Review: “The Screams of Dragons” by Kelley Armstrong

4 of 5 stars.

Old World folklore of the otherworld Fae meets modern America in this tale as a grandmother fears her grandson is a changeling, but her accusations fall on deaf ears.

Bobby Sheehan has always dreamt of castles and golden fields. His mother’s rural American village of Cainsville, feeds his imagination with its many gargoyles and town elders that dote on Bobby and his imagination. He also has friends there in Rose and Hannah unlike at school where he is ostracized for being in his own little world.

One day his dreams change–he dreams of dragons screaming. He tells his paternal grandmother about his dreams, leaving out the bit about dragons, and she comes to the fearful conclusion that he is not her grandson but rather an imposter from the Fae world. She starts to torment and abuse poor, innocent Bobby. His parents overlook it. His younger sister goads the grandmother into doing it more. The grandmother also fears the entire town of Cainsville and keeps the family from going to the one place Bobby feels safe.

One day, he takes matters into his own hands with his grandmother . . . and the dragons scream.

This sad tale of abuse and ostracization starts to pick at the edges of reality as dreams solidify and supernatural senses seem to emerge. Actions have consequences, as do inactions.

“The Screams of Dragons” appears in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2015 edited by Paula Guran and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Subterranean Press Magazine, Spring 2014.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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