Official Review: A Dragon’s Flame

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esp1975
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Official Review: A Dragon’s Flame

Post by esp1975 » 09 Oct 2019, 12:35

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Dragon’s Flame" by Mercedese Jeffries.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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In A Dragon’s Flame, Mercedese Jeffries takes a new look at the age-old tradition of dragons kidnapping princesses. In this world, there are rules by which the dragons are bound when it comes to their princesses, and dragon society upholds those rules rigorously. So what happens when a dragon falls in love with his princess? And what happens when a child born of that union realizes she cannot live safely among humans, but she also does not fit in among dragons?

My favorite part of the book was the dragon society created by Jeffries, with all of its rules. The addition of fixations, quirks that each dragon has that they must follow or go crazy, allows her dragons to both fit in with classic dragon mythos and still be unique.

A Dragon’s Flame is a pretty classic coming of age story; Al’zhah is a half-human, half-dragon trying to figure out where she fits in the world and find those who can love and appreciate her for who she is, not fear or despise her for what she is. The main characters are likable. There is some character growth during the book, especially among secondary characters. Al’zhah does not have as much growth as I would have liked to have seen, but it is there, and the ending is satisfying.

Even with a fairly standard kind of plot, A Dragon’s Flame is not your standard young adult fantasy. It is a young adult, erotic fantasy. I struggled with the idea of this “genre” even being a thing. Most people would never classify young adult books and erotica together. The description I read of the book before choosing to read it made it very clear there would be erotic elements in this book. I was honestly not expecting the young adult storyline.

I started reading romance novels in high school as did many girls I knew. With the exception of some of the erotic moments not being between people who were destined to be together, there was nothing more risque in Jeffries’s novel than you would find in a romance novel. In fact, it was like the erotic scenes were written with young adult (female) readers in mind. There were no vulgar words used. The scenes were actually pretty tame compared to some romance novels, and there were only four scenes in the book, with no even vaguely erotic content outside of those scenes. Do not get me wrong, a movie version of this book as written would get an R rating, but it would be a mainstream movie, not pornography. In fact, as I was trying to gather my thoughts about the book, one of the first ones I had was that if someone had picked up this book for the erotic elements, they probably would have been disappointed. But if I think of the book as being aimed at 17 or 18 year-old young women, it all makes more sense.

The thing that I liked least about this book was Jeffries’s attempt to play with point of view and verb tense. When we are in Al’zhah’s point of view, we are in first person, present tense. But we often switch to other characters’ points of view, at which point we switch to third person, past tense. Present tense verb structure is difficult to pull off when the entire book is written that way. When the book goes back and forth between present and past tense (and not just for flashbacks), it can be really disruptive to the reader. I believe it was also disruptive to the writer, as the most common mistakes in the book were verb tense issues.

I struggled with rating this book. My general thought is, if I can recommend the book, I will give it three stars. If I cannot recommend the book, I will give it two stars. The verb tense issues really bothered me, and it was light on character development for a coming of age story. Those combined with the odd genre had me seriously considering two stars, but in the end, I rate A Dragon’s Flame by Mercedese Jeffries three out of four stars.

The new take on the dragon/princess relationship was wonderful. The dragon society with their rules and the history of the world that gets revealed were truly great fantasy elements. And I could honestly recommend this book to young women in their late teens and early twenties who are looking for a bit of spice in their fantasy coming of age novel.

******
A Dragon’s Flame
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Post by Miller56 » 11 Oct 2019, 11:15

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an interesting take on fitting in and finding yourself. Based on your review, and having a child in the late teens, I think this book would be something that age group would enjoy. I am not sure this is something I really desire to read.

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Post by esp1975 » 11 Oct 2019, 13:34

@Miller56 - Some young adult fiction really transcends age groups and works well for adults. I would not say this book is one of those. So yeah, probably not right for you, but might be right for your older teen or their friends.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 11 Oct 2019, 15:45

Given that I aged out of the group I rhink this may be aimed at, I don't know that I would read it now that I know about the erotic content.
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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Oct 2019, 17:40

I love the idea of dragon rules! Plus, a half dragon, half human? I'd love to see how it all works out. It's too bad about the errors, but it still sounds fun.
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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 11 Oct 2019, 18:01

The dragon culture sounds fantastic! Too bad the verb tense is so complicated. I think I would have a hard time with all the switching back and forth too. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by MrunalT » 11 Oct 2019, 22:51

Not sure this genre fascinated me. Not a big fan of drain stories. Your review is nice.

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Post by spluficvictory » 12 Oct 2019, 04:53

This genre is fascinating and I'm intrigued on the new take on dragon/princess relationship. I have read about a half-dragon dual shifter but not this. This is something I would like to read sometime. The cover is captivating too. Smashing review by the way.
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Post by 1MomentOfTruth » 12 Oct 2019, 14:48

Would you say that the storyline in A Dragon's Flame follows more of a "Harlequin Romance" storyline or was there more thought put into this story? Was it very predictable?

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Post by InStoree » 14 Oct 2019, 05:24

Dragons are one of my favorites creatures, and I rarely hesitate to read anything which includes them. Although at this moment, I'm struggling with the idea of dragon-human union, I am curious to see how the author presented this concept. I enjoyed reading your fluid review. Thank you!
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Post by Aniza Butt » 14 Oct 2019, 05:43

I do love fantasy and fairytale stuff but not erotica. Would pass this one but am glad you enjoyed reading it. :tiphat:
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Post by rumik » 15 Oct 2019, 08:53

I don't mean this in a bad way, but this book sounds really funny for some reason. Just the notion of there being a dragon society and all these quirky rules and everything. It's making me wonder if the dragons shape-shifted into humans or something for the erotic scenes :shock: But thanks for the detailed review as always!

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Post by esp1975 » 15 Oct 2019, 11:19

@Nisha Ward - There isn't a lot of erotic content, but it is enough that if you don't like that, you wouldn't really like the book.

@kandscreeley - Civilized dragons must have rules. :)

@Everydayadventure15 - Unlike a lot of errors, verb tense problems are actually distracting

@MrunalT - If you don't like dragon stories, this is most definitely not the book for you

@spluficvictory - The cover is really well done, which is surprisingly important, even with ebook only books.

@1MomentOfTruth - In some sense yes, this is Harlequin romance like in that the romance is fairly simple. At the same time, there were some twists put in that made it unique. For the record, Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw is exactly a standard Harlequin romance plot, and yet having dragons as it's main characters makes it an incredibly fun book to read.

@InStoree - Shapeshifting. I should be clear, this book is light erotica. It does not contain anything resembling bestiality.

@Aniza Butt - Doesn't sound like this book is for you, but that's the point of reviews, right? Thanks for taking the time to comment.

@rumik - Yes. Shapeshifting. And I get the humor in the description of the book and the story. You should have seen me trying to talk it out with my writing group, as I tried to wrap my head around writing the review. :p

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Post by Vickietoyin » 16 Oct 2019, 03:47

According to this review this is the type of book I want to read
Dragons are one of my favorite, and I will also like to know if the dragons shifted shape dury the erotic scense.
Thanks for the review.

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Post by spluficvictory » 16 Oct 2019, 06:48

rumik wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 08:53
I don't mean this in a bad way, but this book sounds really funny for some reason. Just the notion of there being a dragon society and all these quirky rules and everything. It's making me wonder if the dragons shape-shifted into humans or something for the erotic scenes :shock: But thanks for the detailed review as always!
I think I am getting the picture. Quite funny indeed :D
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