Well, one of my parents was a dragon, too, so I feel for Dahlia Nite: it is difficult living in the wrong dimension, and having to hide one’s scales and superpowers. One gets misunderstood. I also share her problem with compassion: it’s a curse. The need to save the world as well – another curse. I feel that occasionally too, but then I ask myself, why not leave extinction to take its course? It’s a trope of fantasy fiction that the human race needs to be rescued, but honestly, why? Dahlia seems to think they are worth it, but that’s the young for you – all high ideals and sense of possibility – when she’s my age (she’s not even a millennium yet) and she has to wear cardigans instead of sexy bustiers, and nothing can stop the scales showing through her human clothes, she may see things differently. (Though personally I kept my nerve, even in my youth. I never intervened when the dinosaurs expired – I didn’t lift a finger. If it had been her, she’d have probably have launched in and they’d be stomping around even now.)
I’m letting myself ramble on, to defer the moment when I have to admit that I liked this documentary. I liked it a lot in fact. I found it refreshing – so well observed, so honest. I liked the way one could smell everything – human authors who are just making it up about dragon half-breeds often forget about that, because humans smell almost nothing and when they smell anything at all they tend to dislike it or (worse) feel embarrassed. (That’s probably why they hate sex so much). I also liked the meticulous documentation of the conflict we feel – yes we are lonely sometimes, we long for home, we search for connection. But we’re not averse to ripping out a heart. We also have fierce dreams and we’re not sentimental. And now you come to mention it (oh no, that was me…. Dragons aren’t good listeners) we don’t make very good parents. Though of course the truth is (don’t mention this to humans, they are mysteriously gooey about their immature offspring) we just don’t have very good children. (It’s the way they seem determined to eat us alive. It isn’t nice.)
So Ms Schneider does good PR for the dragon half-breed type. (I’m trying not to mention the name she gives us, because – confession time – I only borrowed the audiobook so I have no idea how she spelt it. Lyrekin? Lirricken? The name we’re really called can’t be spelt with a human alphabet, so I guess she had to think of something). And maybe our time is about to come: have you noticed how ‘feisty’ has become a term of admiration for a woman, and badass L…n are getting everywhere? Books, films, adverts even. Slick clothes, sexy manners… It’s not like the other day, when the L..n in Mr Shakespeare’s play got very nastily put down. (Don’t worry, it was all a show: Kate ate Petruccio after the final curtain. I’m not telling you how she killed him, but she let me have a bit of his skin.)
It would be pretty much impossible I think, for anyone, human or dragon, male or female, to read this book and not lust after Dahlia. Which is only natural, and I don’t think Ms Schneider would mind. I’m definitely not Dahlia’s type so there wouldn’t be any awkwardness about her lusting back. And the glorious murders – no spoilers here, but there are several good ones. You’d think it was inventive if it weren’t a documentary. Ms Schneider wants us to enjoy those too, and I have to say I did.
Good book, Ms Schneider. Well observed. Well put together. I’m glad this exposition has several volumes – just like an old fashioned encyclopaedia, I always liked those and they burnt so well. I shall look forward to the others when they find their way to me.
Review by De Gevallene