NAMED OF THE DRAGON by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What grabbed my attention about this book was the Welsh setting and the Arthurian legend tie-ins. The writing was beautiful, especially the lovely descriptions of Angle, Pembrokeshire, however I never felt truly engaged in the story itself.
The main character, Lyn, is a literary agent spending Christmas holiday at Castle Farm in Wales with one of the authors she represents. Lyn’s baby boy died five years prior, and the grief still weighs heavily on her. In Angle, she meets a strange young woman with a baby boy of her own. The woman (Elen) believes her son is in danger, and soon Lyn has dreams of a mysterious woman in blue who tries to convince her to protect her own child. While all this is going on, Lyn has a slow-building romance with a curmudgeonly Welsh playwright named Gareth.
While I adore Arthurian legends and Celtic myths, their connection to the present-day story wasn’t that convincing. Lyn and Gareth were solid characters, but I thought the supporting cast fell flat. I was surprised by the outcome of the mystery (what/who was threatening Elen’s baby). While not my favorite book of Kearsley’s, I did enjoy experiencing a Christmas in Wales.
Audiobook • 9hrs, 48 mins • Katherine Kellgren, Narrator
Some of this book I listened to on audio from the library. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that Katherine Kellgren was a good fit for this story. The main character (Lyn) is in her twenties, and supposedly still struggling and unsure about her life since the death of her baby. Kellgren’s voice sounded too mature and too bold for that age and situation. (This happened with another of Kearsley’s audiobooks, though with a different narrator.) Also, there wasn’t a big difference in the characters’ voices (except for Gareth), so often times it was difficult to tell who was talking.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.