SPFBO FINALIST REVIEW: Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olsen

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Wow is that title a mouthful! This is one of my favorite reads of 2022 and I was so stoked to see it tapped as a finalist, way to go Quen! Kristen and I have been personal friends with Quen for a while now, and most everyone in the Indie community who know us both, knows that too, lol. So, for the sake of a drama free score, since my personal score is a 9/10 for a personal friend, we recruited a guest judge!!!!

HERES MY REVIEW for this book, but it is NOT the official score.

People who have followed this contest for a few years will know this name, but hopefully you guys know her outside of this contest, too. She’s a great reviewer and she’s coming back out of retirement for one more SPFBO REVIEW!!!



Review by Kitty G

I picked this one up after I heard it was part of the SPFBO and because it was all about dragons (or so it seemed). I personally have a bit of a soft spot for a regency-style plot or romance every now and then, and I kind of thought that was the direction we were going in here, and to some extent it is.

We follow a ‘spinster’ called Miss Percy who is living in her sister’s house as a kind of nanny to her niece and nephew. She’s there because she’s never married or had any reason to leave, but she can’t exactly say she enjoys it. Her life is a pretty dull one and mostly she keeps herself to herself and just does what her sister asks (although her sister is a bit of a brute at times and doesn’t really consider feeling above how she might look to the town).

One day Mildred (Miss Percy) is left an inheritance from an elderly relative she knew little of. As part of the inheritance a stone is given and whilst it may seem a little fanciful, maybe there is a secret among all the odd things she’s been given and maybe she can uncover something exciting. Of course, she gets more than she bargained on!

What I like about this is that it’s very easy reading on the whole. When I sat down with some time I managed to read a lot and enjoyed the personality and perspective of Miss Percy. Each chapter starts with an extract from Miss Percy’s Guide to the Care of Dragons and so you know straight away that the stage of life Miss Percy is in at the moment isn’t where she ends up, and mostly it’s an adventure to follow how she gets from her current life to the one we know she ends up at.

The story was nice in that it’s not a typical character and she’s older, wiser and a bit more sensible with most of her decisions. She also befriends nice people and thinks a bit about situations before just rushing in, so that’s a nice change from a typical teen heroine. It’s always nice to try reading a different kind of character.

The book has a lot of parentheses which the author breaks through and adds comments and stories and background. Sometimes I really enjoyed the breaking of the ‘rules’ to chip in and add to the moment, and other times it felt a little heavy-handed, so that’s one of my slight complaints with this book.
The other slight complaint is that this really only starts off the story of Miss Percy and although there’s clearly more to come (and I have bought the sequel to see what’s next) I wanted to have a bit more resolution in this one. We end on a bit of a cliffhanger and we also don’t see as far into Miss Percy’s progression towards the life in the extracts of her book as I hoped, but we do have a slightly over dramatic and fun plot to follow when someone else comes looking for part of her inheritance.

Overall, I definitely had fun with this one and I will happily continue the series as it’s an enjoyable read and has some good moments. I have it 3.5*s in the end (would be 7/10 for SPFBO) and I definitely think this is a great lighter one for between some heavier reads.