Silver Wheel Publishing, $0.99, ISBN 978-1986801195
Sci-fi Romance, 2018
Some princesses wait in towers for their true love to come. Our heroine Daisy Danaenyth is waiting for three true loves. No, it’s not because she’s greedy or that she aspires to be Anita Blake – for centuries now, our Dragon Princess is cursed by her master Akem to take three different mutant, monstrous forms at any time of the day, the constant in all forms is a human face. For one hour each day, she gets to revert to her true beautiful (of course) Fae form, and that’s when she is understandably the happiest. To break the curse, she needs three kisses, one from a different true love. Don’t expect an orgy, though. She takes on the form of three different creatures – called the Furies – so I suppose each bloke needs to kiss each Fury. Are you confused yet?
Akem is now gone, but the curse persists. Instead of sending her way potential true love materials, however, her Dragon King grandfather instead sends dragon hunters to off her. How vexing. When The Fury Queen’s Harem opens, Daisy is visited by three ships that open fire indiscriminately because, yes, they want to kill her, her, and her. (You know what I mean.) But Moe, Curly, and Eeyore are so hot, she finds herself drooling over them instead of launching deadly fires on them. When they see her in her naked beauteous form, they realize that they would like to put their guns to an entirely different kind of use on her.
This one has everything that one normally finds in a comedy-fantasy romp by authors such as Kerrelyn Sparks and the like – uncontrollable shapeshifting at inconvenient moments such as during one’s happiest moment during you-know-what – mixed with those early day Ellora’s Cave romps when authors assumed that consistent world-building was trivial compared to sexy times. Only, there is hardly any significant steamy moment despite the publicity material proclaiming Meg Xuemei X as the steamiest author that ever steamed.
It is this inconsistent world-building that ultimately leads me befuddled. The author mixes present day Earth terminology – “playboy”, etc – with names and jargon of a more exotic, alien nature, thus serving a wildly inconsistent and hard-to-envision fantasy setting that seems to evolve and fluctuate depending on what the author decides to pull out of her rear end on a whim. I have no idea whom or what these characters really are. Back stories are alluded to, despite this being marketed as the first book in a new series, but never really expanded to my satisfaction. Daisy is predictably sassy and feisty on a superficial level, like every other generic urban fantasy or sci-fi heroine these days, while Dopey, Bashful, and Sleazy are basically Dude Number 1, Dude Number 2, and Dude Number 3. There are many other fantasy and sci-fi elements here, but everything is tossed in as if the author didn’t really know what she was cooking, but what the heck, she’d bought everything from the grocery store so let’s just toss everything into the food processor and hope for something good.
And I still am not too sure what has happened when I reach the last page. This one has a lot of information dumping, but I’m a newbie to the author’s works. All those words may be in a language I can understand but I have no clear idea what they are trying to tell me. Maybe the world-building will make more sense to readers who had followed the author’s previous books, which I guess were set in this sane setting. Me, I’m still lost and this story isn’t interesting enough to make me want to look up those books. Sadly, I also don’t think I am too eager to know what will happen in the next story.
Oh, and folks looking for some erotic romp here are bound to be disappointed. The Fury Queen’s Harem is essentially an underwritten story that relies heavily on sass, common tropes. and a gimmicky reverse harem premise to mask its inadequacies. Given how the story also takes for granted that readers are familiar with the author’s setting, this one should come with a “For die-hard fans only!” label.