|Dragon's Curse on Amazon.com|
I thoroughly enjoyed Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar vol. I) by H.L. Burke. I kind of accidentally stumbled upon this book when I was searching for other bloggers with similar interests. As I've said before, finding a good, talented, upcoming author is a bit like mining. You get a lot of dirt and junk, but occasionally you find a real gem. H.L. Burke is one of these rare gems, and I would give Dragon's Curse a solid 3.5/5 rating. (Not that this book is bad, I just have extremely high standards to give a 4 or 5).
If you enjoy fantasy novels and tales about magic, dragons, and a bit of romance, this is a good book for you. The main protagonist, Shannon, is an adorable and stubborn scholar whose first assignment out of the academy (which is basically college) is to treat a neighboring king's poisoned dragon wounds. Although slightly nervous, Shannon is confident in her ability as a healer and is determined to prove her worth to her mentor at the Academy, a man named Martin. Shannon quickly discovers that all is not well in the kingdom of Regone and finds herself allied with a dragon to overcome some unexpected challenges, including an over-zealous would be suitor and an evil witch.
I personally enjoyed the strong fantasy plot of this novel. While not exactly a brand new story, Dragon's Curse is told in a fun and inventive way. I liked that Shannon is strong willed and mostly unafraid from the very beginning. Her intelligence and natural curiosity are her main strengths and not merely personality quirks. I found the dialogue to be overall fairly good, although some of the conversations between characters felt almost too tongue-in-cheek or trite at times and I was unsure if what I was reading was supposed to be serious or not.
I definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes epic fantasy and dragons. It is also a good book for fans of romance novels, although romance is not the main theme of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Dragon's Debt, and the third book, which is set for release later this year.