Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Dragon CandyDragon Candy
By: Talia Skye
Silver Moon Books Ltd, Gainsborough
ISBN: 1903687888
April, 2007

Reviewed By: Lisabet Sarai

I am basically a kind person. I believe in the Golden Rule, or put another way, in karma. What goes around comes around. I’m convinced that simple courtesy could solve quite a few of the world’s problems. So, I hate to write a profoundly negative review. An author myself, I can vividly imagine how I’d feel if the tables were turned.

Unfortunately, having committed to reviewing Dragon Candy by Talia Skye, I have little choice.

To put it simply, Dragon Candy is the most poorly written book that I have read in at least five years. Ms. Skye’s frequent errors in sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary make me wonder whatever inspired her to turn her hand to writing. Her prose suffers from overuse of the passive voice, run-on sentences, participles without a subject, overblown description and incorrect word choices. Allow me to provide some examples.

“The two individuals became extremely agitated and the angry tones in their voices gave sudden cause for concern. Addressing them in the fragmented Japanese she had been encouraged to learn for business dealings, the conversation suddenly ended and the transmission was cut off at the source.” (page 10)

“The blank gaze of the beast was almost lost beneath a knotted frown and it snarled as she pawed vainly at the strangling grip. One hand let go and returned as a balled fist that sent knuckles dancing across her temple. The impact jerked her head aside and dazed her so severely that she could offer no resistance to its next vindictive action. With a whirling turn, the monster threw her against into the wall. A brittle crunch sounded and it was followed by a soft crumpling thump as Candice folded into a slack heap, her consciousness expelled by the collision.” (page 15)

“Candice bit her lip and held back a wanton cry. The feeling of him charging into her bound and owned body was surprisingly intense. When he nudged to her deepest recesses she broke into a quivering fit and gasped for breath. Her legs curled up and locked around him. Her thighs tightened in fits as he began to shift his hindquarters and thus commence a dilatory ravishment.” (page 42)

I wish I could say that these are extreme examples, but they represent only a few of the painfully contorted and obscure passages that I marked while reading.

Dragon Candy is billed as a BDSM novel, so I was hoping that the novel’s content would distract me from the terrible writing style. Alas, the book offers a not-very-original rehash of John Norman’s Gorean themes, mostly without the philosophy. Candice, a powerful and successful businesswoman, is swept by a mysterious vortex into a savage parallel world where she has value only as a slave and rather suddenly discovers that she is a submissive and masochist.

Ms. Skye spends considerable attention describing the restraints and bondage devices inflicted on her heroine. Unfortunately, her descriptions are so confusing and difficult to follow that in most cases I could not visualize the physical situations at all. My personal taste in BDSM runs more toward the psychological than the physical, but I realize that some people become highly aroused by descriptions of extreme physical abuse. Perhaps those readers would enjoy Dragon Candy – if they can follow what is going on.

There is one scene in this novel that, despite all odds, I found intriguing, even arousing. Candice (now known as Candy) has become a favored slave of the Kami, a society of sadistic half-gods. In an intense session with the Lady Uzume and her henchman, Candy finds herself so overwhelmed by masochistic desire that she begs her tormenters for more punishment. She experiences the ultimate satisfaction in pleasing her masters, by enduring ever more intense pain. The dynamic was sufficiently genuine to pull me into the scene, despite the writing.

Alas, this was an isolated experience. For the most part, I struggled to get through Dragon Candy. More than once I was tempted to simply toss the book in my wastebasket. However, I have decided to keep it, in order to remind me how much grammar and vocabulary and editing matter.

I think that Ms. Skye may have some original ideas and I suspect that she personally finds BDSM arousing, which is critical to getting readers aroused. As the book neared its conclusion, and I learned more about the Kami and their politics, I began to find the story more interesting. However, if Ms. Skye wants to write additional novels, I strongly suggest that she find a writing class, a critique group, a competent editor, or all three. Writing is a craft that can be learned. In acquiring this craft, Ms. Skye has a long way to travel, but if moved by passion, perhaps she should attempt this journey.