Last year I enjoyed Mariana and The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley; and I couldn’t wait to read more. In mid-January I found myself reaching for Named of the Dragon which was waiting on my Kindle for me.
Literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw travels to the beautiful, ancient coastal town of Angle, Pembrokeshire to spend Christmas with client and friend, Bridget Cooper. Lyn agrees to go to please Bridget but she is also tempted by the chance to meet Bridget’s new flame; successful author James Swift. They are to stay at Castle Farm, a large historic home resplendent with roaring fires, sea views and its own tower. Lyn is soon to find herself drawn into the mystery and legend surrounding the hysterical ravings of their young, widowed neighbour Elen; who believes the ‘dragons’ are trying to take her infant son. Lyn seems to be the only one who fears there may be some truth hiding behind the fantastical details though.
Our protagonist Lyn Ravenshaw is a practical, independent and kind woman who lives and works in bustling London. The complete opposite to the glamorous and self-absorbed children’s writer Bridget, whom she represents, however they do genuinely seem to have formed a sweet and unlikely friendship. While Bridget finds it all annoying Lyn is drawn to protect Elen and her son. It heightens Lyn’s own fears and nightmares about the loss of her own son Justin five years earlier. I couldn’t help but feel for Lyn. She is also joined in this mystery by the dashing James and his roguish brother Christopher, handyman Owen and his busybody wife Dilys, and the elusive playwright Gareth Gwyn Morgan.
This is the 5th novel I have read by Susanna Kearsley; who is now one of my comfort read favourites. I love how Kearsley’s writing style is so comforting and familiar, like a favourite jumper. Only a chapter in and I was swept off into this wonderful mystery which is full of history, Arthurian legend, stunning settings, and a touch of romance, magic and the paranormal. I grew up going on holiday to North Wales, and I still fondly remember the glorious countryside and wild coastline. I have also always been fascinated by tales of King Arthur and Merlin, so this book played right into my hands. I have only once been to South Wales where this is set – it has really made me want to go back.
Named of the Dragon was an immersive and gripping mystery for me. I highly recommend! I can’t wait to read more by Susanna Kearsley – I have Season of Storms on my to-be-read pile. Great read.
Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? Have you read any of Susanna Kearsley’s other novels?