by Barbara Hambly

Reviewed by Ruby

Jenny is a northern witch splitting her time between her family and her training when Gareth showed up looking for John Aversin, the famed Dragonsbane, slayer of dragons. It turns out that she is John’s lover and mother to his two sons and neither one of them are all that interested in John slaying another dragon, since he almost died after the first one. Unfortunately Gareth doesn’t take no for an answer and convinces John to accompany him south and, in turn, John persuades Jenny to come too.

Unfortunately the three of them walk into the proverbial hornet’s nest as it turns out that the new young Queen Zyrene is really the power behind the crown and not the ailing old king. And she has no intention of anyone killing the dragon unless it fits into her plans. And her plans certainly don’t involve a northern barbarian and witch. Now the three must step carefully because there are spies everywhere if they plan on saving the kingdom that no one seems to want to be saved.

As a whole, I didn’t really enjoy this book. There was nothing really wrong with it; it was just kind of dull and boring. It took a long while to get going and even then it was a bit too slow paced for me. It also lacked a subtly that I enjoy in books.

As I was reading the book it seemed like it was the second in a series because it talks about Jenny’s old instructor that died years ago and about John killing the first dragon like the readers knew what was going on. But as far as I can tell there was no book before this one, so it seems a bit odd. At least it wasn’t annoying flashbacks but it did feel weird. The only other praise I have for this book was that at least it wasn’t the cliché about a witch taking over the kingdom (or at least gain massive amounts of political power) and using it to hunt down the rest of the magic users. That has been used in far too many books. The characters themselves did seem a bit on the cliché side, but there was nothing really wrong with them.

At least I was able to finish reading it.

Grade: C