The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen
Source : NetGalley : Thank you to the publisher Atthis Arts
TL;DR : Very cute, and though I think it is being marked as Adult online this reads with a very middle grade tone.
- The story here is very cute, Our not-quite-a-knight Violet and the Dragon of Ynys go on an adventure with one other individual to find a missing person. I thought it was very sweet, and it certainly felt genuine. Even in the short amount of page we had the characters moved to different and diverse locations, giving the story an actual feel of travel. Towards the end, I also really liked the idea of the spider webs that is introduced (I always enjoy love for spiders in books).
- I also appreciated the rep here as someone who considers herself on the ace spectrum. I do think this fell a little bit into the stereotype of the isolated and standoff-ish Ace/Aro individual though definitely not the extreme level of some tales. I have my days where I am those things, but I’m largely a friendly (if introverted) person. So seeing this repeated over and over in the very few stories with this rep, is a bit on the disappointing side. Yet, saying that, I know we aren’t a monolith so I can’t fault the book for that – I just want to make sure to mention it for those like myself looking for something different.
- I can’t speak to the trans-rep, but the notes do indicate that the book has been edited and touched up to make that rep stronger and better for the community at large. It came across as well meaning to my knowledge, but again – I’m not an expert at all.
- All that to say, I did have a few other qualms.
- So this started off really strong with a very cute fairy tale tone to it. It lost me quickly however because there felt like there was a bit of referencing to other stories in the same world. I dropped out of total immersion because I was wondering – is this another story, does this character tie in somewhere else? It felt very much like a novella or short story meant to give backstory to side characters in another larger tale.
- I also had a hard time with the writing once I got tripped up so early. I’ve seen this shelved as Adult online in several spaces and I’d heartily argue that this reads very much like a middle grade novel. Especially after reading the author’s note, in which she talked about writing this when younger, this reads just like that. I would give this to a middle school or young YA student to read (I do not recall where on NetGalley this sits, I think I got it from the general Fantasy section and not a specific age bracket).
So a cute story, with simple prose and plenty of representation. I’d recommend this to much younger readers, as I mentioned or even those just starting in fantasy at that age. It’d be a great little introduction with the well done travel elements.