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VINE VOICEon 20 August 2010
The pre-industrial city of Geath comes as something of a surprise to Amy. Her preconception about alien planets is that they come complete with flying cars and rockets. The Doctor is surprised for another reason. Geath is famed for its hospitality towards strangers, but when they arrive at the city's gated entrance, the Doctor, Amy and Rory find it locked. However, our heroic trio gain access thanks to the always handy psychic paper.

Inside the city, the Doctor receives another bolt from the blue. Geath's fiercely democratic traditions have been usurped by the arrival of a king. And with the king comes a golden statue of a dragon. It soon becomes apparent that this dragon is the cause of Geath's new introspection. The dragon emits an illicit substance called Enamour: a spangly material that induces feelings of wealth and well-being in its owners.

Una McCormack's previous writing credits in terms of novels are tied-in with 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' (The Never Ending Sacrifice,Cardassia and Andor and Hollow Men). I found this `Doctor Who' novel to be an engrossing read despite its lack of action. The author's descriptive prose is elegant and the narrative flows nicely, if a little languidly at times. I enjoyed the characterisations of the three leading players, particularly the likeable Rory who has some nice moments in this story.

Of the Geathians, the redoubtable Hilthe, an elderly and wise former councillor, is the only person not to have succumbed to the power of Enamour. It is through her that one of the alien intelligences in pursuit of this mysterious substance communicates. The king, Beol, is a well-meaning but somewhat shallow figure, while his Teller takes the role of spin-doctor with his exaggerated tales of the king's derring-do. The politicking along with the static nature of the story may make this a bit of an ordeal for some younger readers. I was reminded of Brian Hayles' The Curse of Peladon, a great story but one that I struggled to read as a child.

These `Doctor Who' novels are limited to around 243 pages in length and I think it's fair to say that this constrains the author somewhat. Even with a slow-paced story such as this, there is not enough space for the level of intrigue that needs to be developed for it to become truly satisfying. The second alien faction, the bureaucratic Regulators, claiming ownership of the Enamour are introduced too late in the novel for any real tension to build.

Overall, though, this is a good read. I hope the author will be writing more `Doctor Who' stories. Interestingly, Gary Russell's novel The Glamour Chase which was released at the same time as `The King's Dragon' also uses a mind-altering material in its plot . . .
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An original Doctor Who novel, telling an all new story not seen on the tv show. Featuring the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory. Set some unspecified time in between the sixth and eighth episodes of the show's most recent season.

It runs for two hundred and forty four pages of quite large print and is divided into thirteen chapters.

It's suitable for readers of all ages and the characterisation of the three characters is spot on, giving you no problems imagining the actors saying the dialogue.

The story sees the TARDIS arrive on a world with a pre-industrial society and the Doctor and friends visit the beautiful main city there. Only to find that all is not as it should be. The elected leader has lost their place to a King who got the position after allegedly slaying a Dragon. The city is rich in gold. Which isn't usually found there.

The lure of precious metal and threats from above mean a long and memorable night lies ahead for the time travellers...

It is rather nice to have a pre-industrial society in the story, as it's not something the books in this range have tried before. So makes this nicely different from the off. Whilst feeling at first a little like something out of the quick read range of Doctor who books this then does manage to get going quite nicely, by virtue of the fact that it's strongly character based. There are three main supporting characters, all of whom manage to be strong characters in their own rights and the plot then develops as a result of their actions.

With a few good twists and turns after that the story does keep moving and developing and manages to keep the reader nicely involved to the end. An above average entry in the range and well worth a look.
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on 14 April 2013
'They called it Enamour. It turned minds, sold merchandise, and swayed elections. And it did its job far too well...'

In the city-state of Geath, the King lives in a golden hall, and the people want for nothing. Everyone is happy and everyone is rich. Or so it seems. When the Doctor, Amy and Rory look beneath the surface, they discover a city of secrets. In dark corners, strange creatures are stirring. At the heart of the hall, a great metal dragon oozes gold.

Then the Herald appears, demanding the return of her treasure... And next come the gunships. The battle for possession of the treasure has begun, and only the Doctor and his friends can save the people of the city from being destroyed in the crossfire of an ancient civil war. But will the King surrender his new-found wealth? Or will he fight to keep it...?

