Moth and Spark, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


A Tale of Magic, Adventure and True Love. In the country of Caithen, Prince Corin is tasked with freeing the dragons from their bondage to the Emperor.

To help him in his quest, the terrifying beasts have allowed Corin a little of their power.

But the history of the dragons' slavery is shrouded in mystery and no one can assist in his quest to free them ...until the arrival of Tam at court - a sensible doctor's daughter, who discovers a remarkable talent.

She is a seer, gifted with visions. Sparks fly when Corin and Tam meet ...but it's not all happily ever after.

Not only is the prince forbidden to marry a commoner, but war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between love and duty, Corin and Tam must work together to master their newfound powers and unleash the dragons at last.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781472214850

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The dragons have chosen the heir to the throne, Prince Corin, to free them from their enslavement to the mad emperor Hadon. Tam is a commoner, invited to the court at Caithenor to keep her sister-in-law company while Cina’s husband – Tam’s brother – is away. While at the court, she witnesses a man’s death and discovers that she is a Seer. Setting tongues wagging with their whirlwind romance, Corin and Tam are separated when hostile armies invade Caithenor, and both must first survive the war against the Empire and its allied forces and, once reunited, are faced with an impossible choice.I read some very favourable reviews of this debut novel, but I have to confess to being more than slightly underwhelmed by it. I think the story has potential, but unfortunately the author has decided to let the romance between Corin and Tam take centre stage, rather than focusing on the more interesting and rewarding thread involving the dragons, how they came to be enslaved and how Corin must overcome several obstacles if he intends to free them. The result is a romance with dragons as minor players, and a very unevenly paced one at that: Tam and Corin take up so much space in the novel that the war and the final confrontation with Hadon felt unduly rushed, and I was convinced until very nearly the end of the book that the story would end on a cliff hanger, with a second book describing how Corin frees the dragons and providing the answers to some of the unresolved questions and unexplored avenues in terms of plot development and imagery; sadly, this is not the case. I admit that I enjoy a romantic sub-plot now and then, but here I felt that the romantic angle was shoved unnecessarily into readers’ faces, and in my opinion at least did lack the essential ingredient for a love story: palpable chemistry between the two lovers; just because the author tells us that Corin and Tam are falling in love and can’t keep their hands off each other, doesn’t mean that the spark transmits to the reader, and I feel less would definitively have been more in this case. Corin and Tam are likeable and I did feel for them, particularly towards the end when the romance took a back step to allow for more character development, but I took to Corin more as Tam is just too perfect to be entirely believable, apart from a mischievous streak, which felt slightly contrived at times.I also did not get on with the author’s style of prose at all: her sentences are on the whole quite short, giving the overall impression of being abrupt and devoid of atmosphere and eloquence. I think part of the problem is that the novel can’t decide whether it is a fairy tale or not; it has certain hallmarks of fairy-tale stories (love at first sight and against the odds, dragons, an evil adversary, destiny), even making reference to the stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (with an intriguing role reversal), and yet in my opinion the prose was completely at odds with the events described; for an example of economic yet poetic prose that enhances the setting turn to Kate Danley’s The Woodcutter to see how it’s done right.You might enjoy this if you put more emphasis on romance than plot and character development in your choice of reading, but this was not for me.(This review was written for Amazon's Vine programme.)

Also by Anne Leonard