Reviewing Mark of the Dragon: The Diverse Lesbian Paranormal Fantasy You Need NOW

Mark of the Dragon

by JW Troemner
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Series: Urban Dragon #1
Genre: Urban, Paranormal,
Age: Adult
Format: Ebook, 88 pgs.
Source: Free for Review
Rating: 5 Stars
Recommendable? Yes
CW: Creepy Assholes
Rosario Hernandez doesn't ask for much. She'd like to sleep on a bed instead of a sidewalk, to know where her next meal is coming from, and maybe, if she's really feeling optimistic, to get a girlfriend. More than anything, though, she wants her best friend Arkay to not murder anyone— because Arkay is a dragon, claws and all, and she has a penchant for vigilante justice. When Arkay's latest escapade goes sour, Rosario gets stuck with a stolen van and a cooler full of human organs. Now they're on the run, and it's not just the cops who want answers. The owner of the cooler is still out there, and they want to replace what they've lost— by any means necessary.

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The Cooler:

“What have ya got there?” Raimo asked when his inspection reached the back of the van.

“No clue,” I said, coming around front. “The guy we got this from said he was delivering something.”

“Like what, a case of beer?” He tipped the box back a few inches, and it made a wet gravelly sound. “It looks like a cooler.”

“Must have been some excellent beer,” I said, tapping the padlock that sealed the lid. “You don’t get ice boxes like this at Walmart.”

An excited grin crossed Raimo’s face. “Let’s find out, shall we? Give me a second.” He vanished into the garage and came out with what I could only describe as a murder weapon. “Watch your fingers, Hiccup.”

This wasn’t a friendly little set of bolt cutters. It had wicked blades nearly as long as “Isn’t that a bit excessive?” I asked.

“I know, right?” he squealed. “I just got her in. Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m going to call her Matilda.”

“Ooh, did Raimo get a new toy?” Arkay called from inside. “I wanna see!” She bounded out to join us, bits of moisture still dripping down from her damp hair.

The padlock could probably have been pulled off with a solid pull, but Raimo caught the remaining sliver of metal between Matilda’s jaws with an almost dainty twist. Another roar, and the pieces fell away.

“All right,” Arkay said, taking the lid with both hands. “Let’s see what we’ve got here.”

Matilda hit the floor with a solid thunk as Raimo stumbled back. “Jesus Christ!”

It took me a moment longer to make sense of the metallic, meaty smell and the sudden flash of red.

The Good The Bad & The Other
EVERYTHING It’s short & it ends & I need to know everything that happens next…

I’m white, attracted to men, and not a dragon, but this feels like a ‘me’ book because I’ve been homeless and in shelters. It’s so rare to find books with characters like these and it’s done so well. It’s the main reason I immediately signed up to review this book. With or without the dragons. And ya’ll know how much I love dragons.

There is the threat of sexual violence and just violence in general in their day to day survival. Their constant moving, their packing habits, the tent cities…. It resonates with me, my experience, my mother’s and every homeless person we’ve known.

For them to be strong and not pitiful addicts or broken souls in need of salvation is great, but for them to be heroes? Their OWN heroes? Oh gods, I’m so fucking happy. I feel like crying, even now, just thinking about it. I just want to hold this book up and shout “READ THIS DAMNIT.”

I don’t need an explanation why they don’t bother with shelters. Some are more dangerous than the streets (if you can even get in one in the first place) and the employees/volunteers…There’s plenty of damn good reasons not to be in one and everyone has their horror stories to prove it.

I also don’t need to know exactly how they wound up on the streets either. Everyone has their story, but one the street, people don’t talk about it much. It’s all about survival. And it doesn’t matter anyways. People like to grill us for whys and hows, as if that will reveal what we’ve done to deserve this. Which is bullshit. Ask for answers and you’re immediately suspect.

So, a preemptive fuck you to any one wondering and questioning Arkay and Rosario’s life on the street. This shit is real. If you have a hard time believing and accepting it, that’s on you and your privilege.

Nobody needs your clueless ass second guessing our life choices like you’d be able to do so much fucking better on your high horse. And don’t even try to defend it with “just trying to help” nonsense either. We see you, even if you’re too blinded by your own asshole to do so.

Mark of the Dragon is amazing. I loved every.single.thing. I was immediately swept up and hooked in the story. I FLEW through it.

But it’s impossible to talk about because it’s so damn short! The storyline bad dude is wrapped and all, but there’s no closure. What do these girls do next? What about the new sorta bad people? The problems with the cops? It just stops. I triple checked my copy and the page numbers and it’s still hard to believe it just ends there.

Grrrr, give me more! I will obviously be continuing. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Arkay and Rosario.

I’ve read the blurb for the next installment, Shadow and Steel, and it says they’re moving forward with their lives. Great, fantastic! But that’s not how Mark ended so it sounds like there’s a time jump and then the next story starts. I need to know damnit!

Read the excerpt here, preview Mark of the Dragon on the Amazon page, and get it.

Yes, it’s short. Yes, it’s $3 if you don’t have Kindle Unlimited or Prime. BUT. IT IS SO GOOD. If you love paranormal fantasy, non-white, non-heterosexual financially screwed characters, dragons, dark, interesting, and different fantasy…just get it now. It’s absolutely positively worth it.

And if you don’t like it, don’t tell me.

About the Author:

JW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.

JW Troemner will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to follow the tour & comment to increase your chances of winning!


  1. Brooke, I am so glad that this story resonated with you as much as it did-- and in a positive way, too.

    Thank you so much for your review, and for sharing your experiences. It means a lot to me.

    1. Thank you for writing it! I'll be getting the next one on pay day :D

  2. Congrats on the tour, the book looks great, and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. Awesome review! I can't wait to check this one out myself..thanks for sharing :)

  4. Thank you for your honest review, it's much appreciated!

  5. Shared on Facebook to help spread the word! :)


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