Book Review: Serpents of Sky: Nine Stories of Dragons by Heidi C. Vlach


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I’ve always been fascinated by dragons and how they are portrayed in different myths and cultures, so I couldn’t pass the opportunity to read this collection of short stories that is entirely dedicated to them. I must say that each story was a pleasant surprise, especially because some of them depicted dragons as I’ve never found them before in other novels or stories.

My favorite was “Cardiology”, and the only thing that disappointed me a bit was that it was too short. Reading the last sentences, I had to admit that the author ended it exactly where it should have ended, but I still wanted more. I would have liked to see how Theodore survived in the post-apocalyptic world roamed by infected humans, but, more than anything, I wanted to make sure the little dragons didn’t get hurt during their adventure outside the laboratory. This story pulled me in from the first few paragraphs, and that was not only because it is so original and unexpected, but also because the author managed to build her character, Theodore, so well, and to make me fall in love with the dragons he created. That’s, actually, quite impressive if you think that not many writers can deliver so much in the limited number of pages a short story offers: a good premise, interesting characters, well-paced action, and emotional attachment.

Another personal favorite was “Clearsight”. I loved the idea of two dragons creating life on Earth and trying to find the perfect formula that would result in a creature that would be capable of thought and reason. It was also interesting how the author tied the extinction of dinosaurs to her story.

“The Korvi’s Limbs” is another short story that I thought was truly interesting and original. It reads like a mythic story of how a race was created, and I loved the message behind it. The Korvi received each new limb from their god only after they had earned it. It shows how evolution is all about wanting more than you have and actively doing something to get it. When the first Korvi got what he wanted, the next one came with an even higher goal, and this is how they evolved as a species.

I have only mentioned the short stories that I liked most, but “Serpents of Sky” deserves to be read for all of them. Heidi C. Vlach is a very creative and skilled writer, having the gift of making you care about the characters and what may happen to them from page one.