Completion Date: July 30, 2007
Publication Year: 2006
Received from Random House prior to 2007.
Book One in the Drakon Series
Reason for Reading: I was looking for something different about the time that I acquired this book. It is really a mix of fantasy, historical fiction, and romance.
For centuries they’ve lived in secret among northern England’s green and misted hills. Creatures of extraordinary beauty, power, and sensuality, they possess the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret–and their survival–is threatened by a temptation that will break every boundary....This book was an interesting read. Normally Shana Abe writes romance novels, and the Romantic Times Bookclub calls this book the "Historical Romance of the Year" for the year that it came out, so the fact that I read it is something of a mystery even to me. I actually was interested in the fantasy elements and seemed to overlook the romance elements until I actually owned the book. I think the best place to start is by saying that this book has a very nice cover. There are dragons in this book, of course, and they are described as more sleek than dragons that we regularly read about in fantasy novels. This book shows an example of what they were supposed to look like.
Dubbed the Smoke Thief, a daring jewel thief is confounding the London police. His wealthy victims claim the master burglar can walk through walls and vanish into thin air. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, knows the truth: the thief is no ordinary human but a “runner” who’s fled Darkfrith without permission. As Alpha leader of the dra´kon, it’s Kit’s duty to capture the fugitive before the secrets of the tribe are revealed to mortals. But not even Kit suspects that the Smoke Thief could be a woman.
Clarissa Rue Hawthorne knew her dangerous exploits would attract the attention of the dra´kon. But she didn’t expect Christoff himself to come to London, dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel–the Langford Diamond–as bait. For as long as she could remember, Rue had lived the life of a halfling–half dra´kon, half mortal–and an outcast in both worlds. She’d always loved the handsome and willful Kit from the only place it was safe: from afar. But now she was no longer the shy, timid girl she’d once been. She was the first woman capable of making the Turn in four generations. So why did she still feel the same dizzying sense of vulnerability whenever he was near?
From the moment he saw her, Kit knew that the alluring and powerful beauty was every bit his Alpha equal and destined to be his bride. And by the harsh laws of the dra´kon, Rue knew that she was the property of the marquess. But they will risk banishment and worse for a chance at something greater. For now Rue is his prisoner, the diamond has disappeared, and she’s made the kind of dangerous proposition a man like Kit cannot resist....In this bewitching novel, Shana Abé transports us into a world of exhilarating romance and magic.
So, the pros of this book. I really liked the main female character, Rue. She could be annoying at times, but for the most part she had a very fierce spirit for the time that this book came out in. She left home because she was different, and everyone thought that she was dead, but it turns out that she faked her death so that she could have a life of her own. That, and she has powers that are not common in females of their tribe. I liked the interaction between her and other characters in the book. The lead male, Kit, was a good character too. He could be a bit demanding, he was the alpha drakon afterall, but he was generally just doing what he thought was best for his people. He thought that bringing Rue home was the best thing for her, even if she did not quickly agree.
The problems I had with this book, there were a few dull spots that I felt dragged a bit. There was one part of the book where I was so bored I put the book down for a bit and considered whether I would actually finish it, but I am glad I preservered. I found that I wanted to know what happened next and how the book ended. There was a bit too much romance for my taste as well, but it is a historical romance, I should have expected it. It was tasteful, though, so it was not so bad.
Overall, not the best thing I have ever read, but I plan to read The Dream Thief and maybe onward if more books are released in the series. It is nice sometimes to think that we do not know everything about our world, and that maybe things like dragons roam the earth without us regular people even being aware.