Welcome to the July 4th stop on the blog tour for The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen with Silver Dagger Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
The Dragon of Ynys
by Minerva Cerridwen
Published 15 September 2020
Genre: Clean LGBTQ Fantasy
Page Count: 87
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Every time something goes missing from the village, Sir Violet, the local knight, makes his way to the dragon’s cave and negotiates the item’s return. It’s annoying, but at least the dragon is polite.
But when the dragon hoards a person, that’s a step too far. Sir Violet storms off to the mountainside to escort the baker home, only to find a more complex mystery—a quest that leads him far beyond the cave. Accompanied by the missing baker’s wife and the dragon himself, the dutiful village knight embarks on his greatest adventure yet.
The Dragon of Ynys is an inclusive fairy tale for all ages.
Violet had heard quite a few stories about dragons and while they didn’t agree on most points, all of them mentioned that their kind preferred to live in caves. So without wasting time, he informed the mayor that he had found a clue, and then left her house and the village. He walked all the way to the mountainside and it took no longer than an hour to find a large cave.
As he entered, he wished the dragon had chosen a sunnier day. Cloudy as it was, he could only see a couple of steps ahead, and the darkness beyond made it impossible to know how deep into the rock the cavity went.
He trod onto what felt like thick carpet, and grunted as he stubbed his toe against something hard. A similar growl sounded in answer. For a moment, Violet wondered if echoes could be louder than the original sound, but then there was a rustle and the tinkling of metal against metal.
“Excuse me?” he called.
A black mass moved out of the darkness and two yellow eyes fixed on Violet. “Excuse me, you said?” a deep, reverberating voice asked. “What should I excuse you for?”
“Er…” Violet took a few steps back from the giant, scaly face. “Disturbing you, I suppose. Though actually, I guess that you are the one who owes the mayor an apology.”
“An apology?” the dragon repeated. “We are meeting for the first time and you are demanding an apology? Is that how your people say hello?” The creature sat on its hind legs, but its head still towered high above Violet’s. It did catch some light now, and he could see the gleam of enormous fangs.
He wondered if this had been a safe plan, but then decided it would be better to just press on. “Fine,” he said, “I don’t care all that much about the apology. But what I do care about is that the mayor employed me to return her golden chain. I have reason to believe it is in your possession, and I would like to take it back.”
“Oh, all right.” The dragon sounded rather amused. “I suppose that in a place like your village, that chain really is the only perk of being mayor. Far be it from me to take that joy away.”
With a loud tinkle of moving coins, the beast shifted and reached behind itself. Then it dangled the golden chain, hooked on a claw that looked at least as dangerous as the fangs, in front of Violet’s face.
“Here you go. Sorry for causing you trouble.”
“Thank you.” Violet was not exactly an expert when it came to gold, but the chain seemed to be unharmed. “I will leave you to it, then.”
“To…being a dragon and doing…dragon things.” Violet frowned. “What I meant is, I’ll be off, returning this.”
“Of course. Have a nice day.” Going by the shimmer of its teeth, the dragon was still smiling.
With the chain safely back around the mayor’s neck, a council meeting was called in order to decide what to do about the dragon.
“I don’t think there is much you can do about it,” Violet mused. “I’ve seen it, and I think it’s a little too heavy to simply kick out of its lair. Besides, it’s not actually in our village. And it was quite polite.”
“But surely a dragon can mean nothing but trouble,” one of the two council members piped up. “Perhaps this was only the beginning!”
“We don’t know how long this dragon has been living here,” the mayor countered. “We’ve never even seen it fly over Ynys. At least I haven’t. Now it has stolen one thing and returned it upon a simple request from Sir Violet. I don’t think we have to fear this creature.”
So, to Violet’s relief, the meeting was over before dinnertime, and the mayor did not assign the village’s only knight to go up against the dragon.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads
I was granted complimentary access to The Dragon of Ynys as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Silver Dagger Book Tours. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity!
I honestly didn’t read the synopsis too closely when I volunteered to review on this tour. I saw dragon, I saw under 100 pages, and I said send it over! I was pleasantly surprised to realize that this book is full of LGBTQIA+ positive messages and representation. On top of that, the world is unique, the dragon Snap is hilarious (and I see what you did there, Snap Dragon to go with all the human flower names) and these 87 pages just fly by in an easy, pleasant read.
I love the aro-ace, non-binary, and trans representation in particular. We’re getting pretty good at gay/lesbian and (binary) trans representation in literature these days, but the rest of the rainbow gets forgotten. This book didn’t forget!
With that said, some of the messages are a little too on the nose, and while I acknowledge this is a shorter book, some of the characters’ self-discovery arcs are far too abrupt.
I was pleasantly surprised by the afterward explaining not only how this story came to be, but how and why it was rewritten to better represent the LGBTQIA+ community in only positive, productive ways. I hope that means this book has a lot more highly rated reviews coming its way to boost the Goodreads average that obviously took a bit of a hit due to the problems in the first edition. If you read the first edition, it’s probably worth a re-read! Although I didn’t personally read the older version, I very much appreciate Minerva’s effort to improve the story and all of the representation in it.
If you like fantasy and LGBTQIA+ stories, give The Dragon of Ynys a try!
Minerva Cerridwen (she/xe) is a genderqueer aromantic asexual writer and pharmacist from Belgium. She enjoys baking, drawing and handlettering.
Since 2013 she has been writing for Paranatellonta, a project combining photography and flash fiction. Her first published work was the queer fairy tale ‘Match Sticks’ in the Unburied Fables anthology (2016). Her short stories have also appeared in Atthis Arts anthologies Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove (2019) and Community of Magic Pens (2020).
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.