The Dragon Temple Saga continues as Zarq Darquel embarks on a trial by fire, defying Dragon Temple scripture by undergoing the rigorous training of an apprentice dragonmaster, while desperately searching for the doctrine that allows women permission to participate in the battles at Arena.
Yet Zarq's difficulties pale in comparison to her craving for the hallucinogenic dragon venom, and her desire to understand the dragons themselves-both of which make her a vessel to receive the ancestral memories of the great beasts. And now, eager for the knowledge only Zarq can uncover, Temple has her imprisoned and subjected to starvation and torture-all to make her reveal the dragons' deepest secrets...
In unflinching detail, the horrific second installment in Cross's controversial Dragon Temple trilogy (after Touched by Venom) chronicles 17-year-old Zarq's struggles to attain her destiny as the Skykeeper's Daughter. Zarq faces the oppression of a brutal Taliban-like theocratic dictatorship and her own addiction to dragon venom as she undergoes a brutal apprenticeship to the Dragonmaster of Clutch Re. Zarq hopes to change her oppressive patriarchal society by becoming a dragonmaster herself, despite the violent opposition she faces--and the demands of her dead mother's dragon "haunt" to search for her long-lost sister, Waivia, instead of completing the apprenticeship. Cross's anguished protagonist faces grim issues that might make some fantasy enthusiasts uncomfortable--addiction, genital mutilation, rape, slavery, racism, bestiality and prostitution, to name a few. Warning: these are not McCaffrey dragons. Think X-rated Tolkien set in the Middle East. (Aug.)
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April 02, 2007
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