Everyone is different and likes and dislikes different things. Reading is no exception. One person’s all-time favorite might seem too bland or too high stakes for another. That being said, the opinions of our judges in this contest are just that, opinions. Just because we let a book go, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It could be your next favorite, who knows?
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can learn more about the contest here.
Today we are reviewing Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide, which was Lynn’s Books/The Critiquing Chemist‘s pick for this year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. You can read their review here. And you can see the finalist spreadsheet here.
Miss Mildred Peracy inherits a dragon.
Ah, but we’ve already gotten ahead of ourselves.
Miss Mildred Percy is a spinster. She does not dance, she has long stopped dreaming, and she certainly does not have adventures. That is, until her great uncle has the audacity to leave her an inheritance, one that includes a dragon’s egg.
The egg—as eggs are wont to do—decides to hatch, and Miss Mildred Percy is suddenly thrust out of the role of “spinster and general wallflower” and into the unprecedented position of “spinster and keeper of dragons.”
But England has not seen a dragon since… well, ever. And now Mildred must contend with raising a dragon (that should not exist), kindling a romance (with a humble vicar), and embarking on an adventure she never thought could be hers for the taking.
Our judges loved Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide. Of course, we love dragons, but what really captured our hearts was Miss Percy herself. Having an older woman lead the story and come into her own naturally throughout the book, instead of suddenly becoming a fearless heroine as soon as adventure arises, was a refreshing change of pace. And regardless of our other thoughts we all agree we need more heroines like her in fantasy!
The prose is unique and a joy to read: lots of humor and heart. The Austen-esque setting was a nice change from traditional fantasy fare, and the story has everything you could want from a plucky Regency mystery. However, while a slower paced, cozy story is well within our wheelhouse, some of the judges wished the focus would have been more on the dragon-y parts of the story rather than on the romance-y side.
But whether you are a dragon lover, or a cozy mystery lover, this is a book you must read!
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And again, you can see the list of all the finalists and their scores here. Our judges are Julia Kitvaria Sarene, Kerry Smith, Max Freeman, and Jennie Ivins (me). If you’d like to learn more about us, including our likes and dislikes, you can read about them here.