Review: Madfall by Grace Draven & Dana Marton

Reviewed by Jen

I’m such a fan of Grace Draven’s that any story with her name that crosses my path automatically finds its way into my TBR. This dragon-themed anthology features a reissue of a previously released novella, but it’s one I haven’t read.

Draconus tells the story of Leida, a woman who was once the favorite of a dragon lord. She ran away with a small piece of his treasure and as this novella begins, she has been located and dragged back to face him for her crimes. Magnus would be within his rights to kill her for stealing from him, but he would much rather keep her alive and in his grasp. It takes no time at all to realize these two still want each other desperately; his anger and her fear quickly give way to the desire and sexual undercurrent between them. There is a fair amount of on-page loving, and it’s pretty steamy.

But here is the thing, this story is super-predictable. You will know in just a few pages how the entire thing will play out… from why Leida ran away to what Magnus’ biggest treasure is… to the secret she is hiding and how he’ll react. The storytelling is fine and has a dark fantasy feel familiar to Draven readers (albeit maybe a little more liberal in the sex department.) Don’t expect it to tread any new ground, though. There are no surprises. And it’s too short to develop much feeling for the characters.

Not my favorite from Draven, but if you want to hit all the stories in her backlist, this is your opportunity to check out one of her older titles.

Dragon Lord is my first read from Dana Marton. It tells the tale of a fierce young woman named Einin who faces a dragon in hopes of slaying him and turning the tide of fortune for her village. Draknart find himself surprisingly interested in her. There have been plenty of virgins sacrificed to him and knights who have tried to slay him, but she is the first combination of the two. He ends up letting her leave with one of his talons, and a promise she would return in two weeks to give herself to him. But when she comes back, he has a bright idea about how to use her to break his curse. The last thing either expects is to fall in love with the other.

This story has a midieval feel to it. More than that, though, the author created a world that is steeped in violence toward women and misogyny. Of course Einin would rather live with the dragon then in the world of humans. Sadly, I didn’t really feel the love between them. On Draknart’s part, it felt more like a blend of entertainment and curiosity. For Einin, it was a taste of freedom and basically just somebody who let her be herself. For sure, I didn’t feel any angst or even solid sexual tension. For crying out loud, they didn’t even have a real choice when they finally did the deed.

I wish I had better news, but I just didn’t love this one.

Overall, I am a little disappointed in this anthology. I had high hopes because it had Grace Draven’s name on it, but it did not quite satisfy for me. Maybe it would be a bigger hit for you.

*ARC provided for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Grace Draven & Dana Marton
Release Date: June 19, 2018


  1. Sorry it wasn’t a love. I looked forward to this one also. Anne – Books of My Heart

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