×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Touched by Venom: Book One of the Dragon Temple Saga
     

Touched by Venom: Book One of the Dragon Temple Saga

3.1 12
by Janine Cross
 

See All Formats & Editions

On a large dragon estate in Malacar, young Zarq Darquel's rebellious ways go unnoticed by the watchful eye of the Dragon Temple-until she accidentally captures the attention of an eccentric and dangerous dragonmaster and unleashes a storm of tragedy. Zarq and her delirious half-breed mother flee through the underworld of their land-from The Zone of the Dead to a

Overview

On a large dragon estate in Malacar, young Zarq Darquel's rebellious ways go unnoticed by the watchful eye of the Dragon Temple-until she accidentally captures the attention of an eccentric and dangerous dragonmaster and unleashes a storm of tragedy. Zarq and her delirious half-breed mother flee through the underworld of their land-from The Zone of the Dead to a sanctuary for outcast dragons, through discovery and persecution. Consumed with the desire for revenge, Zarq develops a taste for the highly addictive venom drawn from the dragons she has been taught to revere, and sinks into a realm of bizarre magics. Here, influenced by the divine grace of dragon memories, Zarq glimpses possibilities of revenge and social revolution; but to achieve such, she must defy not just the sexual taboos and patriarchal conventions of her society, but the Emperor who rules her nation.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
From J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea to Anne McCaffrey's Pern -- and literally thousands of other stories in between -- the subject of dragons has been explored to death, right? Not quite. Touched by Venom, the first book in a series by Janine Cross, puts a cool, new twist on a well-worn motif.

Nine-year old Zarq Darquel has suffered more tragedy and despair in her short life than most people experience in a lifetime. The ill-fated serf child -- whose meager existence on a large dragon estate in the patriarchal realm of Malacar can be described as impoverished during the best of times -- has seen her older sister sold into sexual slavery, her father murdered, and her half-breed mother driven insane by grief and persecution. Finally, finding herself alone and hopeless in a remote convent that cares for impotent and senile bull dragons that have outlived their usefulness, Zarq vows to avenge the destruction of her family -- and somehow change her society's oppressive conventions regarding sexual and racial equality -- by any means possible. The solution to her quandary lies in dragon venom…

