Sep 23, 2015

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Thank you Sourcebooks for another winner!

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark, reissue pub date of October 6, 2015
eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review
Burton Book Review Rating:

Read my reviews of other works by Susanna Kearsley
A haunting tale of intrigue from New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.
Although it goes against her workaholic nature, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw lets herself be whisked off to Wales for the Christmas holidays by her star client, flamboyant children's author Bridget Cooper. She suspects Bridget has ulterior motives, but the lure of South Wales with its castles and myths is irresistible. Perhaps a change of scene will bring relief from the nightmares that have plagued her since the death of her child.
Lyn immerses herself in the peace and quiet of the charming Welsh village, but she soon meets an eccentric young widow who's concerned her baby son is in danger—and inexplicably thinks Lyn is the child's protector.
Lyn's dreams become more and more disturbing as she forms a surprisingly warm friendship with a reclusive, brooding playwright, and is pulled into an ancient world of Arthurian legend and dangerous prophecies. Before she can escape her nightmares, she must uncover the secret of her dreams, which is somehow inextricably located in a time long ago and far away...
I think I've now read about five of Susanna Kearsley's novels, most of which I have really enjoyed. This one I also enjoyed which is intriguing to me simply because this novel isn't quite like her others. My original draw to the author was her dual time-period narratives and yet this one is different. There is no dual time period here though there are themes that redirect your thoughts to eras gone by, such as the Arthurian legends or the quest for Henry VII to win the English crown.

The story itself is that of a writer's agent, Lyn, who goes on holiday with her flirtatious client, Bridget. Lyn is there to perhaps score herself another client, but she prides herself on being of sound ethics and a good judge of character. She is definitely very easy to like which made me want to pursue reading about what was happening to Lyn as she uncovered more and more of a mystery going on in a remote village of Wales and gets a little caught up with romantic thoughts for rogue-ish Welsh guys.

There was a wonderful tension being built up between the fellow inhabitants of the house that Lyn was staying at, and the mystery theme didn't come off as a plain whodunit formula. The story revolved around Lyn's past hurts and how she was coming to terms with grief, and learning about her new friends. When she becomes protective of a baby is when the drama and tension start to take off, and I was sucked in. It wasn't till I finished the novel that I realized, hey this isn't a historical! And I liked it! Good times. I don't like coming up with buzz words or quotable sentences that feel forced, so let me just say I do love this author and her stuff: she is good at what she does. Susanna Kearsley is one of those names that come to mind when someone asks me for recommendations.

Sourcebooks has been reissuing Kearsley's novels, and this is another one. Some readers get perturbed when novels are marketed as "new" so I just wanted to put it out there that this novel was originally issued in the late nineties but long out of print. Some reviewers will also say they don't give five stars for anything unless their socks got knocked off. I don't wear socks too often, but since I read this book in less than two weeks and I actually WANTED to read again (unlike the last read which was over a month long of complete torture), hell yeah: five stars to Kearsley for making me remember what reading for pleasure was all about.

And thank you to Sourcebooks for offering the eGalley for my review. I still need to read some of the originals that Sourcebooks reissued, such as The Winter Sea or Mariana. I had gotten those signed by the author when I got a chance to see her at a signing in Dallas. Sweet!