More like Anwyl the Hysterical

Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken

DNF. This book started out really well, Anwyl the Bloody is cornered and wounded by her enemies. Although she continues to fight she is eventually struck down. A dragon slays all her enemies and rescues her. After waking up in the dragon’s layer Anwyl gets to know the dragon Fearghus the Destroyer.

The writing isn't good and the world building is inconsistent and has big holes. The character’s have no debth and do not grow a bit. Anwyl’s speech was annoying, it was so exagerated and no other character spoke that well not even the rebels. This book had some serious potential, a strong and tough heroine and a dragon who turns into a man!

However instead of Anwyl coming across as temperamental she comes across as hysterical. She is the rebel leader and fights against the rule of her brother, she knows that once the rebels win she must take over as queen of the kingdom but she is completely selfish! Bemoaning how hard it is to be a politician and how she hates to be diplomatical is all she does. But hey, if you want to rule over all those people, than you have a responsibility to do things you don’t like! That’s life! Deal with it or let someone rule who isn’t so inept they’re a liability to everyone!

Did I already mention that she is completely hysterical most of the time? Well, she storms around, she yells at everyone, she throw's tantrums, her men are afraid to make her angry and she is a horrible politician and diplomat. Her refusal to try to be a better leader, to learn how to be a good queen, to learn how to actually rule a country, makes her such a weak character. It makes her selfish and immature. It takes more to rule a country than just being a bloodthirsty warrior. So is she really a better ruler than her brother? I never really learned exactly why her brother was evil - might be because I couldn't finish the book… But really would you rather have a hysterical child rule a country? I don’t understand why the rebels ever let Anwyl with her immature tantrums ascend the throne. My solution would have been more à la French Revolution...

Feargus is, well, boring, after telling himself that Anwyl is better off without him he leaves her without a word, since he doesn’t think he would be good for her image - because she is such a good leader after all. Then he mopes around until someone gives him the kick in his ass he needed.

Anwyl is such a immature, selfish and insipid character and she behaves just like a little girl with her anger tantrums. She has serious anger issues that she needs to work on, she acts without thinking, without considering the consequences, she doesn’t bother to learn how to be diplomatic and how to be a good leader, she doesn’t try to change herself for her people's sake. She just sits on her throne and pouts, bemoaning how it’s such a fucking hardship to be polite to the other dignitaries and that she has to try to be a good politician. Without her advisers she probably would have attacked someone. Her people are afraid to make her angry and fear her wrath.

She is only good at bloodshed and she knows it. So why does she let herself become queen and not leave it to someone who wouldn’t lead her people into doom because they have no fucking idea how to lead a country?!

There is a difference between being temperamental and hysterical, between rage and a tantrum, between being a strong woman who can fight and a weak one who just can't grow beyond her comfort zone. Anwyl was on all counts the later.