Do you like take-offs of fairy tales with dragons and mage curses which can’t be broken? Christine Pope has written a series which will sure to delight. I so enjoyed the audiobook of Dragon Rose, narrated by Valerie Gilbert in first person.
Title: Dragon Rose Tales of the Latter Kingdoms, book 2
Author: Christine Pope
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical
Published by: Dark Valentine Press
Published Date: November 14, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. ASIN: B00A81XPX0
Narrated by: Valerie Gilbert
Length: 7 hours, 50 minutes
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Published by: Dark Valentine Press
Publisher’s Summary: The shadow of the cursed Dragon Lord has hung over the town of Lirinsholme for centuries, and no one ever knows when the Dragon will claim his next doomed bride. Rhianne Menyon has dreams of being a painter, but her world changes forever when a single moment of sacrifice brings her to Black’s Keep as the Dragon’s latest bride.
As she attempts to adjust to her new life – and to know something of the monster who is now her husband – she begins to see that the curse is far crueler than she first believed. Unraveling the mystery of what happened to the Dragon’s brides is only the beginning…
©2012 Christine Pope (P)2013 Christine Pope
My Thoughts: This is my first adventure with author Christine Pope. Dragon Rose is written in first person which is a difficult voice to write. Valerie Gilbert, as narrator, was a great choice for she truly conveyed the emotional upheaval Rhianne experienced when she chose to take the place of her best friend and marry Theran Blackmoor, the dragon of Black’s Keep. Ms. Gilbert is the reason I picked this book to listen to in the first place. She has a great presence and entirely engulfed me in the author’s world.
Rhianne was unique. She had two gifts. As a ‘seerer’ she was haunted with dreams, difficult to forget. She also had a love of nature and the ability to paint, something she learned from an elderly painter and an occupation she should not follow. With this skill she worked through her dreams and fell in love with her painting of the man in her dreams. Little did she know how important this skill would be for her very life!
This tale reminds me of Beauty and the Beast. A mage spell kept Theran in dragon form. He was obliged to marry young girls from the nearby village – if he didn’t the curse would manifest itself by destroying more lives. Theran was reduced to marrying even though he knew the fate of these young women. 500 years of marrying and still the curse continued. Would there be no end? Could Rhianne save her dragon whom she’d come to love? Could she save herself?
Plenty of suspense and danger. The story was riveting, yet very much a fairy tale. I’m thoroughly delighted to find another author who writes fantasy with romance inclinations. And writes so well! Recommended highly for those who love fairy tale plots with just enough twist to keep the reader guessing.
About the Author: A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Christine writes as the mood takes her, and her work encompasses paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and space opera/science fiction romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Files series and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though…not yet, anyway! To be notified of new releases, you can sign up for Christine Pope’s newsletter here: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/d2c6e2
About the Narrator: Valerie Gilbert is a native New Yorker. A background in acting (plays, comedies, musicals) morphed over time into solo work, including stand-up comedy, autobiographical one woman shows, and storytelling competitions. The transition was then made to writing. As a result, Raving Violet, Memories, Dreams & Deflections: My Odyssey Through Emotional Indigestion, and her latest, Swami Soup, were published.
Her writing is non-fiction, intensely personal, with a focus on philosophy, personal growth, and metaphysics, all with liberal doses of humor, her trademark. Yet another avenue of expression became available to her when she started producing her own audio books, first, Raving Violet, then 67 for other authors, as well as her own Memories, Dreams & Deflections and Swami Soup.
Valerie now teaches psychic development and personal growth classes at Namaste Healing Center in New York City. She is currently writing her fourth book. Her website is Raving Violet.