The sad news is that I’m still waiting on In the Labyrinth of Drakes to get to the library. It’s on order, and I’m not sure when it will be in.
The good news, though, is that I recently got my dragon fix – in a very, very good way. A good friend lent me Tooth and Claw a while back, and I decided to give it a read before summer reading kicks in on June 1. My friend gave me no details about the book, and I hadn’t read the back cover, so when I picked it up I got a pleasant surprise.
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton isn’t just about dragons in the way that other fantasy books are about dragons. No, all the characters ARE dragons. Every single one. It has this total 19th century England feel to it, with parsons, lords, ladies, and hierarchies. But they’re all dragons. It’s mentioned that they live in the same world as the Yarge (who seem very human), but we never actually meet any of them.
Dragons worry about who they’ll marry, dragons die in child birth, dragons are cheated out of inheritances then take other dragons to court, dragons have dowries, dragons seek to rise in society. Not what I was expecting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tooth and Claw had a great cast of characters, centered around a 5 siblings, their spouses, children, love interests, and friends. It brings up great questions about dragon rights, religion, sexism, and the betterment of dragon-kind at the expense of individual dragons.
I was incredibly impressed that Walton could write dragon-only characters, but I didn’t feel like I was reading a children’s book – because I wasn’t. It was complex, well-written, and the pacing was spot on.
If you like Pride and Prejudice or dragons or something new and fun – read Tooth and Claw. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.