Dragon’s Bounty is the first book of a new historical and fantasy series called Dracula’s Love by S. Joy P.
Since I finished this book, actually since I started this book and actually had to close the book up to see if I had the right one, I have pondered what the hell my feelings are towards it and let me tell you right here and now, it is a hate love relationship.
This is not a book you grab as you walk out the door for a day on the beach. It will take your full attention, both in a good and bad way because it is quite difficult to get into but when you have it is like a dark sky that explodes into a blue ocean with the sun standing high.
It is a book with so much colorful description that there comes a point when I had to stop reading and start turning pages to see "hello when do I get some people on people interaction because I'm going nuts here". It is a book that when you finished it no matter if you like it or not you just know you will read, however, many other books this series will hold, each and everyone of them because you will have to know what more battles will Vlad and his men Iancon, Marin, Lion and let’s not forget the God of Love who has descended to earth to be close to the mortal man he loves like Romeo loved Juliet, Love the Englishman.
Why don’t we start with Love since the book starts with him, and honestly the man drove me absolutely bonkers, especially, in the beginning with his obsessiveness over this Vlad man that we had no freaking idea who or what he was. But Love is the reason the first 30% of the book is worth reading without him and talking to his companion Motudd. He is a man with devotion, loyalty, and passion in spades. He is a man to look up too because he doesn’t change his mind as things becomes difficult to avoid the hardships, and this is something even Vlad Dracula, the Warrior Prince, realizes is a value any leader can ask for. Love, as I said, drove me bonkers in the beginning, at that point being nothing but a slave working the mines and fields for Vlad. He was for the lack of a better word acting like a love sick puppy, a poor, dirty, lice "walked away" with his hair filthy and starving puppy, and still all he could do was to pine after Vlad Dracula.
After the magic 30% point, where the massive discription somehow ended, the more I read the better Dragon’s Bounty became. S. Joy has not only created a world but characters, that mind you now are all pretty vicious and plain evil (including dearest Love and the things he does throughout the book in the name of love is all of it far from fair) but that you will like spite their cruelty. One one page you will cringe, wrinkle your nose and go eww only to on the next page after the bloody battles are done and the same men sit around a fire or table eating showing their comradery for each other, you will go awe ain’t that nice, and smile feeling relieved that there’s some humanity left in these men after all.
The relationship between Vlad and Love, is slow burning, and with slow burning I mean slow like imagine the slowest burning love story you ever read and then quadruple it by ten and you have the slow burning passion and friendship between these two very different yet, similar men. It needs to be slow burning, if S. Joy had made it happen in any other way than she has then Love’s obsession would have become a stalkerish insane kind, that would have needed the men with white lab coats to come get him. Instead Love’s passionate and deep burning love for the dark Warrior Prince becomes this grand epic story of unconditional love that makes you want to be Love and how it changes or rather shows a different side of Vlad or as he’s also called Dragwlya.
The side characters to this story mostly other men and warriors of Prince Vlad’s army and closes guard, Iancon, Marin, Lion and later on Adam are spot on, I love these men all for being their own set of men with their own voice and yet they behave accordingly to the rules that S. Joy has set up for them. They enhance the story and strong emotional bond that all these men share with each other, and gives you behind the battle scene moments that makes you feel compassion for them. The one scene that sticks in my mind the one scene that is the most prominent of the story with so much heart that it not only made me cry but made me want to scream just like Love did was the end scene with Adam. It broke me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for.
In conclusion, I would have loved to have given this story a five-star review, I really would but I can’t because the very long, and overly descriptiveness at some parts killed made it hard for me to focus, there were too many times when I caught myself thinking about other things and where I had no idea what I read for the past couple pages so I had to go back and re-read. But it is well worth the read because the story that is told between is a wonderful story of the power of camaraderie, loyalty, and love, in the interaction between a handful of well thought out characters that you learn to mostly love!
You can find S. Joy P. at the following social medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.