Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 3 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Coming of Age, Coming Out / Closeted, Death of Parent, Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 139,000
Setting: Alexandria, Virginia, Washington D.C., Ireland
Languages Available: English
I am a big fan of C. Kennedy’s novels. Like the author’s other books, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons has a main character who has been abused. The abuse in this book has a wider reach than just Isidore. A friend of Declan’s has been abusing other students at the private academy that the two young men attend. That friend has also been abused. Those abusers were abused as well. It was a vicious cycle that showed how so many times the abused become abusers. Thank goodness that isn’t the case for Isidore and another friend, Caleb, who ends up playing a big role in the story.
What makes the abused main characters so special in C. Kennedy’s books is their resilience. They have been broken what should be beyond repair. Physically, mentally, and sexually abused, to the point of wanting to commit suicide. Yet the characters still have hope. The introduction of a truly caring character like Declan, his mother Sorcha, the psychologist couple of Bobby and Mike, and Caleb’s boyfriend Jordan. These caring individuals are heartwarming characters. They give love unconditionally and easily. Declan and Isidore’s relationship is very sweet. Though Declan appears to be the stronger of the two, he knows and the reader knows that Isidore’s strength is amazing after what he has been through.
In addition to the love story and the healing journey taken by Isidore, there is a mystery going on throughout the story as well. Isidore’s abuse, the assassination of Isidore’s mother and Declan’s father,the murder of two students at the academy, not to mention the multiple murder attempts on Sorcha, Declan, Isidore, and Caleb all seemed to be connected. While there are suspects, it is not clear until the end of the story who is truly behind the troubles. I loved that it kept me guessing until the end. It was a really well rounded story filled with action, courage, and the healing power of love.
Slaying Isidore's Dragons was a 2015 Rainbow Awards Finalist - Best Gay Young Adult Fiction