My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Twenty-three year old Michael Black is about to have his life turned upside-down by Kiyoshi – the quiet, shy young man his Sensei Ichiro has left in his charge. Kiyoshi has a secret, however, in the form of multiple personalities. Michael finds himself falling for Kiyoshi – but can Michael learn to love all of him, including the tragic past that left Kiyoshi this way?
If you’ve read any of Akira’s other novels, you know you’re in for a yaoi novel with all the tropes. While there was less over-the-top action in this novel Akira’s Italian Connection novels, the tragic backstory and Big Misunderstanding were here in full, leaving us with a love interest to feel somewhat sorry for and a cliffhanger that leads into the next novel. Be aware that these books are not stand-alone, and if you read one you’ll need the other to complete it.
It took me a while to get through this book. It’s not light on introspection, and Michael questions every move he makes towards Kiyoshi. The sex scenes are hot, yet I found myself wanting to move forward with the plot. Dragon and Crow moves very slowly towards a somewhat predictable ending. Yet I can’t say the characters didn’t charm me. Michael is torn between love for Ichiro and love for Kiyoshi. Kiyoshi is torn between his disparate personalities, and Ichiro is torn between Michael and what is best for Kiyoshi. All care for one another and all are undecided which is the best way to go about it. It’s nice to read about good people who genuinely want to do the best for one another.
I caught a few errors, and the writing style is somewhat awkward at times, yet there’s a certain charm to this novel that led me to its completion. If you enjoy yaoi manga, or if you’re just looking for something a little different to typical m/m romance, Dragon and Crow may be for you, but its style and reliance on tropes won’t attract everyone.