“Its 19th Century London, stablehand Wylie Petford has just suffered extreme tragedy. It is this tragedy that leads her to a magical device and her greater purpose. The alluring Dracosinum holds a key to her hidden heritage and opens the door for a fantastic future while leaving her love Lord Adrian in the past. The taking over of her hometown by the Villainous Lord Ukridge rips her from her closest friend and further destroys what little good is left in her life. Now, with the odds against her, she has one chance to become whom she is meant to be, escape her shackles and defeat the evil lord Ukridge.”
I picked up The Dragon Lady as I was interested in reading some steampunk fiction and whilst this has some steampunk elements to it, I would be more likely to say that it’s a historical fantasy. Wylie is a very feisty heroine and is very much a product of the time where grief and loss is overshadowed by the need to keep going to survive. She won’t let anything get in her way, even her forbidden love for Lord Adrian, who is betrothed to her best friend. The discovery of her destiny must fall in line with her work and need to keep up appearances. But what a destiny it is! Passed down from her father, Wylie finds herself caught up in a time honoured battle to balance good and evil, but which side does she fall on? With her mind reeling with new information the realisation that she will have a counterpart somewhere sets her on a whole new path. The delightful Quincy (the steampunk element) is her guide although he isn’t always as helpful as he could be and Wylie is often left with cryptic clues! He is wonderfully snarky and brings some light relief to some of the heavier topics covered.
The Dragon Lady is an easy read and I would say that whilst not openly advertised as such, it would be more suitable to the YA market. There is a very sweet romantic element to it and who doesn’t love dragons! The story is well researched and the author has scoured a lot of sources to get things right for the time, the only jarring thing is the use of language. For me it didn’t flow particularly as historical, there were paragraphs and phrasing that were very olde world yet it often felt liked it jumped in and out of that a lot. As a Brit, I did feel that terminology and accents were sometimes a little off as well, specifically the first clock maker that Wylie visits.
I read this over a couple of devices and the formatting isn’t great, indents aren’t regulated, paragraph sizing is out and the images often don’t fit where they should be. This is a real shame is it was really distracting from the story.
Overall though, I enjoyed The Dragon Lady, it is a wonderful tale filled with history and mythology and whilst I would have loved there to be more focus on Wylie’s battles between good and evil, I’m hopeful that there will be more of this to come in the next book!
The Dragon Lady is out now and available from Amazon for $4.10/£2.93