My Rating: 4/5
Author: Lori Dillon
Title: Fire of the Dragon (Bestiary Series, Volume 1)
Genre: Paranormal/Historical Romance
Being sent back in time to the Middle Ages wouldn’t be so bad if the knight in shining armor who comes to your rescue didn’t swoop down in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. Unfortunately for Jill Donahue, that’s just the way things have been going in her life lately. A Maiden Wrenched back in time through the magical power of an old dragon tapestry found in a vintage clothing store, Jill Donahue lands in an ancient medieval town where the villagers decide to sacrifice her to the local dragon. As if the threat of being eaten alive by a giant flying lizard isn’t bad enough, she learns there’s a curse surrounding the tapestry and she has to break it in order to get back to her time. But she isn’t the only one whose fate is tied to the ancient weaving… A Dragon Baelin of Gosforth is a valiant knight who has been cursed by a vindictive witch to live as a dragon for eleven months out of each year. Now he has thirty days to break the curse or he turns back into a fire-breathing beast and, as much as he hates to admit it, he needs Jill’s help to do it. And A Curse Forced to face many challenges along the way—from the harsh world they travel through to the fiery passion they both try to deny—each is determined to break the curse so the other can get their happily-ever-after. And it just might work, if Jill can manage to overlook the fire-breathing, bat-winged remnants of Baelin’s dragon half long enough to see the man beneath the beast and get the job done.
Fire of the Dragon is a story of a modern woman thrust back in time to help a dragon/man break a curse. While shopping for her niece’s birthday, Jill comes upon a weird tapestry that takes her back to 13th century England. Here, the villagers sacrifice her to a dragon – a yearly tradition in that village. When the dragon takes her back to its lair, Jill learns that the dragon is not all what he seems. Cursed to live as a dragon for 11 months out of the year, Baelin (the dragon) becomes human for one month – whereupon he tried to break the curse. To break the evil curse, a maiden must complete three challenges. With normal dangers of medieval life, adding some dragons and evil witches does not make it any safer. Jill must help Baelin if she is ever to get home again.
The story is written in third person mostly following Jill and Baelin. Jill, a modern girl, is never short on speaking her mind. Doing so in the 13th century is not the wisest thing. Jill is a strong character. She has her flaws but she has bravery and good heart. At times I did get tired of her 21st century sayings. I mean, she knows she’s in medieval England; wouldn’t you try to tone down your 21st slang/sayings a little bit to be understandable? Baelin is a knight that was cursed by the Dark Witch. He has been trying for over 200 years to break the curse, but no maiden has gotten close until now. Bound by his knightly honor and virtues, he tries to help Jill break the curse but doing so is not easy for the medieval knight. Baelin, in all sense, is a good man. One thing I don’t get is how – being able to hide his weird dragon features while human – did no one notice the fork tongue?
The plot follows the couple as they embark to break the curse. The first challenge was interesting and one that I did not hear of before. There was a long break between the first and the second challenge. During that break, interesting things happen – such as meeting a dragon slayer along the way. As I was getting closer to the end and still had not reached the second challenge, I was a little worried that this would be broken up into another book. Do not fear readers! Jill and Baelin’s story is all wrapped up in this book. The next book seems to be about another character from this story. I do wish there was an epilogue in this book just to tie up some loose ends (Ha! A tapestry pun!) – such as, how the other characters handled the ending results of this story.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. If you like medieval England, dragons, and time travel, then you should give this book a try.