Saturday, March 6, 2010

Where’s St. George When You Really Need Him?

The Dragon DelaSangre by Alan F. Troop (Roc, 2002, 304pp.)

Peter Delasangre belongs to a family of shape-shifting dragons who live off the coast of Miami. Since the staple diet of dragons consists mostly of humans, Peter and his family often take on the form of their prey to lure their victims to their untimely deaths. After a young, pretty waitress ends up as Peter’s dinner, it comes as a rather a shock to him that her family has managed to trace her disappearance back to Peter—and they’re out for blood. Bad timing, especially since Peter has just found—and married—the love of his life, a beautiful lady dragon by the name of Elizabeth. Troop builds a fascinating world of dragon culture in which to set his tale. Dragon weddings, it turns out, are not that much different from human ones, in that they involve dowries, marriage vows, in-laws, etc. Unfortunately, the fantasy world plays only a supporting role, while a cast of truly despicable protagonists take center stage. Peter and his dragon bride are cruel, self-centered, and just unlikable in general, while the antagonists (the characters the reader is not supposed to sympathize with) turn out to be devoted, dedicated, law-abiding citizens you can’t help but cheer for. This leaves the reviewer to beg the question: “Where’s St. George when you really need him?”

Click on cover for image source.

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