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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Dragonmeat by Angela Boord 2023 SFINCs Book Review


SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner
SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner

This review is part of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS). SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”. This is a yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.).


To see more information on my team Behind the Musings check out this post!

 
Dragonmeat by Angela Boord book cover
Dragonmeat by Angela Boord
 

Blurb for Dragonmeat


Dragonmeat is poison. But what if you’re starving?


Peri will do anything to keep her chronically ill father alive in their starving city. Using her now useless scholarly talents to research thievery, she’s become a highly successful food thief—small, ordinary—invisible. In Medeas, gripped in the iron fist of its mad governor, ravaged by dragons, hiding is a way of life.


Then her stealing triggers a riot, and a mysterious stranger steps in to save her. Frost has food and he’s willing to share his secret...but talking to him might be the most dangerous thing Peri’s ever done. How can she find the courage to leave her safe shadows and take a stand when her father’s life hangs in the balance?


Dragonmeat is a fast-paced novella set in award-winning author Angela Boord’s Eterean Empire universe--a lush, dangerous world of empire and resistance inspired by Rome and Renaissance Italy.

 

Book Review for Dragonmeat


Peri and her father are starving. Once a respected scholar, with her father’s illness they now barely make it day to day. When Peri decides to begin stealing to survive, she is caught by a stranger who promises food in exchange for aid. In Peri’s mind, no one promises help unless they are asking for something nefarious in return. But it’s either help a stranger or become a dragon girl knowing one day she’ll be sacrificed to the dragons.


Dragonmeat does a wonderful job showing the struggles of a daughter trying to keep her family alive. With only her father left, Peri is willing to risk her life to make sure he eats every day. The desperation Peri feels will strike a chord with readers as hope dwindles, leaving her to choose one dangerous option over another. Meager meals in exchange for one day being eaten by a dragon, or taking a chance on a stranger named Frost.


There are a few questions that will linger, as Peri interacts with Frost. He gives off the air of a mysterious stranger. Only dropping hints of his intentions to Peri. For his own safety, he withholds information. And while the two share page time, their connection is only just beginning as the novella comes to a close. I would have loved to see the two interact more and be forced to work together for a bit more page time before the end.


But the foundation of the world is well established. It is clear dragons are a threat, and those in power do nothing to fight back. There is also a sense of danger as Peri traverses the town, giving a darker tone to the story. Food is scarce and people live in constant fear of the dragons. Readers will witness Peri’s decline as life becomes harder and harder to live.


Dragonmeat is a story for those who enjoy darker fantasy with the promise of dragons and magic. Peri is such a well-rounded character, willing to do what it takes and risk it all to survive. Her drive to provide for herself and her father really carries the story and it is sure to win readers over.


To Purchase: Amazon


All or part of this book review may be used in marketing, I only ask that you reference Behind the Pages if you choose to do so.

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