Recently, I’ve been reading books one and two of the Dragon Temple Trilogy by Janine Cross. This series has generated a lot of negative feedback from other bloggers. The funny thing is that some of them openly admit never having read the books at all, whilst others make absurd statements about what is supposed to happen in the story, so conclude yourself whether there is anything to read out of those “reviews”.
The heroine of our story, Zarq, grows up in a society where women are treated as inferior to men and even sold into prostitution on a common basis. Dragons are as common in this world as maybe horses in our reality. And althought the dragons are being worshipped as divine beings, they suffer a fate no better than the women, the vast majority being crippled by amputating their wings as hatchlings, only to be used as laying hens or working slaves.
Now what caused some people to bash this novel is the slight act of (consensual) bestiality taking place between a group of women, including our heroine, and a dragon. I said slight, because the physical side of it merely involves a hallucinogenic poison on the tongues of dragons and a creative way employed by the women to absorb it into their bodies. It is tastefully written, not overdone and to say the truth, I liked it.
It should be clear by now that Janine Cross had the guts to touch topics that are hard to digest for most people given their social conditioning. Still, the Dragon Temple Trilogy should be considered a fascinating and unsettling novel in the first place. And only in the second place is it adult material.
I have yet to finish reading through the second book but I’m glad the author, being active on the internet herself, didn’t take the criticism about the first book to heart and continued writing on this novel.
As far as criticism goes, I think neither the first nor the second book really develop much pressure, urging the reader to continue reading till late in the night. The heroine is utterly powerless and the realism of this work makes that fact all the more oppressive. If you are watching hollywood movies and listening to pop music, this is not for you.
Check out Liz Hentry’s page for a complete and informative review of these books!