Drake, a dragon master of the tamer clan, was barely a man himself when he saved the life of a youth burning with fever. Aedan, a fire mage, has dragon blood mingled with his own, creating such a tempestuous and volatile personality that it can literally burn him from the inside. Though Drake was able to calm the tumult enough to give Aedan a few years of peace, he knew that as the boy came of age, the fire in him would ignite once more.
When, years later, the effects of his fiery impulses force Aedan from the mage clan, his path crosses Drake’s again. Once more taming Aedan with a connection that joins them body and soul, Drake promises to protect Aedan forever—but he fears the day when “forever” might come to an end.
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Third Place (Tie): Best LGBT Cover
LET me tell you a story about the most powerful, most fearsome dragon I’ve ever tamed.
He wasn’t a dragon at all, but rather a young man with a dragon’s spirit.
My name is Drake, and I’m a dragon master from the tamer clan. My clan is comprised of men and women who convene with animals in order to gain a deep kinship with the earth. We protect our animals, and in turn they protect us. And by God, we need the protection, for we’re constantly under attack from rival clans.
The forger clan is a militaristic group, constantly at work creating more durable armor and more murderous weaponry.
The scholars are deceptively treacherous. They use cold, calculating tactics to bring destruction to their enemies.
But perhaps the most dangerous are the mages. After all, how can one compete with magic? Magic has the unassailable ability to break down any barrier it crosses.
Aedan was a member of the mage clan. And my barriers stood no chance against him. He invaded with the strength of a thousand men, decimating every wall that once surrounded the fortress of my heart.
I’d first met him when he was barely fourteen. I was on the cusp of adulthood, moments away from my eighteenth birthday, an orphan raised by the whole of my tightly knit village. We were at the height of our summer season when a wild-haired man in his twenties made his way into tamer territory, bringing a thrashing, feverish youth to my hut.
“I can’t be seen here,” he whispered. “But this boy needs help. He’s burning up; his fever has lasted a week, and it’s not coming down no matter what I do. I fear that it’s killing him.”
I recognized the man right away as a mage. I wanted to ask him why he came to me, a rival, when he could pick and choose a healer in his own clan. But when I took a closer look at the boy, I knew at once the vibrant yellow eyes in his flushed, sweaty face. “He has dragon blood running through his veins,” I said.
The man—who introduced himself as Pax—confirmed my suspicions. Aedan’s father had been a dragon tamer. The old practice of the dragon tamer was to imbue oneself with dragon blood in order to better bond with the temperamental creatures. But the young boy was a budding fire mage, and he had his father’s fire dragon blood in him. This combination was not only dangerous, but it was potentially fatal. It created within him such a tempestuous and volatile personality that the boy was literally burning himself from the inside.
The best I could do was to tame the part of him that was fueled by dragon blood. I kept him in my hut with a cold compress on his forehead, and I gently massaged his temples, whispering the ancient language of dragons in his ear. Slowly, his fever died down.
As soon as he was well enough, I sent the pair away under cover of night. But I knew that Aedan would always maintain that fiery, uncontrollable spirit, and those impulses that could lead him to self-destruction. I knew that all I had given the boy was at best a few years of peace. As he came of age, the fire within him would ignite once again.
I was so glad I was able to choose this book to read even though I knew the ending would be bittersweet. But let me tell you this, the author wrote the story so awesome. There were conflicts, romance, and actions all packed in just 40 something pages and yet it still felt like a complete story. I definitely would recommend to this book to everyone because it was different type of bittersweet. It still had a nice ending. Highly recommended to dragon fan. Truly awesome short and quick read. In some way, it read as a happy ending but still a bittersweet one.
Sean rates it 5 stars. Read the full review
I was so glad I was able to choose this book to read even though I knew the ending would be bittersweet. But let me tell you this, the author wrote the story so awesome. There were conflicts, romance, and actions all packed in just 40 something pages and yet it still felt like a complete story. I definitely would recommend to this book to everyone because it was different type of bittersweet. It still had a nice ending. Sometime it took scarification to show a true love and that was what happened in this book. It was an interesting world building the author had described in the story. It was hard to see if there was anything wrong in the story but there wasn’t. I adore the tamer, Drake. He was the most caring character in the story. I liked Aedan very much too. He was such a vulnerable person but an actual hero.
Highly recommended to dragon fan. It isn’t a shifter story, but a story that involves dragons and mages. Truly awesome short and quick read. In some way, it read as a happy ending but still a bittersweet one.
To what lengths would you go to protect the one you love? In Dragon Tamer we follow the trials and inseparable bond of two intertwined souls; Aedan, a boy with the blood of dragons pulsing within him, and Drake, the dragon tamer who can calm his uncontrollable flame.
Ana Bosch creates a dangerous yet inspiring world full of mistrust, war and love in this powerful short story. The characters are very memorable and I could imagine their adventure in great detail as I read every page. In all honesty, this is the first story I have read in over six years, and it was a great read to pull me back in.
For the price this is a wonderful story to pick up and spend an evening reading.
I was initially somewhat reluctant to buy this because tragedies just get to me and, for my own peace of mind, I tend to stick to stories with a happy ending. I did end up reading this, however, and I do not regret it. The Dragon Tamer is a bit of a tearjerker but I enjoyed it immensely. The style and structure gives the fantasy a fairytale feel which suited it very nicely. The storytelling is excellent and I commend the author not only for style and inspiring themes and plot, but for the ability to create such sympathetic and real characters. Aedan isn't perfect, certainly not blameless, but his character still retains the kind of innocence that makes you feel for him. Drake on the other hand is quite simply a good guy. And they were sweet together. The ending didn't ruin it for me, gladly. It is actually quite beautiful. Highly recommended!
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