Sunday, February 4, 2018

ARC Review: Cursed with Claws by Asta Idonea

Cursed with Claws

A dragon dwells atop the mountain that overlooks Ode’s village. Every year the surrounding villages gather to make an offering to keep the beast at bay: chests of gold and a human sacrifice. 

When the wise men choose his beloved sister, Malle, as the latest sacrifice, Ode immediately offers to take her place. But instead of a dragon on the mountain ledge, he meets a mysterious young man.

Todd's rating:

I love a good dragon story and this novella started out very strong.

The premise was that of a sorceress being terribly wronged by a selfish nobleman, who was then cursed to live six days as a dragon and one day as a man. Pretty much forever. Rinse and repeat.

And once a year, the villages surrounding the mountain where the dragon lived had to provide chests of gold and a sacrificial virgin as tribute, to keep the dragon at bay.

However, for the past 99 years, the sacrifices had never gone willingly -- until this year. I mean, who's stupid enough to *want* to be eaten by a dragon, am I right?

When Ode's beloved, little sister was chosen as tribute, mostly due to her inability to speak, he immediately stepped up to take her place.

But instead of an evil dragon living in the mountain top caves, Ode found himself in the company of a handsome, seemingly-kind, young man named Elric.

Then Ode was once again surprised when Elric turned into the dragon the next morning and, after a bit of fast talking, the dragon did not eat him.

I loved these parts of the book, where Ode was never more than a hair's-breadth away from being flame roasted and eaten, while trying to keep the dragon at bay. Then spending one more day getting to know Elric better, before the dragon made its next six day appearance.

Although this is *not* a sexy read, it had plenty of feels, for me at least, and I did enjoy seeing their romance form and start to take shape.

The story line was very strong until around seventy-five percent in, then it took a bit of a "meh" turn and the event that finally broke Elric's cure turned out to be a bit anti-climactic, in my opinion.

I'd still rate the book at around 3.5 stars, because I loved the setup and the majority of the story.

My ARC copy of the story was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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