Blow Me Down

A Girl's Guide to Vampires

Improper English

The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires

Light My Fire

Noble Intentions
  Zen and the Art of Vampires

Love in the Time of Dragons
by Katie MacAlister
(Signet, $7.99, PG13) ISBN 978-0-451-22971-7
Love in the Time of Dragons is an intense, twisted love story that poses a lot of questions. There are few answers in this book, however, and unless you’re committed to reading MacAlister’s Dragons series, you might finish these pages feeling frustrated.

Tully Sullivan is our intrepid heroine, and she wakes up after a five-week-long sleep in the opening pages of the story thinking that she’s a pretty normal mom. When she wakes from her strange zonked-out state, she’s in a house with strangers who claim to be dragons, and who also claim to know her as Ysolde, a dragon. Tully’s completely freaked out by the wacky tales that her “new” friends are telling her, but she can’t help but feel a slight recognition with some of them. They explain that she’s mated to the dread wyvern of the Light Dragons, a pretty bad sort named Baltic. While Ysolde has been dead for many years, Baltic has wreaked havoc and murdered other dragons in a bloodthirsty quest for power.

Tully/Ysolde’s head is spinning, but her new friends bring her son Brom to her, which helps her feel more secure and also bring her to a house that she’s lived at in the past. Being at the old house triggers some of Ysolde’s memories and shockingly, Ysolde also finds Baltic there. Baltic is unlike the terrifying dragon that Ysolde expects. Yes, he’s arrogant and aggressive but he’s also deeply emotional and proud. Ysolde quickly figures out that Baltic can’t be responsible for the crimes he’s been accused of. 

Ysolde only has some of her memories, so trying to defend Baltic and herself from the other Dragons is nearly impossible when she can’t answer their questions. Ysolde is also trying to find out what has happened between her and Baltic, and what will happen now as Tully is married to a man named Gareth. Ysolde is also trying to find out why her memory has been wiped clean, and by whom. So pretty much everything is a big mystery to her throughout the story, and also to the reader as we only hear Ysolde’s point of view.

Love in the Time of Dragons has some pros and cons. The list seems fairly even to me, so I will leave it up to your discretion whether or not to pick up your own copy.

Ysolde is a pretty great character. She’s funny, sharp-tongued and has the laser-eyed Mom look down pat. She manages to get through the very hairy situations that MacAlister throws at her with a minimum of fuss. Baltic is also a very well written character. He’s sexy, aggressive and proud. This is tempered by his obvious, deep and lasting love for Ysolde both in the past and now. Despite his impatience to have her back as his mate, he’s willing to help Ysolde sort through the pieces of her life to figure out what to do now. Throughout the book, both the background characters and the main characters keep the story running quickly, and the dialogue is acerbic, and witty.  

On the downside, there is a whole lot going on in the story. There are a lot of characters, and a lot of weirdly layered backstory that is not explained very well. I was very frustrated trying to understand what exactly was going on and how everything fit together. There is also the issue of a lot of loose ends left at the end of the book. I don’t mind that the book is set up as part of a series, but when the story can’t stand very well on its own it can seem like a waste of time. 

--Amy Wroblewsky 

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