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Review: Love in the Time of Dragons by Katie MacAlister

love in the time of dragons katie macalister Review: Love in the Time of Dragons by Katie MacAlister

When I pulled'Love in the Time of Dragons out of its envelope late on Friday night, my first thought was that it was a literary mashup'Love in the Time of Cholera meets Anne McCaffrey or similar. (I'm still not sure whether this speaks to the fact that such mashups are far too ubiquitous, or whether I should not bother attempting any sort of intelligent thought on a Friday evening)

Fortunately,'Love in the Time of Dragons is no such thing, although it does aspire to levels of silliness not far from I would imagine would be involved in the aforementioned mashup. It features the unfortunately named Tully Sullivan, a young suburban mother who awakes from an odd dream to find herself surrounded by a bunch of weirdoes who are convinced that she is a dragon. Tully, unsurprisingly, finds this a bit of a tough idea to swallow, and sets about trying to dissuade them of this fact. However, none of the others seems to buying it'perhaps in part because she's prone to yearly fugues where she somehow turns large quantities to lead to gold, which in truth is a rather dragony thing to do. All sorts of shenanigans ensue until Tully (or Isolde, as everyone else is intent on calling her, and which has rather less of a rhyming slang tone to it) is suddenly called before a formal gathering of dragons to take responsibility for the dozens of innocents who were put to death at her partner's hand some years ago.

Tully, of course, other than her few odd dreams about a swarthy alpha male who matches the dragons' descriptions of a fellow named Baltic they insist is her partner, has little idea who or what they're talking about, and is somewhat disinclined to claim guilt for this anonymous chap's misdeeds.'However, after a few more of her odd and disconcertingly realistic dreams, Tully realises that perhaps she is indeed this Isolde lass about whom the others are talking. This is rather good timing, it seems, as the dark and moody Baltic makes a sudden appearance in a spiffy sports car, and whisks Tully/Isolde off to a sparkly mansion, where she suddenly recalls her past and realises that she may well be the dragon lady (both physically and in terms of her harsh, snarky wit) the others seem to think she is.

With her new (or perhaps former) identity now in place, Tully-cum-Isolde sets out to clear her partner's name by doing strange and hilarious things like kidnapping a demon dressed up in canine form, and doing a superb catering job at a formal dragon meeting'an event that is hilariously described as Martha Stewart meets the Nuremberg Trials.

Now, I am aware that all of the above made very little sense. It is true that the plot of this book is somewhat convoluted, and may feel particularly so for those who haven't read MacAlister's previous novels. Love in the Time of Dragons is indeed the first in a new series, but it does bring in a number of characters and plot points from MacAlisters previous books, and some might find this a little bewildering. However, I found that the various characters who have cameos in the book tend to be dealt with fairly neatly, and the backstory is generally easily enough to glean, although Tully/Isoldes backstory, which involves pretend husbands, fugues, and some sort of vague magic apprenticeship is somewhat confusing. Likewise, the flashbacks can be quite difficult to parse, as they often seem to occur mid-sentence and without any forewarning. Given that the characters speak the same in the 21st century as they do several hundred years earlier, it can take a paragraph or so to realise that weve once again leapt back in time.

However, Love in the Time of Dragons is the sort of book where you suspend your disbelief using an industrial winch. Similarly, rather than a grain of salt, opt for a bushel and be thankful that theres no longer a salt tax in place. Yes, the book is rather silly, and yes, Tully could do well to learn that stream of consciousness-style thought is much more palatable when it occurs within ones head rather than in public, but there really is a good deal to enjoy here. Admittedly, the plot is light, and its obvious that the book is a set-up for all sorts of rollicking silliness, but the farcical nature of the conflicts that arise, and the often hilarious dialogue make this book a fun little bedtime story.

200px 3 stars.svg 1 Review: Love in the Time of Dragons by Katie MacAlister

With thanks to Hachette Australia for the review copy

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  1. Laura Summers /

    Katie MacGalister books always make me laugh. Although I havent read any of hers for a while. What you say about suspending your disbelief is very true. But if youre prepared to I think they are always a fun, light read.
    Good review :)

  2. Steph /

    Thanks, Laura. Youre definitely rightthis book was such a silly, delightful read. It made a lovely change from some of the darker paranormal stuff out there. Lots of fun indeed.

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