Touched by Venom


Author: Janine Cross

Published: 2005

Genre: Fantasy

About Touched By Venom: Book one of the Dragon Temple Saga

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Review of Touched by Venom

Let this be a lesson to you, roared the blue-eyed, blond-haired aristocrat, as blood from a woman's mouth dried upon his boot heels. Let this be a lesson none of you forget!

I can assure you, blue-eyed, blond-haired one, no one forgot. Not the pottery clan men, who ever after were the most brutally devout upon Clutch Re. Not the women, who suffered blows for misdemeanors imagined and real. And certainly not the potters' children, who witnessed the horror of that day. They, most of all, lived lives haunted by the only two screams the bound man had time to utter, a man who'd been a master potter, a claimer, and a father.

My father.

The woman with the broken jaw, my mother.

No, I can assure you, blue-eyed, blond-haired one, that was a lesson no one ever forgot. Least of all I, Zarq Kavarria Darquel. That lesson made me all that I am today.

...from page 2

This book follows the early life of our heroine Zarq who is blissfully confident of her place in a world where Dragons are treated as deities. Her confidence causes her to make a huge mistake that starts a series of events which she refuses to see as her fault.

I found myself so angry at times with Zarq for her stubbornness and at times wanted to comfort her after she reaps the rewards of her choices. Janine does a great job of creating characters that are real and who do not always do the right thing for the right reason. Sometimes they do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Frustrating as some of the characters are I liked them enough that I will be looking for the rest of the series to see what will happen next.

Reviewed by PB on 19 February 2009.

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More Reviews

Liz Henry, Strange Horizons, 6 February 2006
“...a thoughtful, enjoyable work of feminist speculative fiction.”
Danielle L. Parker, Bewildering Stories, 27 March 2006
“...a definitely dark, but involving, story.”
Richard Marcus, Leap in the Dark, 3 May 2006
“To me that is the mark of a good storyteller, someone who paints a picture for you to see, but doesn't point her finger at the important parts.”


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Added 14 March 2009.
Updated 07 September 2013.