Review: Slaying Dragons by Sasha L. Miller
I received a copy of Slaying Dragons by Sasha L. Miller from NetGalley and Less Than Three Press in exchange for an honest review.
Slaying Dragons is a novella of about 28,000 words, and each one of those words lingers. For a small story, there is a lot of world building done. The unnamed location is plagued by dragons, basilisks, wyrms, and other fantastic monsters. An organization comprised of mages and knights exists to eliminate these threats. Mages and combatants are paired temporarily to take on an assignment to kill one of these beasts, and then they receive new orders usually with a new partner.
Devi, a strong woman with years of training, has not had so much luck in this department lately. After a series of bad partners lands her in hot water, she is surprised she has a new assignment but hopeful that the new partner won’t be as terrible as the noble who wanted the glory of being a battle mage without the work. Noeme, the mage, seems knowledgeable even if she’s never battled a dragon. Devi is cautiously hopeful.
As a reader, I was instantly rooting for Noeme and Devi. The attraction between the two was palpable and a pleasure to read. However, the will-they/won’t-they never detracted from the action of their dragon-slaying assignment. Likewise, the dragon-slaying action enhanced the will-they/won’t-they in a way that never felt contrived.
Also, the ending was perfect and amazing and everything I ever could have asked for in an amazing novella of two cool ladies slaying dragons.
The pacing felt slightly off, as I expected the climax to be the dragon-slaying, but, spoilers. Once I figured this out, (and once Devi does, too), everything else seemed to fall into place, and the pacing seemed obvious. As this was an ARC, there were a few errors I noticed (at one point, near the end, Devi is referred to as a mage, when she’s very clearly not!) which I hope will be corrected for publication. Check out Less Than Three press to pre-order.
Overall, read this if you want a fun short story of ladies killing dragons. Don’t read this if you don’t think ladies can kill dragons.