A nice short story for a vacation I’m-on-the-porch-and-am-not-in-Houston-so-it’s-not-hot-as-balls-and-I-can-actually-read-out-here-and-not-die-of-heat-stroke read is always a good thing, amirite? 😀
Beln, Gellborn officer aboard a red dragonship has reached the near-peak of her career.
But ordered to pursue a rare, wild dragon by her sadistic captain, Beln is torn between those loyalties bred into her and those grown anew for her ship’s mount.
During horrific havoc among his fellow gunners, a Gellborn family failure acts on the sudden realization that his heritage is far worse than the beast his uncle hunts.
Two Gellborn. Two dragons. One decision.
Him, or them?
‘What do you even dream of?’ Beln thought aloud as the deck shuddered and the wheelmen and ogres groaned and cursed against the sudden attempted spin of the wheels they were bound to.
I really liked the premise of this one. Their ship is actually chained to a dragon. It’s kind of… dragony, and sort of piratey, and actually kind of steampunkish all at the same time. Yes, those are words. What? >.> I don’t make up words.
So, life is fairly normal among the crew of the SS we’re-riding-on-a-goddamned-dragon, when her scales begin to lighten. Usually, this means the dragon is about to shed. This is pretty rare, and only happens about once every few decades. Beln thinks that she’s not about to shed but there is, in fact, a male dragon in the vicinity which is causing her scales to lighten because I assume that light scales are a type of dragon booty call. So, the captain of the ship decides that it’s time to hunt the (even more exceedingly rare) male dragon. Because wild dragons can’t be a thing in this world. All dragons must be under human control.
I liked that one of the main characters was a woman. It just worked in this case. She was a good lead. Strong and confident. On the other hand, we see parts of this story from the point of view of one of the lowest ranked people on the dragonship. His name is Eight (as they all only go by numbers down there instead of names, like the Gellborn elite, like Captain Fustian (who happens to be Eight’s uncle). That was an interesting bit of the story as well, and a good way to see things from a very different perspective. We also get a bit from the pursuing dragon himself, who is concerned with… dat ass and the tapping thereof. Male dragons are still male, as it turns out. >.>
It was a quick, fun read, with a great premise and fun characters and an ending that wrapped up the whole thing nicely. It was a great read, all told!
Also, “Empress’ flaps” is the best made up in-world curse ever. It is. It just is.
Not much else to say, as it was pretty short, but you should do yourself a favor and pick this one up because it was really action packed and crazy good! You can pre-order it on amazon, at this link (still on vay-cay, so I hope amazon redirects you to your country as needed) 🙂