Fans of dragon-fueled fantasy should definitely check out this emotionally charged and brilliantly unique coming-of-age story. Cross's Dragon Temple saga is steeped in compelling social and religious intrigue and powered by courageous, richly described protagonists that readers can't help but pull for. Set in a repressive realm where dragons are paradoxically both enslaved and revered (much like women), Touched by Venom is highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Set in Malacar, a land with a repressive patriarchal society that both worships and enslaves dragons, Cross's bold debut introduces headstrong nine-year-old Zarq Darquel, who lives a harsh but not completely unpleasant life as a member of the pottery clan on a dragon estate. When destitution forces her father to sell Waisi, Zarq's beautiful older sister, into sexual slavery, her mother, Kavarria, who belongs to the disdained Djimbi race, tries to save Waisi at all costs, but more tragedy follows. Zarq, her life governed by her mother's madness and obsession, eventually winds up as a sexually mutilated nun caring for retired bull dragons. Turning the fantasy clich of the underdog girl who dreams of dragon-mastery into a grim but fascinating coming-of-age tale, Cross scratches only the surface of this richly detailed, well-imagined world. Hints of a plot involving social and religious revolution hold promise for future installments of the Dragon Temple saga. Agent, Caitlin Blasdell at the Liza Dawson Agency. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Headstrong and independent in a society where women are silent breeders of sons and where both men and women are ruled by the whims of the dragonmasters of the Dragon Temple, Zarq Darquel angers the authorities and brings disaster upon her clan and her family. With her now insane mother, she embarks on a dangerous journey to find and rescue her sister, sold into slavery, and in doing so plants her feet on the road to revolution. Set in a jungle world reminiscent of tribal Africa and South America, Canadian author Cross's debut novel tells a fascinating story of love and vengeance. Offering a different approach to dragons and dragonlore, the author combines skillful storytelling with sensually evocative details. With particular appeal to fans of the works of Jacqueline Carey and Terry Goodkind, this opening volume of a planned trilogy is highly recommended for most libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A bizarre and overwrought first novel, the first in a trilogy, about humans who worship and live side-by-side with dragons. Zarq Darquel, daughter of a "dragonwhore" known as a Djimbi, is a peasant girl living on the dragon estate Clutch Re. She first learns of her mother's deviant nature during a complex and sexually perverse apprenticeship induction ceremony known as Mombe Taro, and her life is never the same after that. Her sister, Waivia, who sought to become an ebani-a royal concubine-but instead becomes a sex slave, is taken far away from Zarq and her mother. Zarq, who then loses her mother to insanity, finds herself with few options and sets off for the dangerous Zone of the Dead and on to other strange places in search of her sister. Cross seems to be trying to make dragons the new vampires. The trouble is that while vampires were once human, dragons would be considered animals, so any sexual tension Cross creates is akin to bestiality, resulting in a truly ridiculous and at times revolting fantasy. The narrative is further bogged down by turgid, faux-archaic prose, with stilted dialogue whose only otherworldly characteristic is the tendency to end sentences with "hey-o."Wretched drivel of the sort that gives fantasy a bad name.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451460486
Publisher:
Roc Trade
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Series:
Dragon Temple Saga Series , #1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.82(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Touched by Venom: Book One of the Dragon Temple Saga 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Set in a strange land where dragon masters rule over vast areas of the kingdom called dragon estates, Zarq is a young girl in a pottery clan. Their small clan draws the eyes of the dragon master and their peaceful lives are turned upside down. Zarq's sister is sold into slavery and her mother is slowly losing her mind. Zarq makes a run for it, dragging her mother with her. Their journey takes them to a variety of areas, including a home for the dead and a convent built for the care of elderly dragons. She blames the dragon masters for her mother's condition and her sister's disappearance and will do anything as she seeks her revenge. A very odd tale, and one that I came close to putting down several times. The beginning sequences were almost to fantastical, and I had a difficult time falling into the story. The characters, while changing, did not seem to have very many dynamic qualities to them. Their circumstances changed their actions, but their personalities or thoughts. The land itself was well thought out and interesting. The locations each had their own unique charm without ever being perfect. The plot was easy to follow, once you figured out the ways of the kingdom. I'm going to give the series one more book to see if I can get into them a little bit more before giving up on it. 2.5/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Way too much of the same = main character has one thing after another happen and it becomes ho hum. The story doesn't seem to go much of anywhere. Don't think I'd bother wih the next one. Also, the bestiality is a bit much. I would not recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lately it seems I've been picking up books, read about half become bored with it and onto the next book... I actually pushed my way through this entire book, mainly because it had the 'promise' of so much more. Even when I finished I did have a bit of a wonder what the next book would hold. All and all not a regretable read, but the fantasy jargin made it a little hard to follow. Seems this book was a stepping stone leading up to the real story. More than likely I'll pick up the next in the series. I hope I won't be disapointed.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On the pottery clan dragon estate Clutch Re in Malacar, Darquel has no choice but to sell his beautiful oldest daughter Waivia into slavery to First Son, Waikar Re Kratt. His wife Kavarria is stunned, refuses to accept reality, and rejects condemning her child to the harsh humiliating life of a sex slave a broken jaw later does not stop the claim. Their other daughter nine-year-old Zarq watches her previous somewhat impoverished life fall apart as her mother, already considered crazy, fails to cope............. Because of her mother¿s obsessed actions, Zarq becomes a sexual victim ultimately turning into a sexually mutilated nun. She is alone except for tending retired bull dragons where she begins to learn their secrets. The future is nonexistent, the present grim, and the past horrid only a thirst for revenge and to rescue her sister keeps Zarq breathing........................ Turning the White Dragon of Pern upside down, Zarq is terrific in this coming of age tale as instead of becoming the heroic rider of a dragon she is the abused caretaker of aging retirees. The story line is action-packed yet provides a vivid grim look at society from within the dragon estate and the dragon nursing estate amongst other even grimmer locales. Readers will appreciate this strong opening entry in the Dragon Temple Saga that if Zarq has her way should lead to profound fascinating future adventures................. Harriet Klausner