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Forged By Fire

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In the explosive climax of the Dragon Temple saga, Zarq Darquel has secured a dragon estate for herself, in violation of every law which forbids women to own property. She had not seen herself as a revolutionary, but her enemies have given her no choice in her fight for freedom. Abandoning the estate where she thought she would be safe, Zarq journeys deep into the jungle In the explosive climax of the Dragon Temple saga, Zarq Darquel has secured a dragon estate for herself, in violation of every law which forbids women to own property. She had not seen herself as a revolutionary, but her enemies have given her no choice in her fight for freedom. Abandoning the estate where she thought she would be safe, Zarq journeys deep into the jungle in search of an ancient dragon secret that would give her the power to overthrow both Kratt and the corrupt Dragon Temple. She has taken with her some of the female dragons from her own estate, and in the jungle she will once again risk the dragons' highly addictive, hallucinogenic venom-renewing a craving that is becoming an obsession.


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In the explosive climax of the Dragon Temple saga, Zarq Darquel has secured a dragon estate for herself, in violation of every law which forbids women to own property. She had not seen herself as a revolutionary, but her enemies have given her no choice in her fight for freedom. Abandoning the estate where she thought she would be safe, Zarq journeys deep into the jungle In the explosive climax of the Dragon Temple saga, Zarq Darquel has secured a dragon estate for herself, in violation of every law which forbids women to own property. She had not seen herself as a revolutionary, but her enemies have given her no choice in her fight for freedom. Abandoning the estate where she thought she would be safe, Zarq journeys deep into the jungle in search of an ancient dragon secret that would give her the power to overthrow both Kratt and the corrupt Dragon Temple. She has taken with her some of the female dragons from her own estate, and in the jungle she will once again risk the dragons' highly addictive, hallucinogenic venom-renewing a craving that is becoming an obsession.

30 review for Forged By Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    A.

