Book Reviews

Cursed with Claws by Asta Idonea at Less Than Three Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Fantasy / Shifters / Mythological Creatures / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 02-March-2018

Book Blurb

A dragon dwells atop the mountain that overlooks Ode's village. Every year the surrounding villages gather to make an offering to keep the beast at bay: chests of gold and a human sacrifice.

When the wise men choose his beloved sister, Malle, as the latest sacrifice, Ode immediately offers to take her place. But instead of a dragon on the mountain ledge, he meets a mysterious young man.

Book Review

Dragons! I love stories about these enigmatic creatures, present in so many legends from around the world that I can’t but think there may be some truth to their existence…knowing full well that this is unlikely since no evidence has ever been found to prove that they are real. Nevertheless – offer me a dragon story and I will jump on it. ‘Cursed with Claws’ is part of a whole collection by the name of ‘For the Hoard’, and I look forward to working my way through all of the eight other books as well.

This book is a classical dragon-requires-an-annual-sacrifice story with a few twists. First, the dragon was once a man and has been cursed to live six days as a dragon and one day as a man, suffering extremely painful transformations twice a week. There are other rules, but I’ll let you discover those for yourself. Second, the annual sacrifice is decided by decree by a group of nine wise men from the surrounding villages and city. In the almost one hundred years since the dragon came into existence, a whole cult has developed and the annual “ceremony” around the sacrifice is part of that. There are also some similarities with other dragon tales, and the pseudo-historical setting and Ode’s sacrifice to go instead of his sister are two.

I felt for Ode from the start. He has already lost his mother, his sister has fallen mute, and it is his job to keep her and their ailing father fed and protected. But he can’t let her face the monster, so he decides to go in her stead – after making sure she has a husband to take care of her.

Elric hates his curse and has tried to defy it in many different ways, but there seems to be no way out of his predicament. This newest offering is different from the start, and while Elric usually looks forward to spending one day a year with a human companion, Ode has more than his interest.

In many ways this story is predictable, but that did not stop me from enjoying it. There is some worldbuilding that makes a difference, the author has done a good job making the story feel fresh, and a happy ending is always welcome in my book. Also, both Ode and Elric are characters all their own and stood out because they are individuals rather than men who just play a role.

If you like fairy tales with a twist, if you enjoy discovering a specific dragon’s back history, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read with a touch of magic, then you will probably like this novella.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Less Than Three Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 20000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-February-2018
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link