The Unexpected Dragon {book review}

The Unexpected Dragon
by Mary Brown

Raised in a pleasant one-room cottage a discreet distance from the village, Summer had a secure and industrious childhood. . . . But her cozy, predictable life changed suddenly when, at the age of 17, she was orphaned. Left with a small dowry of foreign coins and a ring said to be made from the horn of a unicorn, she planned to head for the nearest large city where she'd hire a marriage broker and be married straight away.

It wasn't long, though, before her journey began to get strange. The ring she'd slipped on wouldn't come off, and soon she became aware that her perceptions were heightened. Most startling of all was her new ability to speak with animals. The dog Growch was the first, but she hadn't reckoned on the ragtag lot of creatures that followed, all needing her help. -from the inside cover


Before I begin, I should explain that The Unexpected Dragon is a single volume containing books two through four of a series (book one is a prequel, from what I gather): Pigs Don't Fly, Master of Many Treasures, and Dragonne's Eg. As such, it is delightfully massive.

Summer is a wonderfully imperfect, bumbling protagonist. Her thoughts, actions, and appearance are all very realistic. However, I found it hard to like her at times, and Growch quickly became my favorite character . . . until the flying pig came along. I love the dynamics between the main characters—the relationships Summer forms with her menagerie.

This quirky, captivating, unpredictable book consists of one adventure after another, and yet they're all part of one journey.

Although it was odd at first to realize that The Unexpected Dragon is set in Europe, like a fantasy/historical fiction crossover, I soon grew to appreciate it. The narrative accurately portrays Summer's travels as bringing her into contact with many different places, cultures, and religions, and I found this refreshing.

I also love Summer's lack of tolerance for abuse or violence of any kind against any living creature, from pigeon to slave. She recognizes and respects the fact that everyone has their own story and their own motivations.

I noticed quite a few typos in the first two books (Pigs Don't Fly and Master of Many Treasures), and there is a lot of premarital sex, but thankfully nothing graphic.

Although I adored the third book, Dragonne's Eg, I'm hesitant to review it for fear of giving away too much. Suffice it to say this final installment also includes incredible characters and fantastic settings, and it provides a wonderful conclusion to the series.

But what about the dragon?! Well, given that the title is The Unexpected Dragon, to tell you about the dragon would be to ruin the unexpectedness of it all!

4/5 leaves

From the Editor's Desk {Tip of the Week}

Although bemused seems to have taken on the meaning of wry amusement, the primary definition is to be confused or bewildered.

You might be bemused by the definition of bemused.

Need an editor? Check out www.serenaedits.com.
I offer copyediting and proofreading services for everything from blogs to books!



    Ooh, the books sound enticing! I may need to check them out.

  2. This sounds so good, I've definitely never heard of this! Thanks for the review - I say this a lot but you're a fantastic reviewer <3

    1. Aw, thank you! I'd never heard of it either, until I happened upon it at a used bookstore and was instantly hooked by the title, tattered cover, and sheer enormity of it.

  3. This looks like such a fun book! And ohhh, that cover is so lovely.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. I know! I pretty much bought it based solely on the cover. :)

  4. I hadn't heard of this book before reading your post, but it sounds so interesting! The setting sounds cool, I do tend to enjoy historical fiction and fantasy crossovers :-)
    Great review!
    -Jollygirl @ Reflections of a Jolly Girl

    1. Thank you! You should hunt down a copy--it sounds like you'd enjoy it!