IN TWO WEEKS, my fainthearted, peace-greedy village will send a sacrifice to the false god, to placate him for another year. To keep the dragons away. To maintain our cowardly existence in this frozen portside town of weaklings. With each passing sacrifice, I want all the more to swing my axe straight through the false god’s heartless chest. If that bastard is so determined to keep the dragons away, then he can use his own blood to do it. Better yet, the great monsters can return. If the village of Lundr is to go down, we should go down fighting, not cowering and offering up our friends as sacrifices. Katla, idiot of idiots, last warrior of Lundr, should know better than to release a dragon.
Dragon Tamer is irreverent, light-hearted, and a joy to read. It’s everything I want from a cute fantasy romance. It even has puns in it! Really dumb ones! The BEST ones. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and the whole book is better for it. The main pairing is a bookish dragon prince devoted to pacifism and an extremely fighty Viking-esque himbo lady who’s got some really impressive muscles. AND THEY ADOPT A MAGIC PUPPY TOGETHER.
It’s just, like. Really cute.
When I first started reading Dragon Tamer, I wasn’t expecting the level of silliness I found. I had a few moments at the start where I squinted my eyes, tilted my head, found things a little cliche… and then it clicked for me. It’s just fluff. And it’s good fluff. It’s leaning on some very cliche tropes, certainly, but it’s doing so in a manner that’s decidedly tongue-in-cheek. Yes, sure, the villain is an eeeeeevil blood magician who’s sacrificing humans and whatnot, but frankly? Those things let me turn my brain off and focus on what matters, like them adopting a magical puppy and gifting armories to each other.
I found myself live-blogging my read to friends on Discord. I needed to convey how ridiculous and fun this book was. We didn’t have “there’s only one bed,” but we DID have “sparring that ends in one person pinning the other down and then they KISS,” which I am 1000% here for.
And!! The bookish dragon prince reads out loud to her and it’s extremely cute. And he teaches her to read because she never learned in her village. I’m a sucker for this stuff. I eat it up with a spoon.
I also liked the way it handled power dynamics between the couple. Although the main pairing is m/f, it had queer elements and a queer approach towards the relationship. Eivindr, the dragon prince, was previously in love with a genderqueer, ace dragon who passed away prior to him meeting Katla. Katla has always been a highly physical person who relied on actions rather than words, so communicating with Eivindr to sort out her emotions is a key plot point. It’s something she struggles with, and there are misunderstandings, but none that felt overly contrived or out of character.
Having a main character who was a woman and had previous sexual relationships that were healthy on the whole was also nice. Katla had been sleeping with one of the men in the village, Magni. While she struggled somewhat with the fact that she liked him but did not love him, their relationship didn’t feel forced and didn’t end up as part of a love triangle. It was just one more thing for Katla to work through alongside Eivindr.
Occasionally, I did feel as though the prose verged on being overly purple. It felt a bit contrived in some places. That said, most of that was from our dear bookish dragon prince – it was easy to write that off as him attempting to be awkwardly charming. It still took me out of the book a little bit, but ultimately wasn’t a real issue for me.
I honestly just had a ton of fun reading this novel. It had me grinning, laughing aloud, and d’aww-ing at the couple. If you’re looking for a fantasy romance that doesn’t take itself seriously, this is the right book for you. The balance between plot, cutesy bits, and humor is balanced perfectly.
PS: Her sword is named “Sharpie” and I’m still not over that because it’s just… amazing. SHARPIE. sadkhfalksdfh. It sets the tone for the whole book.
Thank you to the author for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Dragon Tamer will be released on January 5th, 2021. Previously, I published a review of Our Bloody Pearl, written by one half the author duo making up Ophelia Silk, which is available to read immediately.
About the Author
Over the years, Ophelia Silk has lived and loved across the globe. New adventures in romantic locations are always on her agenda, but she enjoys a night in with her cat and a good book any day of the week. She hopes her own stories will whisk readers away to extraordinary places, with characters who, through trials and growth, always end up with the happy ever after we all deserve. There is absolutely no reason to believe she is secretly several authors in a sexy trench coat. (Though, for the record, all of her trench coats are incredibly sexy.)