by Emily Veinglory, fantasy (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 1-59998-522-5
One look at the beautiful cover art of Father Of Dragons and the first thing that enters my head is, "Oh dear, it's all so emo!" It's a different kind of "Oh dear" for me when I realize that our hero is carrying a dragon baby. Yes, you read that right, and I mean "carrying" as in "gestating" rather than "lifting".
Poor Xeras. Our hero's boyfriend Drin was executed by Xeras' father since such gay relationships are forbidden, especially when Xeras is a Tirrian nobleman expected to be straight and beget heirs. Now Xeras has Turned His Back To His Life and embraced the Emo. While wandering through the woods and arguing with Drin's voice in his head, he stumbles upon a female dragon. They have a one night stand - no, really, you have to read that scene to believe it. I know I have to read it twice before what I am reading finally sinks in. I say out loud to myself, "Cool!" because I really don't know what else to say. I mean, there was that scene involving that naughty tree in Evil Dead, but at least this one is fun for Xeras even if he has no idea what he is getting into at that time.
Oh yes, where was I? When Xeras recovers from his orgasm-induced post-dragon coital blackout, he meets a male dragon who tells him that Xeras is now pregnant with a baby dragon. Apparently it's a ritual between dragons although the details are not elaborated further in this story. I think Ms Veinglory is still trying to figure out how to explain Xeras' pregnancy. Our mother-to-be, or is that father-to-be? Anyway, Xeras later stumbles upon Carly, the Ballot Duke, and his sister Katinka. After all that "stumbling", it seems that Xeras finally finds something to do when he is embroiled in some local politics of Ballot's Keep as dragons and humans don't see eye to eye in many things.
It is hard for me to give this story a fair review because it's the first book in what is clearly meant to be a gay fantasy series and therefore I can't judge how the story is going to turn out. The story arc is only beginning by the time this book ends so if you are not keen to invest time and attention in an ongoing series, this book isn't for you. As for me, I find this one is pretty decent read. The main characters don't particularly annoy me but unfortunately they don't stand out to me either, the whole "Look, people, I'm having a dragon's baby!" thing aside. Father Of Dragons has plenty of magic and some dragon lore, but I don't find the canon or world-building particularly memorable here. Perhaps the future books in this series will be able to add more details and color to the setting and history, but for now, this book is pretty much a gay version of a generic sword and sorcery fantasy with dragons and magic woo-woo.
Father Of Dragons is therefore at the end of the day a readable story, but at the same time it doesn't reach out and grab my attention. I may read the next book in the series, but I don't feel any urgent need to want to the read the next book now or anything like that. If you are looking for a gay version of something like Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders Of Pern books, however, Father Of Dragons may just hit the right spot.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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