Bishop Nigel smiled at me. ‘Holy water doesn’t harm vampires. Which is just as well, as it would make it impossible to baptise them.’
When I was asked by a dragon to give him the last rites, I never dreamed it would lead to negotiating with his cannibalistic family or running from snail sharks. Life as the priest of a small English village is quite tame in comparison. At least I have Morey, a gryphon with sarcasm management issues, to help me. And if all else fails, there’s always red wine and single malt whisky.
As if my life weren’t complicated enough, a darkly beautiful dragon named Raven keeps appearing where I least expect him, I’ve met a handsome police inspector who loves science fiction as much as I do, and my younger brother is getting into trouble for trying to pick up vampires. That’s what happens when you’re dealing with an incredible and dangerous parallel world full of mythical creatures. And I have to learn to navigate it all without losing myself, or my brother…
AN EDITOR'S PICK
Very fun, very different take on the Urban Fantasy genre. I loved the mythology Chrys Cymri developed for dragons, gryphons, snail sharks, and more. I really enjoyed the main character Penny, a priest, who is anything but stereotypical (although I sense she’s a great deal like the author herself who is also a priest). Penny’s drinking and worrying and getting annoyed with people made her role as a woman of the cloth much more relatable. Although sometimes it went a little too deep into her priestly duties–I just wanted to get back to the fantasy realm!–I also really appreciated the exploration of this side of the character’s life. Every moment spent in the fantasy realm was one I enjoyed immensely and had Penny been fully appointed to her new role as Minister of Incursions (rather than only part-time), this book could very well have been transformed into a 5-star read for me.
Other than wanting to see more time in the fantasy realm with a more focused, linear plot, I had two issues that have led me to hold back a star. One is that while I’m plenty nerdy, I’m not actually part of popular nerd culture. There were so many Doctor Who and Buffy references that I just felt lost at times. Sure I know about the shows and have seen like an episode of each, but I kind of felt like I had to be a super fan of the shows to get the many references. My other issue was with Penny’s attraction to Raven. I could feel it if I chose to ignore the fact that Raven was a dragon, but I just couldn’t swoon for a non-humanoid love interest. It felt icky to me as much as I liked both characters.
All in all, a great, refreshing take on the fantasy genre with a unique and memorable protagonist and a kick-butt cast of supporting characters. I definitely recommend it!