Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-478-4
Fantasy Romance, 2007
The Wolverine and the Jewel follows The Wolverine and the Rose but it can stand alone. The two books are part of a fantasy romance series called The Legend of Mynos with Mynos being this dragon whose various pieces of jewelry can be activated by women for greater good.
Sir Sebastian of Tabrinth first showed up in the previous book as the rather misogynistic companion of the hero of that book and he gets his story here. He finds a badly beaten woman who can’t remember her name when she regains consciousness. Because she’s wearing a mysterious jewel around her neck, Sebastian calls her Jewel. I think he also deliberately wants to make me gag for calling him some unkind names in my head when I was reading the previous book but that is just my suspicion, really. He vows to find out who she really is and discover those foul fiends who hurt her so terribly.
When the dragon Mynos claims that the jewel belonging to our heroine is Malnan’s Jewel, the mystery deepens. Poor Mynos does have this unfortunate habit of losing his bits and pieces of jewelry. Malnan was Mynos’ dead girlfriend and it turns out that her spirit still lives in the Jewel. What is going on here? That’s what our characters are determined to find out.
Like the previous book, this one is a very girly story. Jewel is even more girly than Arianna from the previous book. She has no personality other than flat sweetness – she utterly falls for Sebastian without any effort that I often feel as if I’m reading a Care Bear story. She is all helpless sunshine and sweetness that I often shudder whenever everyone in this story falls over themselves to make her feel safe and protected. She and Sebastian are one-dimensional characters and their romance is dull because it is depicted in a cloyingly sweet “Ken loves Barbie, and the My Little Ponies will be bridesmaids while Jem and the Holograms will sing at the wedding” way. Like Arianna, Jewel will discover how special she is. Mynos comes off more and more like a creepy old man, I tell you, calling these buxom girly-girls his daughters and offering them his trinkets so that they can call and talk to him anytime.
I prefer my fantasy, romantic or not, to be a little more adult. Therefore, The Wolverine and the Jewel, with its often so cloyingly sweet and girly overtones that persist despite the author bringing up grave matters like rape and violence, just doesn’t do it for me.