I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons

Saga/S. & S. May 2024. 288p. ISBN 9781668025277. $26.99. FANTASY
Gaius Aurelius Constantine Heliogabalus Thrax (or just Robert for brevity’s sake) inherited his father’s job as a dragon exterminator for the small kingdom of Bellemontagne. It’s a role that Robert performs exceedingly well, but there’s just one problem: he likes dragons. He even keeps several as secret pets, an act of protest that only makes his career more unpleasant. However, change is in the air when the king calls upon Robert to rid the castle of the draconic vermin. There, Robert crosses paths with a princess and prince who, like him, feel trapped by the lives into which they were born. The three join forces in a bid to circumvent fate by confronting and defeating a long-forgotten evil force once thought dead. Beagle’s cozy novel embraces over-the-top fantasy tropes, and the effect is a tale that’s as hilarious as it is endearing. Evocative of Terry Pratchett, the writing grows beyond its charming aesthetic to deliver a deceptively serious narrative.
VERDICT A high fantasy that’s also cozy, the latest from Beagle (The Way Home; The Last Unicorn) is recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Travis Baldree’s Bookshops & Bonedust.
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