Dragon Tamer
by Kathleen Scott, fantasy (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-670-1


In Kathleen Scott's Dragon Tamer, there are dragons living in a hatchery on the island of Cambry. Not only then, there are humans who act as shepherds of sorts to these dragons, ensuring that these creatures are fat, happy, and well. Unfortunately, an outbreak of blight is killing these dragons at the moment. Our hero, the hatchery director Darion Archer, realizes that he has no way of saving his dragons unless he requests for aid from the International Field Marshall.

Our heroine Serrah Gayle is sent to the rescue. The thing is, I am to believe that the IFM will send an agent to a mission of utmost priority... without telling her the nature of her mission. If Darion is the one who doesn't inform the IFM the nature of his problems, then I still have problems believing that the IFM will answer his request.

At any rate, Serrah ends up on Cambry where she has to battle her fear of dragons and Darion's prejudice about women in general. Believe it or not, he's annoyed that Serrah isn't "loving and nurturing" but "a badge with boobs and an attitude". Does he expect a "loving and nurturing" woman to solve his problems? And then he's annoyed that the IFM sends a female over because clearly they are underestimating the severity of his problem. I can see why the poor dragons are dying if they have this boob in charge of the hatchery.

He spared a glance at her profile as she tapped away on her handheld. How could such a beautiful woman be so damn cold and unfeeling? They didn't program that into their agents, did they? Sure Tavil had changed when he'd joined the IFM, but Darion had always figured the training had only amplified the quiet inner strength that was inherent in his brother's personality.

The "damn cold and unfeeling" thing Serrah has been doing so far is her asking questions about the problem he is having. Which, if you ask me, is what an agent on the case should be doing all along. I suppose the man is expecting Serrah to cry or faint in order to show her "warm feelings" or something. How nice that he also allows his brother to be "cold and unfeeling" while a woman on the other hand isn't afforded the same standards. I think Darion has some serious mommy issues.

Serrah then points out the fact that their vehicle begin to act like it's about to die out on them and Darion goes off to himself, oh no, she is such a city gal, ugh. And on and on until I'm convinced that this man either has no sense of priorities (the dragons are dying, but oh no, girls have cooties so let's drive the girl away) or he had been picked on by girls in the playground when he was a kid.

And when Serrah finally wins him over as a capable agent, my head hits the desk.

An uneasy pang beat low in his heart. Serrah Gayle may be one tough agent, but she looked much too delicate and feminine to hold her own against one of the drug runners that frequented the island.

Is it too much for him to specifically ask for a male agent in the first place and spare me the trouble of following this mental headcase go on and on about his issues with women?

The dragons are really cute in this story and the plot of someone trying to kill off the dragons is actually pretty decent, but the author, in her attempt to generate some unnecessary internal conflict between Darion and Serrah, ends up making Darion come off like a potential bunny-boiling twit. This one won't be so bad if we redo the whole thing with a different hero altogether.

Rating: 66


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