Dragons Don't Eat Meat

Valkyrie Bestiary Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
244 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

If Kim McDougall could have one magical superpower, it would be to talk to animals. Or maybe to shift into animal form. Definitely, fantastical critters and magic often feature in her stories. So until she can change into a griffin and fly away, she writes dark paranormal action and romance tales. Kim is also passionate about fiber art, photography, children’s literacy, rescue animals, nature, and genre-bending fiction.
Visit www.KimMcDougall.com for more information about Kim’s books and to join the WrongTree Press Reading Group.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Kyra Green is a pest exterminator – well, not really. She is so soft-hearted that many of the weird and wonderful magical creatures that she captures end up in her apartment as friends. In Dragons Don’t Eat Meat (Valkyrie Bestiary Book 1), author Kim McDougall takes us on a way-out journey to the future, to an earth that was devastated by the Flood Wars in the early 21st century. The flood-wars re-awakened the natural magic of planet earth and the earth is now inhabited by all nature of magical and dangerous creatures. Humanity has been sidelined to small pockets where they are able to build defenses against the dangerous beings that inhabit the in-between lands. Kyra comes from a deeply magical lineage and possesses the power of the Valkyrie in her sword but she is a kind-hearted, loving woman who would never deliberately set out to harm another living creature, including human beings. When Kyra stumbles across a group of enslaved dragons, she is determined to free the poor magnificent beasts from the chains of bondage that are holding them but little does she realize just what powers and dangers her act of kindness may unleash.

Dragons Don’t Eat Meat is truly a magical romp through a fantastical world that is the earth of the future, perhaps. Author Kim McDougall has done an extraordinary job, reminiscent for me of Rowling, at bringing these marvelous creatures to life and making the reader believe in them. Her style is, at times, almost whimsical and it makes for a read that is interspersed with chuckles at her humor and her sarcasm. Despite Kyra’s peaceable nature, she is well aware of the immense power she holds within herself and is not afraid to use it, especially when one of her beloved creatures is threatened. When required, Kyra is the perfect kick-ass female lead character. I particularly loved the deep and meaningful relationships she developed with her creatures, especially the little blue dragon, which the author portrayed perfectly.

I also enjoyed the small asides where Kyra was posting her adventures on the “internet” of the day and the comments after each post. These just served to give the whole narrative the feel of authenticity that can be missing when writing within the fantasy genre. My favorite quote from the book was when Kyra said, “the earth has taken control back from humanity,” (paraphrased). Perhaps this is what is actually needed. This is clearly the first book of a planned series by this author and I, for one, am excited about the possibility. I want to know where the “will they/won’t they” nature of the relationship between Kyra and her gargoyle guardian will head. I am invested in these characters and that is the greatest praise I can give any author. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and can highly recommend it.

K.C. Finn

Dragons Don't Eat Meat is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy sub-genre and was penned by author Kim McDougall. Forming the first novel of the Valkyrie Bestiary book series, this engaging story centers on Kyra, a loveable young woman who takes pest control to heart. With an apartment full of rescued otherworldly beasts, even Kyra thinks she ought to draw the line at a baby dragon. But until she can discover the sinister truth behind the slaying of dragons and a burgeoning war amongst the fae people, Kyra has no choice but to take the baby dragon in and learn more about this fascinating species. What results is a charming and action-packed adventure.

Suitable for teen and adult readers alike, this high-stakes, action fantasy novel encompasses many exciting and adorable elements that animal lovers and fantasy fans alike will enjoy. As the wider plot expands into the dangers of war and the implications that these magical creatures have on magical society, the smaller, character-driven arc explores the tale of a courageous young woman with a truly kind heart. I loved the descriptions of all the creatures by author Kim McDougall, who characterizes the beasties so well and gives us moments of joy amongst the tension and adventure. The dialogue was a really pleasant aspect too, with Kyra making some really empowering statements and strong emotive expressions throughout. Overall, I would definitely recommend Dragons Don't Eat Meat to fantasy fans who want a rollercoaster action novel with plenty of fun fantasy friends in the mix.

Risah Salazar

A Valkyrie, modern-day blogger, and crypto-zoologist; that is who Kyra Greene is. With a soft heart for stray beasts and other mythical creatures, it's safe to assume that her house is like a mini zoo, and it's true. One night, on her way to Dorion Park to release a moon-frog, she sees two poachers using a thunder of dragons to steal. This encounter ends in a bloody fight and in her much-awaited reunion with Henry Mason, the half-gargoyle alchemist she fancies. After she frees most of them, one little blue dragon, Ollie, loiters around because it cannot fly. As if that's not mysterious enough, it has also swallowed a powerful bloodstone belonging to Mason. With Kyra wanting to return the dragon to its family and Mason wanting to retrieve that important gem, Ollie gets them back together on a journey full of fighting and flirting.

