Queen of Dragons (Drákon)
by Shana Abé
Cover Artist: Stephen Youll
Review by Carolyn Frank
Bantam Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553805284
Date: 26 December 2007 List Price $18.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Princess Maricara of the Zaharan tribe of drákon, shape-shifters who can Turn to smoke and then Turn to dragon, finds her people facing a virulent threat of human Others who seek only to kill their kind. Having learned of another band of drákon in England, and her younger brother finally becoming old enough to lead their tribe, she leaves the Carpathain Mountains of Transylvania to find the English Alpha leader, and her own destiny as Queen of Dragons.
In the northern English countryside she finds Darkfirth, and its earl, Kimber Langford, who believes that their traditional reserved English way is the only way for drákons to live in safety. She plays by her own rules in a revised environment where human Others are on the hunt. They meet, sparks fly, but these are romantic sparks between two well-matched Alpha leaders. The plot follows the standard romance storyline: woman meets man, woman leaves man, man rescues woman, but with plenty of romantic sizzle and high drama.
This is very early 19th-century England, with horses and carriages, swords and pistols, society balls and and country estates. Fancy clothes for ladies and gentlemen are a bit of a bother when turning back from a dragon -- as nothing noncorporeal can Turn in either direction, dragons Turn back into naked humans. This poses problems when interacting with the rest of human society, who expect people to be dressed appropriately when out in public. Our couple persevere, and learn more about each other in the process.
This is the third book in this series about the drákon. Readers of the Smoke Thief and The Dream Thief will find continuity in the world and the supporting cast, but newcomers should enjoy this book on its own, as sufficient back story is provided and this romantic couple stand firmly on their own. For lovers of paranormal romance and especially dragon lovers, this book is a must read.