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Dragon's Oath (House of Night Novellas) Hardcover – July 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor – the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him

In early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.

Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world.... In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling…

But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her—or destroy them all? 


Product Description

Sketches from Dragon's Oath

When I read Dragon's Oath for the first time, I read it purely for the pleasure of enjoying the story itself; as an ardent HON fan, I already knew of Dragon's loss from the series, so this novella added dimension and richness to his tale. The second time I read the story, I allowed myself to picture each scene in my mind--and I took notes about it. These characters may be nearly immortal, but they are at the beginning of such immortality and, therefore, they are like any other young couple.

PC and I discussed how she saw them physically--vibrant, playful, Anastasia with thick blonde hair down to her waist, Dragon with "attitude" and lithe physique. In her story, their courtship is charming, and their first kiss full of the magic (or, as PC Cast says, "magick") anyone would want to experience. I wanted to capture all of this.

I toyed with using hands. I wanted the characters "touching-but-not-touching", intimate, an unspoken promise. Above all, I wanted it to show defenses lowered in a subtle way.

These are a few of the sketches I made: him approaching from behind her, sword down; her handing him a sunflower; her beginning to lift the face of a sunflower up towards him. But these weren't quite where I wanted to go.

I wanted more of their symbols integrated into the piece: his sword, her flower. With PC's approval, I then "cast" the scene.

I had my husband stand by a friend, and at the last second, decided to photograph it near sunset. My thought was that these characters could be walking, side by side, as the sun either rose or set before them - an added romantic touch, instead of having them with the nighttime backdrop.

With a few alterations - matching Dragon's sword with the one on the cover, cropping and changing clothing some, and making Anastasia's hand that of a girl rather than a more mature woman - I completed the illustration now in the book. It's my favorite, too - his sword is lowered, but in front of them to defend her in an instant. Her flower is held back, slightly behind her skirt, waiting to be brought forth.

This is how they live for me.


“Now that I know about Dragon's life with Anastasia, I understand the man's need for vengeance. The reason for his cold efficiency in duty makes perfect sense. With this new novella series, readers will receive insights that may enhance the full-length [House of Night] series.” ―Huntress Reviews (5 stars!) on Dragon's Oath

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: House of Night Novellas (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st Printing edition (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781250000231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000231
  • ASIN: 1250000238
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Betsie Temple on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have loyally followed this series and truly believe the House of Night books are getting better each episode. They are light weight YA books but they are fun and have been improving in their storyline and composition. When I heard this was coming out at first I thought it the next instalment. Wrong.

Based on the premise of giving the readers a view of how the professors became to be part of the House of Night these novella's were written. Novella's are typically around 50,000 words. What most people churn out during Nanowrimo for example. Having written a novella I was very disappointed with the way this book was presented. Where was the character development? The storyline? The 50,000 words!

Every chapter starts with a full page illustration, some of which are beautifully done, others not so much. Throughout the book, which is written in a large font, are more than just a decorative swirl, they are I would describe as a specifically designed illustrated paper waster. Pretty, but take up a lot of space on the page, decorative swirls. Once every chapter would be fine. Three in as many pages gets a bit ridiculous.

I loved how the story began. It immersed us into Dragons childhood, how he was marked, how he was guided onto a ship, and how he got the name "Dragon." Suddenly, as in two chapters suddenly (or so it seemed), we were with Anastasia, his love, and a little on how she became to be at the house of night. I think we learnt more about her family & background than we did his. Even if that part was very brief. This filled up more space as spells were cast and so forth. More pretty illustrations scribbled across the page. Nothing to do with Dragons years on his training, who was his mentor and the like.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Hayden M. Casey on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
DRAGON'S OATH took me exactly 28 minutes and 17.5 seconds to read. That's it. No joke. I timed myself. That being said, there's not a whole lot of new and exciting content. It almost seemed like a short story to me, one with a lot of really extended, unnecessary detail.

