NAMED OF THE DRAGON Susanna Kearsley
A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-1402-25864-0
October 2015
Modern Gothic

Wales Present Day

Lyn Ravenshaw, a literary agent, has been invited to the small town of Angle, Wales, for the Christmas holiday by one of her clients, the vivacious and unpredictable Bridget Cooper. For Lyn it will hopefully be a distraction from the nightmares she has about the baby son she lost at birth five years before. And to possibly recruit Bridget's friend, James Swift, an author whom Lyn greatly admires. She is well aware that Bridget wants Lyn there for Bridget's sake, but Lyn is intrigued with the idea of spending Christmas in Wales and agrees to go.

Upon arrival in Angle, Lyn meets James and his brother, Christopher, as well as the couple who care for the land for the owners who are away. She also meets the fairy-like Elen, a widow, who spouts stories of dragons, Merlin, and Arthur. Elen is also obsessed with the thought that her baby son is being stalked by a dragon. Elen lets few people even touch her son, but she seems to think that Lyn is there to protect the baby. Lyn learns that the child's paternity is being questioned by locals. The close proximity of a baby also makes it painful for Lyn who can't help but dredge up the memory of her son. When Lyn begins to have dreams about a woman and her baby, she wonders if it's the magical country, or something more sinister.

On a lone trek through the surrounding countryside, Lyn runs into recluse playwright Gareth Gwyn Morgan who makes it perfectly clear that he detests strangers, especially those who might be stalking him. Lyn is told by the others that Gareth is very protective of Elen, raising the suspicion of Elen's baby's paternity.

NAMED OF THE DRAGON is a re-release from the original 1998 publication. With the author's usual careful and detailed plot building, and her ability to make her characters so realistic, this tale was hard to put down. I especially enjoy that Lyn tells this story, bringing to life the countryside with her descriptions, as well as the emotions she must deal with as a mother who has lost a child, and a professional woman who must keep her head at all times.

For a fascinating and moving read, do pick up NAMED OF THE DRAGON this fall; it's a Perfect 10.

Jani Brooks