Dragons Don't Eat Meat is the first installment in Kim McDougall's Valkyrie Bestiary series. A futuristic dark fantasy based on Norse mythology, the premise is cute, unique, and refreshing to read. The pacing takes its time, making the book an easy and light read. The sarcasm and sexual tension between the pair make it more entertaining. Kyra is such a strong and empowering woman; her featured blog posts at the end of some chapters make her more relatable. World-building needs improvement, though, as the book dives into the main arc right away without explaining much about the setting. Readers unfamiliar with Norse mythology and most of the creatures involved in this book may find some details hard to follow.

Lit Amri

The world in the late 21st century is not technologically advanced as most would imagine, but more magical instead. After the Flood Wars, mythical and legendary beings thrive alongside humans, and new forms of governance exist. Kyra Greene is a Valkyrie who left her past behind by becoming a soft-hearted pest controller, rescuing and rehousing creatures where some ended up living with her. Her unique living arrangement costs her a number of assistants and it's becoming a problem. She has bigger problems when she finds an abandoned baby dragon and discovers that someone is trying to start a war among the fae. Dragons Don’t Eat Meat is the first installment of the Valkyrie Bestiary series by Kim McDougall.

Fancy having a banshee as your housekeeper? What about a cute pygmy Kraken that knows how to high five, a hyperactive basilisk, and mischievous rodent-like madras? The world-building is fascinating, a different kind of future because Mother Earth, Terra, decided enough was enough and taught her inhabitants a powerful lesson. The plot is well-paced and the highly engaging story has humor and a sense of adventure that is laced with fantastical elements. Any pervasive sense is handled with finesse, and the action scenes are portrayed in tight sentences. Kyra is a likable and resilient protagonist with an interesting family background; her core beliefs challenged by her own Valkyrie ways including a sword that is always hungry for blood. Trying to protect and return a baby dragon to its family as well as keeping her feelings for alchemist and gargoyle Henry Mason at bay are quite the tasks. Overall, Dragons Don’t Eat Meat is a great start for Kim McDougall’s Valkyrie Bestiary series that fantasy fans will definitely enjoy.

Liz Konkel

Dragons Don’t Eat Meat by Kim McDougall is the first book in the Valkyrie Bestiary series. Kyra has two problems on her hands: poachers are hunting dragons and a civil war is brewing among the fae. Kyra has always brought her work home as a pest controller who takes in various rescues, with the latest one being a little dragon she saved from poachers. It doesn’t help that the handsome man she spent the last year trying to forget has returned to her life, thanks to one little dragon eating a mysterious bloodstone. She’s determined to find his thunder and return him to where he belongs, but while she works to hunt the poachers, she can’t help getting attached to the little creature. Kyra’s skills as a Valkyrie are put to the test as she works to prevent a war, all while caring for her menagerie of creatures.

Kim McDougall has created a unique and quirky world that stands out with originality and creativity that breathes new life into urban fantasy. Kyra is a delightful protagonist as she’s a Valkyrie working as a pest controller while having a soft heart that finds her bringing the pests home. The menagerie she lives with is a delightful element as the variety of creatures she has running amuck in her home adds to the humor and the heart in the story within the story. The creatures featured throughout include dragons, a pygmy Kraken, a banshee, gargoyles, sprites, and a basilisk. Each of these characters has a quirkiness to them that adds to the light and eccentric tone of the world. Each has something different about them which inverts the typical image you have by making a Kraken small, a banshee lost, a basilisk tormented by madras, and a baby dragon with bowed legs.

Kyra herself is a fun twist on Valkyries, maintaining a fierce personality with warrior skills while also being soft-hearted when it comes to rescuing creatures. Protecting these creatures is a driving force for her. Blog entries are woven throughout which helps to expand the world through teaching about various creatures and gives a further look into Kyra’s personality. McDougall has captured the voice so perfectly that the world and tone match in lightness and quirkiness. Romance enters Kyra’s life when she runs into Mason after poachers throw them together over the well-being of dragons and a mysterious bloodstone. Their mission sparks a connection between them which provides plenty of delightful banter and flirty moments. Dragons Don’t Eat Meat is original, fun, creative, and quirky with a menagerie of creatures, a Valkyrie with a soft heart, chemistry-fueled romance, delightful humor, and action-packed moments that will leave you wanting more.