The first chapter and the epilogue were in present-day HoN, and chapters two through eight were back when Dragon was Marked and all the chaos that ensued. (I know. Eight chapters. That's it?) Nevertheless, the novella was really well-written, and although it lacked length, it made up for it in plot and characterization. The primary reason DRAGON'S OATH wasn't five pages was because every chapter ended on the left page, the right page after was blank, the left page after had an illustration, and the right page started the next chapter. So, basically, about three pages are blank per chapter, which just seems lazy on PC's part.

That all being said, PC and Kristin Cast's latest miniature (literally) installment in the House of Night series was thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed reading about the spell casting and about the Darkness, a prominent theme in current House of Night books (AWAKENED, I'm sure DESTINED as well), and I'm sure we'll hear more about that in future books. I look forward to DESTINED!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rein on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love the House of Night series but Dragon's oath was an hour read for me. I didn't expect it to be so short, wasn't worth the 10 dollars i paid for it to be sent to my kindle. I sure hope destined will be better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Mueller on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
(This review was originally posted at

So, this may sound a little funny, but I enjoyed reading Dragon's Oath more than I enjoyed the last House of Night full-length novel. It reminded me about why I've stuck with the series for so long. This first in a series of House of Night novellas, is set in the same world as the novels, only a bit earlier. There's still the same tension between the House of Night schools and the cities they reside in. There's still magic and love for Nyx. And you get to have all of that without the chaos that currently circles Zoey Redbird in the current novels (see our review of Awakened for details).

Instead we get to see Zoey & Co.'s professors Dragon Lankford and Anastasia fall in love. It's a simple story, told sweetly. Somehow they managed to use poetry in the story again, and, as usual it's rhyme-y and cheesy, but aside from that the story isn't cliched. It's fun to see these two when they were young, and we do get a bit more insight into Dragon's personality. We'll better understand his actions at the end of Awakened, and surely what's to come in the next book.

While 95 percent of the book is flashback, the authors decided to open it at a scene from the end of Awakened. After a beloved character has died. If you have not read Awakened, then Dragon's Oath will spoil it for you -- and you will likely be mad. This wasn't the case for me, but I certainly think a word of warning is warranted.

Overall, Dragon's Oath was a quick, sweet read. It made me smile, and has me more excited to get back to the House of Night full-length novels in the hopes of seeing if Dragon will live up to his promises in the coming titles.

Sexual content: Kissing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In England, the year 1830, Bryan Lankford is the third son to the Earl of Lankford. When Lord Lankford becomes fed up with his son's antics, he disowns Bryan and banishes him to America. But at the dock, Bryan is Marked by a vampyre, a Tracker, and given the choice of staying at London's House of Night or boarding the dragon-prowed ship to America. To Bryan, the choice is easy. The new fledgling vampyre heads to America.

It is 1833. Twenty-two-year-old Anastasia is a fully Changed vampyre. She is also the youngest professor in the Tower Grove House of Night in St. Louis. Though young in age, she is an expert in spells and rituals. After fifteen students approach and beg Anastasia for a love potion to use on Dragon Lankford, the young professor decides it is time for action. With the permission of High Priestess Pandeia, Anastasia casts a drawing spell. Instead of attracting Dragon's attention to anyone, this drawing spell focuses on the fifteen students who are obsessed with the young Sword Master. Once cast, the fifteen fledglings will see Dragon clearly, without their romantic infatuations clouding their judgements. (Sort of an anti-Dragon Lankford spell.)

The spell works, but due to the real Bryan Dragon Lankford charging into her circle, the spell goes slightly awry. The honest truth about Dragon is revealed to more people than intended. Anastasia's spell draws the future Dragon before her. The fully Changed version is undeniably a Warrior and the conjured vampyre reveals to Anastasia the truth of their future romance. They are destined to be mates. But first, according to the future Dragon, Anastasia would need to be patient. The young, rash, arrogant, and egotistical Dragon would need time to grow and mature.
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