Monday, 12 October 2015

Foiling the Dragon by Susan Price reviewed by Karen Bush

Foiling the Dragon

Sorry - forgive the untrimmed picture lifted from Amazon ... but it's past my dinner time, and like dragons I get a tad impatient when I'm hungry ...

Pub poet Paul is vain, cowardly and not even very good at writing poetry: but he's a bit of a looker and on the night that magic-worker Zione arrives from a parallel world he's actually on a bit of a roll with his audience. So naturally she assumes that he is the Bard she has been looking for who will be able to keep her country's dragon happy. A dragon with an appetite for poetry. Oh, and for Bards as well.  

If you've read any of Susan Price's books before then you may be familiar with her short stories or the Sterkarms, and perhaps expecting something rather dark, featuring rough and ready reivers, disembodied heads telling stories, invitations being issued from graves and the like. This isn't like any of those books, but if you approach it with an open mind, free of pre-formed expectations, then you'll find it a real joy, full of humour and ready with a knowing wink which includes you in the joke. It's a lovely, light-hearted bit of fun (okay so there are a few dismembered horses and quite a few flame-grilled knights, but it doesn't dwell too gorily on them - and this IS after all a dragon book) which will keep you turning the pages to discover whether or not it will all end in tears. Or quite possibly, flames ...