrate it into the story, and even cause me to tear up over it at one point, without it ever feeling didactic. I cannot tell you how refreshing that is.
Profile Image for Margaret Standafer.
Author 10 books118 followers
October 15, 2016
I enjoyed the tale of Penny, the priest who can talk to dragons…and gryphons, and unicorns, and all of the other fantastic creatures that inhabit the parallel world she finds herself a part of. The Temptation of Dragons took me on a wild ride.

After happening upon a dying dragon and administering last rights, Penny is thrust into a world straight out of the science fiction movies, books, and TV shows she so loves. When she is offered the role of Vicar General of Incursions with the understanding that she will split her time between England and Lloegyr, the equivalent of England in the parallel world, she jumps at the chance. Right off the bat, Penny finds herself mediating a contentious discussion over who has the rights to the dragon’s remains, and that’s only the beginning. She also rescues her gryphon advisor from a harpy bar, tries to raise a baby snail shark, and talks her way out of a dangerous situation with an angry family of dragons all while still handling the responsibilities of her parish in rural England.

The Temptation of Dragons is very well written and Penny and her cast of supporting characters provide many laughs. There is an underlying religious theme to the book which I enjoyed, but that is far from preachy and should not be off-putting to those disagreeing with Penny’s religious beliefs. There are also many references to Dr. Who throughout the book. Being unfamiliar with the show, I found myself skimming over these parts. The story seemed to end rather abruptly, but I have to assume the storyline will be continued in the next book in the series. Overall, a book sure to entertain those looking for a fun, fantasy read.

At the time of my reading and review, this book was enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and I read it through Kindle Unlimited.
Profile Image for G.J. Griffiths.
Author 12 books75 followers
November 8, 2016
The title included the word dragons so I should have been prepared for the fantasy story I was about to read, but it was a pleasant surprise, nevertheless, to find my imagination so quickly challenged by so many quirky characters: dragons, vampires, unicorns and a gryphon who advises the main protagonist. The main protagonist happens to be the recently widowed vicar, Penny White, who is an ardent fan of the Doctor Who series. She is suddenly plunged into a mystery and invited to become the Vicar of Incursions in the parallel universe known as Lloegyr. The combination of dragons, the author’s name, Cymri, and various words like Lloegyr lead me to think that there is a very strong link with Welsh and Celtish legends behind this fantastical tale. I understood Lloegyr to be the old Welsh name for England. Whatever the truth of it I found Chrys Cymri’s imaginative story to be completely captivating – even though this genre is definitely not my usual preferred reading matter!

This book is a very well written one, full of amusing phrases, conversations and situations from beginning to end. However, there are more serious matters for the reader to contend with, like murder, Christian faith and biological pairings between dramatically different “species”, such as dragons and humans or elves and unicorns! Penny is a strong and well-drawn character who I found I was rooting for despite my own lack of religion. Somehow the author manages to ascribe personalities and beliefs to the various dragon bishops, vampire clerics and co, such that one forgets the incongruity of it all. The ending was a little too enigmatic for me but there is a probable intriguing hook there for another similar book. It is a story that would most likely appeal to young fans of Buffey, The Hobbit and maybe Doctor Who etc.
Profile Image for J.P. Willson.
Author 4 books56 followers
November 7, 2017
Can you say- 'Surprise!'
This book was fun, that really is the best way to describe this tale. Just fun. What an imaginative foray written by a ....not sure here- Priest, Vicar, Reverend...whatever the terminology proper is. Really doesn't matter- an imagination is an imagination and this sure took a good one. The phrase, 'Lions, Tigers and Bears' comes to mind yet in this case it would be, 'Dragons, Gryphons and Snail Sharks?'
Oh for the love of Talisker whiskey is this a yarn and a half...
Curious yet? You should be. The cover alone is enough to pique the interest, but the first line of the book, 'Vicar arrested for drunk driving,' well if that doesn't hook you?
A thoroughly enjoyable release from the ordinary I would highly recommend. I know I shall take a close look at some of the author' other work in the future.s
Profile Image for Elise Edmonds.
Author 3 books81 followers
July 8, 2018
I really enjoyed this book once I got into it. At first I found the premise a little odd, with the Christian dragons and vampires, but once the book got onto its stride I thought it worked well. An interesting dual world book. The descriptions of parish life were amusing and very identifiable. And I love the dynamics between Penny and her animal friends. Recommended, although I think Christians may enjoy it more than non-Christians.

The story ends at 86% and the rest is previews of other books - a little disappointing.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Simonds.
79 reviews13 followers
May 21, 2018
About half way through The Temptation of Dragons (Penny White Book 1) by Chrys Cymri, I thought to myself: “If I loved this book any harder, I’d have to marry it.” Yes, it’s got the sort of catnip that attracts me: talking dragons, a cozy mystery, wise-cracking heroine. But then there’s so very much more. I actually started reading slower just so I could savor the story for as long as possible. It is at once light-hearted and dark, easy-going story-telling, but with complex real-world themes.

The things that put this book over the top are the characterizations and deeply thought-out world-building of both Lloegyr and England, mixed with the daily problems of a church official, and still-in-grieving woman who is suddenly confronted with the return of her wayward brother. And then there’s the problem of mixed marriages (human/dragon, gryphons/were-fox, etc) and an anti-mixed relations group, and how the other land is leaking over into England (does every government and church official know about Lloegyr and the thin places?).

This isn’t aimed at the young adult reader. The Temptation of Dragons deals with more complex themes like dragon monks, crises of faith, wry observations of religion eroding in modern-day England, and dealing with grief, all wrapped up with Doctor Who references, whiskey drinking, a sexy dragon, a gryphon with a sarcasm addiction, and the education of an orphan snail shark. This is well-drawn adult fantasy—it is everything a hard-core science fiction/fantasy fan could want in one book. And yes, I will be reading the whole series.
Profile Image for Diane Rapp.
Author 17 books110 followers
March 23, 2018
A vicar gives last rites to a dying dragon

This delightful fantasy novel could only be written by a real vicar. The main character, Penny White, is an ordinary priest beset by the frustrations of a small parish when she just happens to administer last rites to a dying dragon. Penny's a true fan of all things "Doctor Who", plus a myriad of other sci-fi and fantasy series, so she doesn't think twice about ministering to a dragon at the side of the road. Thus begins a new and complex phase of her ministry. She finds herself popping back and forth into another world, riding dragonback, flirting with a sexy drake, and taking on an oppinionated griphon as a house mate.

The writer's imagination is outstanding! I've read hundreds of sci-fantasy books but this one is really special! I recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure (and quirky sense of humor). Kudos to Ms Cymri for creating a fantastical world to occupy.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 160 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.