I’m always interested when I see catchy and quirky titles, so when I started blogging some years ago and came across a blog called ‘Dragonscale Clippings’ I just had to have a look. The result was the start of an on-line friendship with the blogger, Freya Pickard, and when I discovered that she had written a book called ‘Dragonscale Leggings’ I knew I just had to read it.
The book was soon added to my Christmas list and from there found its way into my hands – this was a few years ago now and I have been promising myself that I would write this long over-due review ever since.
‘Dragonscale Leggings’ is pure fantasy, but with a twist. The writer, Freya Pickard, a fantasy lover herself, describes this book as a fantasy spoof and this is exactly what it is. She takes the genre and turns it on its head with great humour and skill. It is littered with characters that are of the classic fantasy-typical stereotype, but they are never stereotypical. From Sir Agravaine the Amorous to Sama the troubadour and many others in-between, not forgetting the dragons of course, or her self-appointed guardian horse called Tygar, they are colourfully handled with a deft touch.
The story is expertly told in the first person, in the format of a rather confused diary (with diary entries given such titles as “Getting on for noon” or “Not sure of date, think I am in Gatus’ wagon”) and this is its ace card. The heroine is thoroughly bewildered, she doesn’t know who she is, where she is, how she got there, why she’s there or what she is supposed to be doing and neither does the reader. We know no more than the heroine does and learn along with her, similarly bewildered and trying to make sense of it all.
Together we learn that, at least in the world she finds herself, she is called Dracomagan. She is apparently (heaven forfend!) a female dragon-slayer and her choice of weapon is unusual to say the least! She has found herself in a society where she has broken all the rules without being aware of what those rules are. The result is a wonderfully humorous romp through an alternative fantasy scenario while the heroine attempts to make sense of what is happening and tries to stay one step ahead of disaster. It is a thunderingly good read.
“Dragonscale Leggings” by Freya Pickard.
Available from Amazon