Title: Heart of the Dragon
Author: Jamie Sullivan
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (2nd Edition)
Length: 193 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Heart of the Dragon epitomizes the feel-good read, and I was completely enchanted by it.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: The greatest thief captures an unexpected prize.
Madfall is the greatest thief in the kingdom, stealing crowns off the very heads of kings. His hoard is legendary. Simply put, he’s a dragon through and through. So, when he steals a basket of “gold” from the king’s castle but finds a baby inside, he’s at a loss. What’s a dragon to do?
Seventeen years later, inexperienced knight Richard of Benfro sets out to slay the dragon, expecting death or glory. Not the most awkward meet-cute in history when he’s captured by the dragon’s human—and handsome—son.
Oenyn has been content living with Madfall, enjoying the fierce and protective love of his adopted father. But he’s always been curious about humanity. When Richard blunders into the home he shares with Madfall, Oenyn grabs the chance to learn all he can about people, castle life, sex . . . and maybe love. At least until Richard makes a startling discovery.
Caught between a potential future in the human world and his old life, Oenyn is faced with an impossible choice. Luckily, being raised by a dragon has left him plenty stubborn. He won’t give up his father, or his human family, without a fight.
(Note: This is a revised second edition, originally published elsewhere.)
Review: Heart of the Dragon might be one of the most delightfully charming and sweetly heartwarming fantasies I’ve ever read. It’s not often you find a story where the dragon gets their own point of view in the telling of the tale, but that’s exactly what Jamie Sullivan gives readers when Madfall does what dragons do when increasing their hoard—he swoops in to snatch what he believes is a simple basket filled with riches, only to discover, when he returns to his lair, he’s “accidentally appropriated” a baby rather than a pile of gold. Sullivan then offers readers a front row seat to the following years during which Madfall raises the boy, Oenyn, as his son, with a decidedly unconventional “mother”. Of course, the entirety of Oenyn’s upbringing is an unconventional one, though it helps that Madfall speaks, and he teaches Oenyn how to read, and despite the dragonly huffing and puffing and sarcasm, it’s obvious Madfall loves Oenyn dearly.
Madfall’s is not the only viewpoint readers are offered in Heart of the Dragon. As Oenyn grows up and gains his own perspectives on life, he opines on such things as knights and sword fights and the morality of his dragon father stealing from humans when said dragon father has already stockpiled centuries of riches for no other purpose than to have it. While Madfall is busy making Oenyn a better “dragon”, Oenyn, in the role of his father’s conscience, is doing the same for Madfall. And, as one would expect when a boy reaches his more formative years, his very human side emerging means Madfall is left somewhat puzzled by feelings that dragons have the luxury of not being burdened by. Namely, the human who shows up on a knight’s errand to vanquish the dragon and return its heart to the king gives Oenyn some decidedly hormonal teenage boy thoughts.
Richard, who isn’t anything like a knight in shining armor, really, offers the third point of view in the telling, and could never have fathomed his first quest would turn out to be a rescue mission as well. Nor could he have predicted the rescue-ee wouldn’t want to be rescued at all, not in the slightest. And then there’s the small matter of identity, which is the part that elevates this fairy tale to its very definition of the genre.
Joy, love, connection, what makes a family a family—these things are present and accounted for, and they’re all wrapped up in a story that is funny and warm and filled with things like kindness and unselfishness and loyalty. Heart of the Dragon epitomizes the feel-good read, and I was completely enchanted by it.
You can buy Heart of the Dragon here:
[zilla_button url=”PASTE URL” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Riptide Publishing [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/Heart-of-the-Dragon” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon & Other eTailers [/zilla_button]