A Wild and Unremarkable Thing
Publisher: The Parliament House
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Cayda has spent her entire life training to slay a Fire Scale. Now the time has come to leave her dragon-ravaged village behind, march into the Summer Alps, and reap the rewards of a Champion. But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals, and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers she’s not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.
A Wild and Unremarkable Thing pits girl against dragon in a stunning blend of Greek mythology and medieval lore. Don’t miss the thrilling novella that readers are calling poetic, enchanting, and a must-read for fans of fantasy!
This blew all of my expectation out of the water. I went into this without knowing anything— I had no idea this was a novella or that it had adult themes, but this in no way affecting my enjoyment of the story.
The story follows a few characters, but our main character is Cody/Cayden. Cody has spent the majority of her childhood portraying herself as a boy trained by her farther to kill a Fire Drake to bring her family money. After an incident injuring her father, Cody travels to Yurka to sign up as a champion encountering a few important characters on the way.
We have Penn the Death god as well as Wolfe wanting to make a name for himself and Feres, the crown prince. Interwoven in the story is LGBTQ characters, gender fluidity and identity themes that weren’t used for convenience of plot, but actually added to character conflicts and development.
There is a bit of a romance and of course I judged too soon thinking it was going to become over-saturated in the plot— that does not happen here. Cody/Cayden doesn’t forget her purpose once, the romance is so light and is never cheesy or forced. Overall, I wouldn’t mind a continuation in this world with these characters and I definitely have to read more by Castleberry.
“The words are too pretty for Ithil. The girls take no comfort in them, but for each other, they pretend. One does not believe the other, so well-washed are they by their galling lots in life. Their smiles are wizened and grim. That is the love of three suffering sisters: the pretending.”
“She decides she likes the morning hours best, with or without the birds, now that she does not have to run or steel her spine for the cane. Morning, crisp and wet. Morning, when the sun is shy. Morning, when the dewy scoops over her shoulders and makes her remember her lush, onyx hair.”
“Perhaps death is a lonesome industry, and ceaseless too, ferrying spirits to the City of Eternal Sleep. Maybe she’ll ask the Death God about it when she’s in his boat. But she hopes she wont know the answer too soon.”
Jen Castleberry lives and writes in Virginia Beach.
Her background is in Animal Welfare.
All of her pets are named after superheroes.
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