Dragons. Do you believe they exist? There are Komodo dragons, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about huge winged reptiles that can fly through the air and breathe fire.
The setting is Vietnam, 1968. I’m not much into reading books that center on the soldiers in a war. One word in the title of this book captured my attention: dragons. I wondered, was that word being used figuratively to describe the enemy they were fighting against? Did they seem as fierce as dragons? Or were there really fire-breathing dragons? Fighting the Vietnamese was bad enough, so how would the soldiers react to living, breathing dragons?
Vietnam was a conveyor belt of GIs. Stephens, Moore, Jacobs, Lynch, Jackson, Teacher, Diaz, and others go in. How many of them will leave that place alive, and how many will leave it in body bags? Will there be enough of the ones who are killed to even be put in a body bag? Jacobs is put in charge of his platoon. He was drafted into this war and left a wife behind at home. Will he even be able to kill the enemy?
One of the soldiers notices that there is something odd about the wounds on some of the dead. The wounds make it look as though the dead have been chewed on by some huge beast. There is talk of flying demons. It is thought that those who have seen these flying demons are hallucinating. They have been there too long and seen too many people killed. Maybe they’ve even killed too many themselves.
These soldiers are fighting in a land where no one can be trusted, not even the children. You could be blown up and killed by a child just as easily as you could meet death at the hands of a soldier.
The Dragon Master is a very cruel man who really seems to get into torturing people. His methods are horrendous and no detail is spared. One of the soldiers he tortures shows amazing strength, resilience, and even humor during his times of torture.
If you have a weak stomach, you need to prepare yourself before reading this book. I don’t have a weak stomach, but there is one torture scene that about made me sick. His descriptions are extremely realistic, and I don’t think there is any detail he leaves out.
I was sent a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to purchase a copy for yourself, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Amazon Link: There Be Dragons
Peter Hallett Interview – Inspiration, Dragons, and Vietnam
Psychological Horror vs. Supernatural Horror
Running with the Enemy – a Review
Lloyd Lofthouse Interview – Writing, Characters, and Vietnam
About the Author:
Peter Hallett originates from Haydock, England. He has also written scripts for independent movies and worked for a leading genre publication.