Genre: science fantasy
Queer Representation: cis lesbian
You ever do that thing where one of your favorite authors releases a new book, so you can’t wait to read it…and then you read it right after a major surgery and have no memory of reading it?
I 100% did that with this book.
I just picked it up, excited that it was next in my TBR pile, just to find a bunch of dog-eared pages–which is how I denote where I want to pull quotes from. There are at least ten, which means I adored this book (no big surprise there) but wow can I not remember it. Hence, this review comes from having now read the book twice, although it seems the first time I was heavily drugged. You’ve been warned.
Paladin Snillek is half dragon, half human (but not with a cute mix of features. More…ferocious mix). She’s been raised off planet and gotten pretty good at fighting, which she enjoys.
Then oops, her mom the queen dies, and Snillek is the only heir.
Now she has to go be a princess to a planet she’s never visited, and to people who assume she’s going to be this cute little ringlet curled ruler with maybe just some patches of eczema. But Snillek is just really bad at wearing dresses (her muscles and tail don’t fit) and being polite and patient. Because she loves her father she tries…and succeeds long enough that the people around her think they have her pretty figured out.
Then she loses her temper, dragons-up, and flies from the castle. This should have ended her reign but the courtiers, having no concept of dragons, instead assume that a dragon has captured their princess.
What’s left to do but put back on all her old clothes, march to the palace, and offer her paladin services to slay the dragon (who is also Snillek) and save the princess (also Snillek).
It’s all very silly and hilarious and exactly the COVID read we all need. There’s some wlw action in there in the form of a scientist who wants to get a look at Tarribotia’s famed dragons, and passes herself off as a guide. She then of course ends up ‘guiding’ Snillek, and shenanigans ensue.
The university wouldn’t fund her research, and going through old drone archives wasn’t going to turn up anything new. No research, no published articles, no change in her academic standing, which then translated into being on the bottom of the pile for funding. It was a vicious cycle, and her mentor had long ago advised her to find a different area of study.
But…dragons. Tarribotia had multiple species of dragons about which scientists knew little to nothing. How could academia keep ignoring such an important part of the wild ecosystem? On a planet with dragons? She couldn’t just abandon them. Instead, she’d decided to take matters into her own hands. While no one went out into the wilds alone–no comm channels meant no one was coming if something happened–Gruyère felt that a scientist and a security-minded person could mange in a team of two.
That had been her thought, at least. Fine some hardened soul looking for a guide out into the badlands and convince them she was that guide. She didn’t think finding someone would be this difficult.
Unti she walked in.
Long, Tall, and Armored was a broody sort. She snagged a pint from the bar, commandeered a corner table, and sipped her beer through a straw rather than take her helmet off.
This book is +10 for dragons in dresses, court hijinks, and ridiculousness. It’s also a novella so just go buy it. You deserve it.
P.S. It has science nerd sex scenes:
Just having that big hand cupping her made her whine and twitch, Then Snillek fastened onto her nipple, sharp teeth scraping softly, and Gruyère thought she might come apart down to the amino acid level.
P.P.S. There are cheese jokes