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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2001
In this offering, Susanna Kearsley introduces us to Lyn Ravenshaw, a literary agent who, plagued by a past tragedy involving her deceased child is coerced by her man-hungry client, children's author, Bridget, in spending her Christmas holiday observing Bridget's manhunt in Wales. With her usual flare and ease, Kearsley introduces us to an odd combination of guests/inhabitants in an isolated setting that is reminiscent of that of Mary Stewart's in her novel, "Wildfire at Midnight". Among the cast of well-drawn characters are the two "hunted" men, James and Gareth, who provide some provocative mind-candy for the female readers and Elen, the fanciful young mother who is certain that her baby is "Named of the Dragon" in the Arthurian sense and claims that Lyn has arrived in role of her baby's protector. Of course, this proves unsettling to poor Lyn who plunging headlong into her own memories of the loss of her own child, must finally face her demons as she unravels the mystery surrounding the threat to Elen's child. The mystical Arthurian themes as well as the reclusive personalities of the more shadowy characters in this story add to the rather misty ambiance and act as an enjoyable foil to Lyn's reemergence into the light of life. Great story with a fantastic setting which I heartily recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 26, 2000
This is yet another beautifully written book by Susanna Kearsley. Almost as good as "Marianna" and better than "The Shadowy Horses", both by Ms. Kearsley, this book is a highly entertaining gothic style novel.
A literary agent with a sad past, her client who is a children's author, another author romantically linked with the agent's client, and his brother, all spend the Christmas holidays together in the two brothers' farmhouse in Wales. Our literary agent starts having vivid dreams in which a woman from the past keeps asking her to protect a beautiful child she has with her. Meanwhile, a local, somewhat eccentric neighbor also perceives this literary agent to be someone sent to guard her own child from danger. She, too, has had haunting dreams.
Throw in a brooding Welsh playwright, some atmospheric surroundings, a lonely, wild country side, some romantic yearnings, haunting legends, and mysterious, inexplicable occurrences, and what you have is a gripping page turner. It is a book well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2000
Lyn is a literary agent who has been haunted by the death of her baby for a long time. Lyn's friend Bridget writes children books. Bridget is tough, mad about men and loves to create scandals. She invites Lyn to spend Christmas in Wales with her and two other writers, James and Gareth. Bridget has her reasons for inviting Lyn along, but my impression is that a power much stronger than a best selling writer has something to do with her trip. Lyn feeling a trip would do her good accepts Bridget's offer. Once there she meets a neighbor who swears Lyn was sent to be a guardian and a writer who believes she is only there to convince him to sign with her company. Lyn finds herself pulled into a mystery that is beyond her control. Now her dreams are not just disturb by the haunting cries of her own lost baby, but by someone else's child as well. What do they want? Why does she keep seeing people in her dreams that do not exist?
Susanna Kearsley's writing impressed me greatly! The first page captured me immediately; once drawn in I couldn't let go. Although Named the Dragon is a contemporary novel, the historical aspects of Wales, its castles, its myths and its royalty, along with the quotes at the beginning of each chapter by Shakespeare, W.B. Yeats, and Lord Tennyson made the read that much more delightful for me as a historical buff.
Susanna Kearsley's writing has been compared to Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart. I have to agree - it is that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 1999
Author Bridget Cooper persuades her literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw to join her on a Christmas vacation in Angle, Wales. Bridget looks forward to spending some time with a famous playwright, whose name she refuses to divulge to Lyn. She wants Lyn to occupy a boy friend, noted writer James Swift. Lyn looks forward to meeting James because she loved his last work "The Leaden Sky" that she thought deserved a Booker.

After they arrive in Angle, Lyn learns that Bridget plans to have a tryst with the renowned recluse Gareth Gwyn Morgan, whose play several years took the world by storm. Gareth rejects the spotlights of the London stage and has not published anything since he was heralded as the greatest. When Gareth and Lyn meet for the first time, no sparks fly. There is only a squabble that occurs whenever they're together. As they see each other, they begin to fall in love. However, neither one can handle a relationship filled with love because their respective hearts are overloaded with guilt from their pasts. Adding to their problems is the continual dream that Lyn suffers involving a mother and a child.

