Wings Of Change
by Bianca D'Arc, fantasy (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-669-8


Let me try to get this straight. In Bianca D'Arc's Wings Of Change, there are knights and there are dragons. Both serve the King Roland. A dragon and a knight are partnered together, although not in that way as you may think. A dragon cannot be mated with its destined la-la-la mate unless the knight partner is married first. Is that right? Don't ask me why the knight has to be married first though. It's never explained here.

Our heroine is Lucia de Alagarithia, "last of my line, lately of the Jinn", whatever Jinn is. Lucia is the epitome of everything annoying about the Mary Sue heroine. She acts like a helpless little girl prone to tears and she has no impetus in life other than to make other people happy. When she speaks, it is always in a whisper, in a manner close to tears, or in a hesitant manner. Ugh.

She is a barmaid in a tavern where our dragon Reynor has retreated to in order to nurse his wounds. Reynor loves Linea but for some reason he'd rather die than to get help. Lucia is special because she can hear dragons so at the verge of hysterical tears she runs to the castle to tell Linea that she has done her best to heal Reynor but Reynor is about to die so oh, where are the Carebears? Someone needs a healthy dose of belly laser beam of love ASAP! On her way to seeing Linea and Rey's knight partner Kaden, she bumps into Marcus, our hero.

After Lucia, Marcus, Linea, and our super-healer Queen rush off to save Rey, Lucia starts crying because she's channeling Counselor Troi on crack after she asks Marcus how Rey got injured.

"May I ask..." Lucia's words were a hesitant whisper. "How did it happen?"

"It was stupid, really." Marcus's hands tightened on her waist, fingers digging into her hips before he seemed to realize what he was doing and released her. "Have you heard about the fighting on the border?" When she nodded, he continued, "We were involved in a skirmish the last time out. Sometimes with these kinds of engagements, you get caught low, within range of ground weapons. It happens." He shrugged. "I saw Rey dodge an arrow. He lost altitude and came within sword distance of a group of cavalry. In such instances, the knight can engage with his own weapons, which Kaden did - and very well too - until one got past his guard and a wild swing took a chunk out of Reynor's wing, down near the joint. It's one of the few places not well protected by scale - it needs to be flexible, you see. A freak of luck for the adversary, though Rey's blast of flame took care of him and his horse soon enough. Still, Rey barely stayed aloft and we had to practically tow him back here. The queen saw to him that night, but the kind of healing he needs is tricky. It's not simply a matter of sewing together something that was torn. A wedge of his wing was actually cut out."

Wait a minute, so Marcus knows that Rey is injured. So does Kaden. And no one is looking for Rey? He's just hiding in the tavern downtown! Hello?

But it gets better.

Tears flowed down Lucia's face as she heard the tale, watching the beautiful young queen try to banish the raging infection. Turning in Marcus's loose embrace, Lucia sobbed against the man's chest. She knew she was overreacting, but she couldn't help herself. Rey was so special. He was such a good and kind dragon. She couldn't imagine him crippled for life. It was too painful to contemplate.

Ms D'Arc, you have to be kidding me.

Because Lucia is a Special Carebear with Lots of Love For Everyone, she is soon the very special Mate for both Kaden and Marcus since they all tell her that she completes them and what not. I have nothing more to say other than I'm just happy I did not die of sugar shock at the end of this very special edition of Little Poor Special Lucia Does The Men Who Love Her, Adore Her, Want Her, and Call Her Special. Because Kaden is now married, Linea and Rey can get officially mated too and now everyone is one big Full House family, only this time Rebecca is sleeping with both Uncle Jesse and Danny Tanner and the horrible kids all have scales instead of pigtails.

This story also feels horribly confusing with its constant references to characters and events that have taken place prior to the story, as if it is a non-standalone story that is part of some ongoing series. Looking at the author's backlist with Samhain Publishing, most of them featuring horny dragons, I suspect that this is indeed the case.

This one is best left for her fans as well as readers who adore badly-written Little Match Girl Who Doesn't Die But Realizes How Special She Is And Finds Love Even As She Loves Everybody fantasies. Everyone else, don't say I didn't warn you.

Rating: 38


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