    There are things about this conclusion that I really appreciate, and I'm glad I finished the trilogy, but this was overall the weakest installment. To me it was pretty obvious that the author was having a really hard time wrapping up all the threads they had spun, and could have used a stronger editor to help clean up the detritus. I definitely got the gist of what was trying to be said, but the actual literary construction of it was wobbly and the prose suffered for it. There are things about this conclusion that I really appreciate, and I'm glad I finished the trilogy, but this was overall the weakest installment. To me it was pretty obvious that the author was having a really hard time wrapping up all the threads they had spun, and could have used a stronger editor to help clean up the detritus. I definitely got the gist of what was trying to be said, but the actual literary construction of it was wobbly and the prose suffered for it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    I had a very difficult time writing this review, trying to figure out what to say. This is an interesting book gives you no information. It’s not a “bad” book or a “good” book, but a very different one. Janine Cross’s world building is above excellence, as is her characterization. She touches on difficult subjects of religion, politics, drug abuse, physical abuse, rape, prejudice—just about every evil problem that exists and does so with skill. But technique aside, I didn’t care for the book. Fir I had a very difficult time writing this review, trying to figure out what to say. This is an interesting book gives you no information. It’s not a “bad” book or a “good” book, but a very different one. Janine Cross’s world building is above excellence, as is her characterization. She touches on difficult subjects of religion, politics, drug abuse, physical abuse, rape, prejudice—just about every evil problem that exists and does so with skill. But technique aside, I didn’t care for the book. First of all, it is so obviously a sequel—something I rail about often. When you start reading the book, you’re starting in the middle of the story, not beginning a new story. If you haven’t read the other books in the series you’re going to be lost. Though the story does finish, it is still only part of a story. Also, the book is dark in the extreme. If you’re looking for the typical dragon story, don’t look here. This one is disturbingly brutal in subject and portrayal. Though technically well-written, I did not enjoy reading the book. It ends well as everything appears to be tied up, but that doesn’t make the reading any easier. Plus the difficult terminology had me stopping many times as I tried to figure out what was being said. Once you’ve stopped the reader, you’ve lost him or her—which is what happened to me many times. I’d get frustrated with the reading, put it down, and not go back for several days. So, my recommendation is this: If you’ve read the other books in this series, definitely get this one in order to finish the story. If you enjoyed them, you’ll probably enjoy this one. But, if you haven’t read the other books, beware of this one as it is dark, brutal, and definitely not your standard dragon fantasy story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    April 13th 2013 Reading this as young as I was, it was my first exposure to something like this, and this story will truly stick with me for the rest of my life. EDIT: August 23rd 2014 okay lemme get back to this book. I recently took out all three and read them once again back-to-back in three days. and dear lord, this series was just as amazing as the last time. (view spoiler)[ I don't know what it is that makes these books so important to me, whether it was the fact that they tell the tragic yet gl April 13th 2013 Reading this as young as I was, it was my first exposure to something like this, and this story will truly stick with me for the rest of my life. EDIT: August 23rd 2014 okay lemme get back to this book. I recently took out all three and read them once again back-to-back in three days. and dear lord, this series was just as amazing as the last time. (view spoiler)[ I don't know what it is that makes these books so important to me, whether it was the fact that they tell the tragic yet gladdening story of a young woman and her family, or the epic path she took on her way to literally "[shaking] an entire nation". I know a lot of people don't get past the first novel (please, DONT MOCK THE VENOM COCK)and the level of uncensored content and detail is usually the cause of that, but in retrospect it's probably what had me scampering for the next books in the series, as i'd never been exposed to such graphic subject as in these books. So, yes, at the ripe young age of 12 (or might've been 13, can't remember) I'd uncovered in these novels the horrors of female genital mutilation, bestiality, rape, and addiction. And this series continues to be one of my top most favorites, because of the fact that a young girl was able to withstand these trials and change the lives of everyone, from poor to rich, in her nation. Still get chills, hey-o. (Also, i loved the fact that she wasn't "Chosen" in any way, which is and will always be a trope used in fantasy literature. Even is people believed she had some otherworldly power or figure looking after her, everything she did was by her own sheer will. Which is pretty damn awesome.) (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven Allen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is the last in a trilogy that was a decent read, but one that I am not likely to read again or add to my personal library. Janine Cross created a vivid and interesting world that is a little different than other fantasy worlds with dragons. No elves, dwarves or other fantasy creatures appear in this world. Thankfully, no sparkling vampires either, or I would have tossed this book in the recycling bin. Other than the rampant lesbianism and bestiality, this is a decent story about a young This book is the last in a trilogy that was a decent read, but one that I am not likely to read again or add to my personal library. Janine Cross created a vivid and interesting world that is a little different than other fantasy worlds with dragons. No elves, dwarves or other fantasy creatures appear in this world. Thankfully, no sparkling vampires either, or I would have tossed this book in the recycling bin. Other than the rampant lesbianism and bestiality, this is a decent story about a young woman from the bottom of the class structure attempting to better her life and the life of others. Zarq is subjected to nearly all the evils that can befall a woman - female circumcision, sexism, classism, and racism. I felt some empathy for Zarq's lover Jotan who chose her addiction to dragon venom over a life with Zarq. Despite that Jotan and Zarq were from the polar opposites of the class system, they had a meaningful relationship shortened in the last book by Jotan's violent suicide. If you are looking for light, fluffy, full of rainbows and unicorns fantasy - this isn't it. There is no happy ever after ending, and if you have to have a Disney-esq ending - skip this book. I like dark fantasy having read Tanith Lee for years. Janine Cross is no Tanith Lee, nor even a close second, but her writing was good enough to entertain me through three books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    It may be liked and appreciated by many readers, but for me Janine Cross' Dragon Temple series is an example of what I myself seriously dislike in literature; the following review therefore reflects a very subjective and personal opinion. The characters are supposed to make us either pity them (thus the author describes in minute details their - usually sexual in nature - humiliation and degradation) or hate them (and thus, the author depicts, once again in a detailed way, the cruel and evil act It may be liked and appreciated by many readers, but for me Janine Cross' Dragon Temple series is an example of what I myself seriously dislike in literature; the following review therefore reflects a very subjective and personal opinion. The characters are supposed to make us either pity them (thus the author describes in minute details their - usually sexual in nature - humiliation and degradation) or hate them (and thus, the author depicts, once again in a detailed way, the cruel and evil acts - usually sexual in nature - that they committ or allow to be committed by their subordinates. The line between describing atrocities to provoke the outrage of the reader and describing them to provide a thrill and tillitation is often very fine - and, in my opinion, the autor crosses (pun intended) it more than once in the series. While her concept of the fantasy world is original and could be a great assett, the narrative as such sometimes seems less than logical in its development; great themes that the author wants to discuss (racism, sexism, misogyny, exploitation, class differences, distribution of wealth in the world, the treatment of animals, colonialism) overburden the thin plot. The third book is better, in my opinion, than the previous two, but still deserves - from me, as a result of my own personal opinion - one star, because you cannot give none.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A warning: If you're looking for some escapist fare a la a Pratchett novel, these 3 volumes are definitely not for you. Zarq's world is viciously misanthropic/misogynistic and our protagonist suffers degradation, rape and genital mutilation among other tortures before she succeeds in throwing off the tyranny of the Dragon Temple. I think Cross is a pretty good writer with potential. The difficulty I have with giving this trilogy 3 stars is two-fold. One, I think she overplays the humiliation the A warning: If you're looking for some escapist fare a la a Pratchett novel, these 3 volumes are definitely not for you. Zarq's world is viciously misanthropic/misogynistic and our protagonist suffers degradation, rape and genital mutilation among other tortures before she succeeds in throwing off the tyranny of the Dragon Temple. I think Cross is a pretty good writer with potential. The difficulty I have with giving this trilogy 3 stars is two-fold. One, I think she overplays the humiliation the character suffers; Zarq is constantly falling into a horrid situation, enduring it, only to fall into another horrid situation. In isolation each of these set pieces is well written but, strung together, they are "overkill." Two, as often happens, the ending comes much too quickly, and depends upon the usual trope of a prophesied messiah figure saving the good guys. It is, admittedly, a personal bias but I've grown to dislike fiction where "fate" actually does rule the world and the good guys can't lose. On the plus side in Cross's world, however, the "good guys" aren't really that "good," and Zarq clearly recognizes when all is said and done that she's not living in a Utopia where evil, injustice, etc., have been eliminated.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aiyana