A thrilling fantasy adventure featuring the Doctor, Amy and Rory, as played by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in the spectacular hit Doctor Who series from BBC Television.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2014
The 11th incarnation of Doctor Who as played by Matt Smith leads his companions Amy and Rory to the preindustrial city state of Geath 'A byword for hospitality, craftsmanship and civilised conversation ... Revered throughout the universe for the beauty of its buildings, the wisdom of its people...and...for twelve and a half thousand years, it has been at peace with its neighbouring cities'. But something is wrong. The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive at the city gates at dusk to find them closed and guarded. The streets are empty of Geath's famously gregarious society and the houses glitter with beautiful, strangely seductive gold. A king sits on his throne, a great golden dragon at his feet, but this seemingly free wealth has an owner who wants it back. Screaming spirits in spooky corridors, knights, a storyteller and a wise woman make for a beguiling story that skilfully weaves a mediaeval style culture with starships and battling aliens.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 November 2014
“Be careful what you wish for.”

This is an Eleventh Doctor novel, featuring the Doctor as played by Matt Smith, with his companions Amy and Rory.

The Doctor has taken Amy and Rory to Geath, a wonderful city known for the beauty of its building, the wisdom of its people, and the peaceful way of life. But something’s not right. The city is full of golden baubles, on a world where gold is not native. Where did it come from? And why is there a King, Beol on the throne, with his Teller, and a dragon, where Geath was always ruled by a Council? If the Doctor’s worried, shouldn’t everybody be?

This is a great story; it turns from what seems like it’s going to be a ‘dungeons and dragons’-type story rapidly to one of evolved civilisations, hostile forces, and the aftermath of terrible wars. Definitely well worth reading, this is a really good Eleventh Doctor story.
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on 23 May 2016
The Doctor takes Amy and Rory to a world where they can experience the famed hospitality of the city state of Geath. Things aren’t quite as he expects, however. The stable, thousands of year old democracy has been replaced by a monarchy and no one seems to mind. Perhaps, that’s because the city is covered in gold, exhibiting an abundance of wealth.

It must be relatively early on in the Tardis for Rory; not long after ‘The Vampires of Venice’, the events of which are fresh in his mind. The author has him exhibiting a lot of awe and wonder at his surroundings. There wasn’t much chance for this in the programme as he didn’t really go anywhere3 off Earth before his ‘demise’ in ‘Cold Blood’. It is, therefore, a nice touch for the author to play on this.

The initial stages of the novel are quite intriguing due to the setting being a mix of medieval and fantasy. Unfortunately this world lacks depth as we see very little of it apart from the city of Geath. The science fiction elements of the story take over quickly and things dully descend into an office meeting about administration and procedures. The fantasy style locale soon becomes irrelevant. There isn’t the subtle merging of science fiction touches that enrich the world in the way of ‘The Curse of Peladon’ or ‘The Androids of Tara’. Despite initial impressions this is a science fiction story rather than a fantasy or quasi-historical one.

Likewise, there’s also a quite spooky prologue, but the atmosphere of that is never recaptured, disappointingly.

Despite expectations the novel is light on dragons. Although it is an integral and vital part of the story, the ‘dragon’ is more of a plot artifice than anything. It is less of a dragon than that which appears in ‘Dragonfire’.

One of the interesting aspects of the story is that there aren’t really any villains as such. A strange metallic element, Enamour, has entranced people/aliens to act irrationally and the confrontations of the novel arte a result of this. It is clear that Amy and Rory are not immune to its charms and there is a hint that the Doctor isn’t either. How blinded people can become by wealth is, perhaps, a moral element to this novel that is somewhat underplayed.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2010
Doctor Who and The King's Dragon is the usual good vs evil. It basically tells of an alien artifact infecting a city with gold...but two alien forces are fighting to recover the alien artifact as it has the power to bring people under its spell. Enter the Doctor and his two companions...
And really, it's a case of find the artifact, decide who to give the artifact back to and return to the TARDIS. Sound familiar?
Generally speaking, Una McCormack wrote an okay story spread across 240 pages which would have been better suited as a short story for Big Finish's Short Trips series - except the series of books has been cancelled...maybe that was why it was made into 240 pages and published by BBC Books???
If you're a Doctor Who fan who travels on the bus or underground then this book is ideal - it is easy to pick up and put down - but if you want a real gritty novel to read snuggled up under the duvet, the choice is up to you!
A stocking filler maybe...?
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on 14 February 2016
Good story but not brilliantly written. My Grand daughter who loves Dr Who (as do I) got bored and we didnt finish it. We love a well written book but this didnt captivate us.
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on 4 June 2015
Very good read enjoyed this book immensely
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on 29 November 2014
another good doctor who book, as always
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