Friday Review: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Victorian era novel has all the hallmarks of a classic story of the era: family pressures, secrets, daughters who rebel, if quietly, at the strictures placed on females, and, of course, romance. There are politics afoot, manor houses for the wealthy, and all the trappings of Victorian society. It’s a lovely book- and almost every character in it is a dragon.

When the patriarch of the family dies, the rest of them come to eat the body of the deceased elder, which allows them to grow stronger. Before his death, the patriarch confessed to his vicar son a secret that the son agonizes over revealing. Daughters are shipped out to relatives, hopefully to eventually marry. And one son will take another to court over the inheritance.

I really enjoyed this book. Walton managed to meld Victorian society with dragon lore, and not make either seem out of place or crammed in for effect. The characters are personable (or as much as a dragon can be) enough that at times, I forgot they were fire-breathing beasts. The worldbuilding is outstanding, with the whole of Victorian society made dragon-sized. It makes perfect sense in the context of the concept. It is a bit brutal in spots (elder dragons of the upper classes will eat the weaker children of lower class dragons, again making themselves stronger by consuming dragon flesh), but those moments aren’t the driving force of the story. And they fit in with the idea of dragons. It all melds into a lovely tale of family and other relationships.

If you enjoy Victorian era stories, and dragons, you will likely enjoy this book as much as I did.

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“Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories”. Twelve scifi and twelve fantasy short stories that can each be read in minutes. Available now Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and most other e-book retailers. More information here

I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You