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Dragon Moon
Alan F. Troop
Roc, 290 pages

Dragon Moon
Alan F. Troop
Alan F. Troop was born in New Jersey and raised on Miami Beach. He spends his leisure time sailing his catamaran around the islands on the edge of Miami's Biscayne Bay. He lives near Fort Lauderdale with his wife, Susan.

Alan F. Troop Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

The tale of Peter Delasangre, on the surface, sounds more like a book Oprah would have picked for her book club. In the past four years, since the murder of his wife Elizabeth, he has concentrated on raising their son Henri, and working at his successful business. He's lonely, and he remembers his wife's younger sister, Chloe. They got along really well, and even though they only knew each other for a short time, he thinks of her very fondly, and decides to go to Jamaica to see if he can win her.

Then you find out that Peter is a dragon. As is Chloe and her family, and suddenly this simple, dramatic plot is elevated to a whole new level. I am amazed at the ingenuity of this story. But first, perhaps, I should finish the summary. Peter and Henri travel to Jamaica, where Chloe, though remembering her attraction to him, is not certain she's thrilled that her suitor is her sister's widower. When she comes into heat, he gives her a choice -- to be mated in a loveless rutting of opportunity as most of their kind are, or to mate for love. Her family are even less thrilled, though while Chloe's thoughts are a mixture of attraction and wanting to do the proper thing, her family's motives are much more sinister.

As I said, this story is truly inventive. I didn't look at the back, I just started reading, and so was doubly jarred when the sweet idyllic scene between father and son turns surreal as Henri, attacked by a vicious dog, shape-changes his small, four-year-old body enough to kill the brute, then heals his own wounds. We find that they live on Blood Key, his family's land, in a house made of coral. During the day, they look like any single parent family. During the night they are dragons, a people older than dinosaurs, who once ruled the earth with an iron claw.

The perspective is really wonderful. Alan Troop does not write as a human who happens to be a dragon, but goes into Peter's head to tell us a story that feels alien. For instance, they like to eat humans. Even our protagonist isn't too picky about whom he feasts upon. Usually, a writer will make it better, in the case of vampires, at least, the protagonist usually feed off of the evil-doer. Not so with Peter and his kind. This, strangely, makes it hard to get close to him at first. The thought that if you and I were walking around and met Peter Delasangre, he'd be highly likely to eat one of us for lunch and keep the other for dinner is slightly unsettling. Their attitudes, their rituals are all an introduction into a fabled and strange world.

Dragon Moon is the second book in the series, and certainly not the last. It can be read by itself. Filled with adventure, this contemporary fantasy skewers our vision of the world. While I was reading this story, for instance, they had a commercial advertising the joys and friendliness of Jamaica. I shuddered and kept on reading.

Copyright © 2003 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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