Review: Dragonbane

Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames.”

I became hooked on Sherrilyn Kenyon when I first read Acheron and then followed it up with the story about his brother Styxx. Those were truly well spun stories that had me glued to the pages! Since then I have read all the stories in this series so naturally I looked forward to reading this book when it was released. Sadly, I have to say this one fails to impress and only gets a 2 star rating from me. I know she has die-hard fans that will rave about this book but I’m sorry…I expect more from this writer.

Why did I rate this one so low? Let me explain. There’s something I see happening with writers like Ms. Kenyon; Christine Feehan has done this as well. They get to a point in a series and inevitably they decide to write a story that includes the majority of the characters they have written about previously. A compilation piece if you will. This just simply isn’t always a good idea. Why? Because you have to have a story so well-crafted that it really draws the readers in without losing them. You have to bank on the fact that the reader is familiar with all the characters you are writing about, or…fill them in, or once again…you lose them, they lose interest and….oh look something shiny!

I think this story really goes awry because it’s simply not strong enough to stand on its own. All of Ms. Kenyon’s other stories that I’ve read (I’m sure someone can point out some that don’t fit) I’ve been able to read as a stand-alone story. This one seemed to ping-pong between characters and events. Yes, it did try to concentrate on Max, his mate, and his brother….but it bounced around too much for me. I found this really hard to follow while reading it and honestly….boring while listening to it via Audible which normally is not the case. Usually Sanctuary is an interesting place to be and the repartee between characters is fun for me. Don’t get me wrong, there was some witty dialogue thrown in…it just felt, off.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that I simply didn’t find the main characters in this story, or the supporting ones…to be all that compelling, I really didn’t care about them at all and I believe that’s because Ms. Kenyon didn’t begin the book with all the background the reader would need to become invested with these characters. It would have been far more interesting if we as readers had been brought into the story when Maxis and Illarion were actually taken into custody by Dagon and then experienced all the subsequent events that led up to his actual conviction and meeting with Seraphina. This would have given the reader a reason to feel invested with these characters but we didn’t get that except in flashbacks that felt out of place. It felt to me as though she was using their “dragonettes” (sounds like a chorus line) to draw Max and Seraphina together, but really their draw is within their history. As a reader, I just didn’t feel it.

If she had given all their back story up front and then continued once Seraphina awoke from the curse she could have avoided a ton of flashbacks that confuse the reader (and cause whiplash) and had a story with a much better flow to it. Instead the approach she used felt to me as though the story of Max, his brother, and his estranged wife was used as a vehicle to throw everyone else in the mix, shake it up and hope something came out in the wash as a story, but their story simply wasn’t strong enough on its own to make me care about it and the outer story was just basically regular chaos familiar to all of these characters, not really anything special.
I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, I simply can’t.

Audible Notes

Yes, I listened to this book as well. I find doing so often gives me new insights and perspectives to the story as a whole.

Holter Graham narrates this story for Audible; usually I really enjoy this narrator. This time he did an overall good job with the story but there were times when the voices he did for the women were really whiney and irritating to listen to and there didn’t seem to really be a valid reason for it within the story either. I understand it’s not easy to voice as many characters as he was required to so perhaps he simply was trying to make them unique so the listener could tell who was speaking but still….it was nails on a chalkboard for me and it didn’t help with the fact that I already wasn’t impressed with this story.

I also had an issue with this recording stuttering, rewinding a few seconds, stopping and then repeating. It would do this about three times each time before the recording would continue again. I expect better quality and have usually received better quality from the producers of Ms. Kenyon’s stories. Not sure what went wrong this time but it certainly didn’t help with my enjoyment.

View all my reviews


About Anita Dugan-Moore

This blog gives me the opportunity to talk about the book covers I create for some wonderful authors and share my thoughts on movies and books that I love. Who knows...I may even share some of my own writing on here...or whatever else happens to pop into my mind.
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