    The writing continues lush and beautiful, the plot complex, and the protagonist believably flawed without being so idiotic that you come to dislike her altogether. I want to read more by this author!! Favorite quotes: "I was going to war. It seemed surreal... surreal but terrifyingly true. Like the way a nightmare can leave one unsettled for days, the residue of the unreal viscerally impressive and impossible to shake, affecting how one views every moment..." (p 310) "People's beliefs and wants var The writing continues lush and beautiful, the plot complex, and the protagonist believably flawed without being so idiotic that you come to dislike her altogether. I want to read more by this author!! Favorite quotes: "I was going to war. It seemed surreal... surreal but terrifyingly true. Like the way a nightmare can leave one unsettled for days, the residue of the unreal viscerally impressive and impossible to shake, affecting how one views every moment..." (p 310) "People's beliefs and wants vary for a myriad of reasons: upbringing, status, health, perceived needs. Culture, personal quirks, family foibles. Fears. Boundaries. Experiences or lack thereof. People react strongly and uniquely to situations for all the above reasons, and emotions are triggered. And so people disagree and disagree vehemently. "Life is change. Growth is optional. One must choose wisely." (p. 351-2)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anberlin

    A satisfying last book with an alright ending! There isn't as much X-rated stuff in here as compared to the first two books, thank god. I'm a bit disappointed in how the venom as addiction issue was addressed in the end, am happy that Zarq embraced who she really was, but am also let down somewhat by the revelations of the plotline and side characters. Ah well, it is still a good book despite the morbid themes and made for a nice read although lacking the hook it initially had in the first two b A satisfying last book with an alright ending! There isn't as much X-rated stuff in here as compared to the first two books, thank god. I'm a bit disappointed in how the venom as addiction issue was addressed in the end, am happy that Zarq embraced who she really was, but am also let down somewhat by the revelations of the plotline and side characters. Ah well, it is still a good book despite the morbid themes and made for a nice read although lacking the hook it initially had in the first two books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janna Garrett

    Messy. I liked the entire trilogy more for its potential. This last book felt rushed, like it needed another edit and rewrite. That being said, I'm glad I read this book and this trilogy. While sometimes graphic, it was nothing like watching Game of Thrones. I'm always happy to read an author who doesn't want to impress people at the sake of their own work. I just wish she'd... managed her time before deadlines better? I'm not sure how I'd go about recommending these books/this book. Messy. I liked the entire trilogy more for its potential. This last book felt rushed, like it needed another edit and rewrite. That being said, I'm glad I read this book and this trilogy. While sometimes graphic, it was nothing like watching Game of Thrones. I'm always happy to read an author who doesn't want to impress people at the sake of their own work. I just wish she'd... managed her time before deadlines better? I'm not sure how I'd go about recommending these books/this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindywho

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. OK, enough of the Djimbi ex machina. I was hoping she could do a little something more for the dragons, but at least there was a nifty creature at the end. Poor Zarq, she never does get away from the crazy mom. I had a hard time keeping track of the creepy men, but at least the storyline was never very predictable (though improbable, but then - it's a fantasy about dragons!) OK, enough of the Djimbi ex machina. I was hoping she could do a little something more for the dragons, but at least there was a nifty creature at the end. Poor Zarq, she never does get away from the crazy mom. I had a hard time keeping track of the creepy men, but at least the storyline was never very predictable (though improbable, but then - it's a fantasy about dragons!)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    Worse than even the second one. The first one was the only semi-good one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Too bad book three meant is was all over. Thoroughly enjoyed this series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    LuhSwagg Alwayzz Jiggin

    Cool book

  14. 4 out of 5

    sue

    Rarely don't finish books but god what a slog trying to get through this...for months. Nope, sorry, I give up. Rarely don't finish books but god what a slog trying to get through this...for months. Nope, sorry, I give up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason Schlinker

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandra Simic

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Duncan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dante Carlisle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Will

  22. 4 out of 5

    Khyati Patel

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lorien Russell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alyssia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kandy A Groce

  27. 5 out of 5

    Qendresa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Poetje

  29. 4 out of 5

    April

  30. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Keith

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