Troop, Alan F. 1945-
TROOP, Alan F. 1945-
PERSONAL: Born 1945, in NJ; married; wife's name Susan; children: two sons, one stepdaughter. Education: University of Miami, B.B.A., 1968. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing, collecting dragon art and U.S. Civil War pistols.
ADDRESSES: Home—Davie, FL. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Roc Publicity, Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Novelist, businessman, and sailor. President of a retail hardware company, Miami, FL; founded Shake-a-Leg (sailing program for the handicapped). Military service: U.S. Army, served during Vietnam War.
The Dragon DelaSangre, Roc (New York, NY), 2002.
Dragon Moon, Roc (New York, NY), 2003.
The Seadragon's Daughter, Roc (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to Florida publications, including Sunshine and Tropic.
SIDELIGHTS: Alan F. Troop is the owner of a retail hardware company in Miami, Florida. He is also a quadriplegic, the result of a 1977 bodysurfing accident, and has founded a sailing program for the handicapped, modifying the program's boats as well as his own catamaran, to be wheelchair-accessible. One of Troop's hobbies, according to his home page, is collecting dragon art, and dragon Peter DelaSangre is the protagonist in Troop's fantasy fiction novels, beginning with The Dragon DelaSangre.
The dragons in Troop's stories have lived for centuries. Some prefer to live as humans, while others spend more of their time as dragons, a form that affords them greater protection from harm. The DelaSangre family lives on an island off the coast of Miami. In the distant past, Peter's father was a pirate, and now he is a ruth-less businessman. They are wealthy in the extreme and live behind stone walls, occasionally flying out at night in their dragon forms to feast on fishermen and Cuban raft people. Peter's father is getting old, and it is time for Peter to find a mate, a "woman of the blood." After his father dies, and Peter senses the scent of a potential mate, he finds the dragon, Elizabeth, with her parents, plantation owners whose human slaves work chained together. After a wedding is performed, with the celebratory eating of drugged humans, the happy couple set up housekeeping on Peter's island, where the beautiful Elizabeth keeps him supplied with edibles. Meanwhile, the brother of one of Peter 's female victims, suspects Peter of being responsible for his sister's disappearance, and hunts him down.
Kliatt contributor Liz LaValley commented that "the writing is crisp and the concept intriguing but there is a lot of casual people eating" in The Dragon DelaSangre. Rick Kleffel, who reviewed the debut for Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary online, felt that one of the book's accomplishments "is that in spite of their appetites, dragons come off as rather sympathetic. Score one for the carefully told tale—it's the voice that carries all this carnage." Booklist critic Kristine Huntley called The Dragon DelaSangre "an exciting, inventive, unique novel with, in Peter, a surprisingly sympathetic protagonist."
In Dragon Moon Peter is alone with his four-year-old son, Henri, and ready for a new wife, hopefully Elizabeth's sister, Chloe Blood, who is coming of age. Peter and Henri travel to Jamaica, and when Chloe is ready to pick a mate, she at first rejects, then accepts Peter. Peter, who has been teaching Henri to fly only at night and schooling the young dragon in ways to defend himself, has always been careful around his human acquaintances, but it is the Blood family, who are like himself, both human and dragon, that ultimately proves to be a danger to Peter and his son. LaValley commented on the fact that Dragon Moon should be restricted to mature audiences because of the sex scenes, but concluded by saying that "dragon lovers will luxuriate in the imaginative and fully developed lore."
The Seadragon's Daughter finds Peter and Chloe happily married with a second child. Peter is disturbed because humans are disappearing from nearby boats, and he is afraid he will become a suspect. He at first suspects his brother-in-law, Derek Blood, but his assumptions prove incorrect when Peter is attacked by Lorrel, a female seadragon looking for a mate. She poisons him and takes him to an island where the temporary antidote is kept. Huntley wrote that "Troop's DelaSangre series continues to impress and delight, raising the bar for inventive fantasy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2002, Kristine Huntley, review of The Dragon DelaSangre, p. 1099; April 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of Dragon Moon, p. 1459; December 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of The Seadragon's Daughter, p. 716.
Kliatt, May, 2002, Liz LaValley, review of The Dragon DelaSangre, p. 31; July, 2003, Liz LaValley, review of Dragon Moon, p. 35.
Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary, http://trashotron.com/agony/ (February 18, 2002), Rick Kleffel, review of The Dragon DelaSangre.
Alan F. Troop Home Page, http://www.dragonnovels.com (March 13, 2005).