NAMED OF THE DRAGON is a very interesting contemporary romance that centers on protagonists predominantly belonging to the world of literature. The story line is character-driven, which works because the prime players are different in temperament yet add much to the mix. Though the subplot involving Merlin's Prophecy (Lyn's dream) seems distracting at times, it ultimately works its way into the main plot. Susanna Kearsley provides her audience with a complex relationship drama that shows her ability to showcase her cast.

Harriet Klausner
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on October 29, 2015
Originally published in 1998 Named of the Dragon has been re released earlier this month. I've read a number of Susanna Kearsley books but I have to say that this one had a different feel to it. I don't mean that in a bad way either, the others I've read take place in historical pasts but this one didn't. It does mention historical figures but this story takes place in current time period.

I love the cover and think that it is a nice portrayal of Lynn. Even though its been a number of years since she lost her child, seeing her sit like that shows a mother still grieving. I think that I connected with Lynn because we share that common bond of grief. I could relate to her when situations brought back memories of the past. Some might say 5 years is enough time to forget, but really there is no time limit to grieving and I like the way the author showed that.

The story itself was interesting, mysterious with a touch of romance (but not overpowering). Not being too knowledgeable with the Arthurian legend it has (again) peeked my interest. Isn't it great after finished a book you add a bunch more books to the ever expanding TBR (Arthurian and Tennyson too)?

A number of years ago I had the privilege of taking a workshop with Susanna Kearsley on the writing of HF (Ontario Writers Conference 2012). She talked about going on location for her books. That was very evident here and it wasn't hard to visualize the setting and feel the atmosphere described.

Again Susanna Kearsley did not disappoint, it isn't hard to get lost in her stories, highly recommend.
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Prior to reading this book, I had never pondered the relationship between an author and her or his agent. In Named of the Dragon, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw travels to Wales with her client, author Bridget Cooper. They are set to spend the Christmas holidays with Bridget's boyfriend, also an author.

Lyn is is much in need of a quiet holiday as she is yet grieving the loss of her child Justine several years earlier. After arriving at the rural farm, she is upset to find that a young baby is staying in the adjoining house.

This story starts at a gentle pace and slowly builds to a crescendo. The detailed descriptions of the sweeping landscape helped lull me into a false sense of safety. I began to second guess who was behind sneaky mis-behaviour. Was it Lyn's fanciful imagination or was there truly an other worldly intervention attempting to guide Lyn.

I really enjoyed the play off between the three authors in the story, Bridget, her boyfriend James and Gareth,the secretive playwright. It really highlighted for me that authors come from all walks of life and that they are often nothing like the persons they create in their works of fiction.

This is not a high action drama, rather a novel that you read while curled up in a quilt with a cup of tea and time to savour and enjoy the relationships while they develop.
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on November 14, 2000
Ms. Kearsley's book is the best book I have ever read! She combines a fantastic plot with history and one of the greatest stories of all time-Arthurian Legend. Lyn Ravenshaw travles from London to Angle, Wales with her client, where she meets the interesting and confusing Elen, the "unbearable" Gareth, and a host of other characters who all add to this increadible mystery. I definently recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and lore.
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on February 3, 2000
A wonderful read. I was glued to this but made myself put it down so not to finish too quickly. I am now online looking for more books by Susanna Kearsley. I hope she is a fast writer! I also read Barbara Michaels and Diana Mott Davidson among a few so if you enjoy them, I think you will enjoy this author.
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on November 25, 2014
Another superb, evocative, romantic suspense tale from one of my favorite modern authors. As always, the characters are vivid and engaging, the plot is laced with history and mythology, and the writing sings. Best of all, I felt like I was back in South Wales again.
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on February 7, 2014
Good but not as entertaining as some of her other books. Would have preferred more plot development but enjoyed the location and history.
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