The Birthday Dragon

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Polo Shawcross wishes for a new life, but the Birthday Dragon brings a ghost who says he’s not one, a best friend who thinks he’s gay, and a very bad reputation. Polo’s crazy extended family keep trying to kill him, and he becomes an unwilling party to treason. Adventure with more than one twist, set in a vivid new world where Men might be Dragons. More

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About Polo Shawcross

Polo Shawcross is the nom-de-plume of an Australian writer. Born in Western Australia, a descendant of murdering Irish Fenians, explorers, illegitimate sons of baronesses, and a long line of soldiers, she grew up with her main character Polo's mad-but-not-dangerous relations around her.

Even her religion was schizophrenic, as one parent was Protestant, one Catholic. In her 20's, thinking escape was possible, she moved to London. She was adopted by friendly Jewish people, who understood the crazy relations thing.

With a long stint in the music business on the business side, then on the creative one (the latter still ongoing), she had the kind of education money can't buy, which went nicely with the 2/3's of a degree in Creative Writing she'd taken away with her.

Also culpable when it comes to current career, work for different publishers in various positions, including the mail room and editor at various levels, including reading the slush pile and choosing what would be published, ghost-writing, editing (fiction and non-fiction), and proofreading.

Like Polo, she just wanted to read, but was left with the notion of running her own publishing company. Being rather financially-challenged, her empire currently encompasses only epublishing.

Book 2 and Book 3 are both underway. Book 2 is complete as of May 2012, but it's waiting until both are done before release. Book 2 covers Polo's initial army career then as he figures out transforming, tries working as a diplomat, and gets the Dragon queen right where he wants her. Which turns out to be right where she wants him.

Enjoy. And as Godley and Creme said (in their song about the music biz) "Art for art's sake. Money for God's sake."

Reviews

Review by: Rene Lathrop-Nethercot on April 20, 2012 : star star star star star
I enjoyed the voice of this story. It was full of vivid characters that were fun to either love or hate. Although I am not generally a fan of sci fi, this one kept my attention. I was sad when it was over because it certainly kept me engaged.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Johanna Harness on July 29, 2011 : star star star star star
So funny! I can't wait for the next one.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Raechelle Cremer on July 28, 2011 : star star star star star
Can't wait for the next book, to see what further scrapes find Polo.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle George on July 16, 2011 : star star star star star
Polo Shawcross is such an engaging character! I was drawn in from the very start, and although I had intended to read his adventures over a couple of days I read the lot in one sitting. The tale is beautifully written and characters well developed. The suicidal sheep were a pleasant sidebar :) I am looking forward to the next installment!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: escapisam on July 14, 2011 : star star star star star
This book was lots of fun and quite unique - I was frequently surprised and laughing out loud. Very much looking forward to the next installment. I have no idea what's going to happen but I can't wait to find out!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: koosli on July 12, 2011 : star star star star star
The hero of The Birthday Dragon is neither innocent nor wise, and he feels his way through his new world just as we readers do. It's pitched perfectly for the first instalment of a book series.

The setting mixes modern conveniences with ye olde goodness, yet it all makes sense. The culture is also thoroughly modern, but still with more traditional fantasy-genre stuff like bloodlines, feuds and royalty (and the odd dragon). It suits someone like me who gets bored with solemn, serious and, frankly, boring heroes. Polo Shawcross is certainly not boring! And there are loads of great characters.

The book as a whole is a great read and very well written, paced and edited. The action scenes were my highlights - fast-paced and exciting. I think this bodes very well for the next book, which I will definitely be grabbing a copy of.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: David Willanski on June 30, 2011 : star star star star star
If JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Jane Austen and Phillip K Dick were to collaborate on a book, they might write something like this.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Derek and Kong on June 29, 2011 : star star star star star
I've never read a Sci-Fi Fantasy book before so I didn't really know what to expect. The idea of something involving dragons, kings and castles quite frankly worried me... but it promised suicidal sheep! I had to give it a go.

If this is at all representative of the fantasy genre, then I've obviously been a fool to myself for ignoring it.

Yes there are castles, but they're weird floaty things that I could quite clearly see were spectacular. Yes there are royals aplenty but they're basically a bunch of drug taking sex addicts. Hardly the Windsors. More like Carry On Blackadder meets The Graduate - with added stimulants.

This is a great adventure story with lots of twists, humour, wonder and, best of all, suicidal sheep.

I can't wait for the next one!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bambi Gordon on June 29, 2011 : star star star star star
The Birthday Dragon is a fantastic read in itself but I suspect also a great introduction to what I think will be an epic journey - in a similar guise as Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy.

I love how this book made me think about our own society, beliefs and technology. Sometimes Sci Fi is all very 'out there'. Polo and his story where just enough 'out there' to be escapism but connected to home to make you think.

Most importantly - a sci fi styled book that has a lead character who is full of attitude and humour; not taking himself or the folk around him too seriously.

Eagerly awaiting the next installment.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Laurentius Augustus on June 16, 2011 : star star star star star
The Birthday Dragon is a fun read; I would sit down for a half hour read after lunch, and find myself still there an hour later because I just had to know what happened next.

The characters are engaging, and if some of their luck or things that happen to them stretches belief, it stretches it in the direction where we would want it to go, where it would go if we were a little more as we'd like to be and less as reality makes us. It's just right for a satisfying fantasy read.

New and intriguing ideas keep appearing throughout the book, and draw you in to the world the author has crafted. The events of the story happen in a rich and detailed universe. Some of its history is revealed in this book, and I am now curious to know more.

I will be waiting, impatiently, for the next book in the Polo Shawcross Journals.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Barbara Bailey on June 09, 2011 : star star star star star
My favorite writers: Terry Pratchett, Connie Willis, and now, Polo Shawcross. This first book in what I anticipate will be an exciting thrill-ride of a series left me hungry for more.

Trouble seems to follow Polo, hide in the shadows, and catch him by surprise, often because of his inability to keep his mouth, and trousers, zipped.

The story is as believable as it is fantastic. The writer deftly spins humor in the most unlikely of places, shocked, horrified, and thrilled me regularly throughout. No matter what trouble awaits Polo, how spoiled or self-centered he seems, or how often I wanted to reach through the pages to smack some sense into him, he's a genuinely good kid, and a very likeable one.

The mark of a good writer is the gamut of emotions they are able to evoke in the reader. I loved some characters, genuinely hated others, laughed out loud, got teary-eyed, and gasped in surprise; so engrossed in the book that I couldn't put it down.

A posh life of luxury and power awaits Polo. I can't wait to read the next book, and the entire series, to see if he can stay out of trouble (and alive!) long enough to reap his rewards.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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