Title: Dragon Soul
Author: JB McDonald
Length: 11,800 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m fantasy romance
Everything was supposed to work out. They had the dragon under control, they were back with the mercenaries – things were supposed to be good now. That was the plan. Then word of plague in Katsu’s country arrives, and with it knowledge that will shatter everything Ashe thought he knew about his lover.
When Katsu has to make a choice between Ashe or sailing overseas to a country that abandoned him to save a beloved sister—Well, some choices are harder than others. Some are nearly impossible to make.
I have to admit, this series is being more and more like a serialised novel than a set of interconnected short stories. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m pretty hooked on the story and characters now, I might feel a little more aggrieved about this. In this story, Katsu and Ashe are returning from the dragon tamer to the group of mercenaries when they are approached by a woman. The woman has bad news. Katsu’s sister is ill and needs his help.
In many ways this story is more about Katsu than Ashe. The dragon, who has dominated the story for the last few stories, is now under control and apart from a few brief mentions is no longer an important part of the story, although there are hints that this may change later in the series. Instead we find out much more about Katsu’s past, who he is and how he came to be with the mercenary group. I like how Katsu spends much of the story trying to hide from things in his customary gruff manner, but eventually bows to the inevitable. His relationship with Ashe is put under strain, but some of the best scenes in the book are when Katsu and Ashe spend time with each other and I loved the scene at the end where they formalise their commitment to one another.
I continue this series because I love these characters and once again this author has given me more of a tantalising glimpse into their thoughts and feelings, their past lives and what makes them tick. The story is set to branch out again in the next book and I’m looking forward to meeting new characters and getting even more insight into the elusive Katsu and the more open-hearted Ashe.