And Then I Read: DRAGON’S MILK by Susan Fletcher

Cover art by Jos. A. Smith

Kaeldra’s world is a medieval-flavored one. She lives with her family in a mountain community where sheep herding is a main occupation. Her Granmyr is a wise old woman who has some insights not given to everyone, and she senses the same abilities in her granddaughter. When a pregnant dragon arrives in the mountains nearby, a wizard arrives hoping to find it, and others are also searching for the elusive dragon, wanting to kill it to protect their sheep, and also because a dead dragon is of great value for medicine and magic. Kaeldra’s sister Lyf is ill with a fever that might kill her, and Granmyr tells Kaeldra that the only cure is dragon’s milk. She sends the frightened girl to find the dragon and somehow gather its milk. Surprisingly, Kaeldra finds the dragon and makes a bargain with it. She can have the milk in exchange for becoming a nanny of sorts to the dragon’s newborn young.

This was a pretty good read, but I feel dragons have been done better by others. Perhaps it was a mistake to read it so soon after rereading all of Ursula K. LeGuin’s dragon stories. Fletcher’s world feels derivative. Her main characters are good, but less important ones feel sketched in. The plot is full of action and adventure, and kept me reading, but in the end I didn’t like the book enough to want to read the rest of the series.

Mildly recommended for dragon fans.

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