Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Queen of Dragons

Queen of Dragons by Shana Abé
This story is the third in Shana Abé's engaging Drákon series, the follow up to "The Smoke Thief" and "The Dream Thief". The Drákon are a race of people who appear human but have the ability to turn into dragons or smoke, although these abilities are gradually becoming less common amongst the Drákon. The previous two books have identified two different communities of Drákon, the first living at Darkfrith in England and the second in Transylvania.

The heroine of this story is Princess Maricara of Transylvania, the child bride of the ruler of the lost drákon tribe. That ruler, Imre, was killed in "The Dream Thief" and the Princess was left to rule alone at the age of fifteen. As the main part of this story starts, Maricara is nineteen and is troubled by her own people and by various English Drákon attempting to find her castle in Transylvania and being killed on the way. She decides that she has to leave her brother in charge of the community and to travel to Darkfrith in England to warn the Drákon there of the existence of Dragon Hunters.

Once she arrives, however, she discovers she's meant to marry the Alpha of the Darkfrith group, Kimber Langford, Earl of Chasen. It's also clear that the Darkfrith Drákon have plans to annex the Transylvania Drákon and can't be trusted. Maricara doesn't understand or abide by their rules which have been created to avoid detection and she has a problem in that she seems to sleepwalk into her dragon form, causing carnage. Can she and Kimber protect the Drákon from those hunting them down, and who is behind their pursuers? And can Maricara learn to accept her apparent role as wife of the Alpha in England?

Initially I loved the world that Shana Abé created, a world where dragons masqueraded as humans and heard the song of jewels. But currently I'm lost. I have no idea where this series is going or what exactly she's trying to accomplish. Queen of Dragons seems like a transition book, where she's planting the seeds of a greater story arc to come. The problem here is that it has not been done very well.

I was less than interested in Kimber and Maricara's romance. moreover there's so much unexplained that I was confused about their whole courtship. Why exactly does Kimber need to subjugate the entire dragon population of Transylvania? Less and less dragons are able to turn, but has anyone actually does any research into this? It doesn't seem so, they just accept it as fact. The dragons keeping such a tight reign on their community because of tradition, Kimber's parents leaving the colony? The list of questions just keeps piling and eventually I didn't bother.

I'll probably give the next book a try but if that doesn't pick up the pace, I'm giving up on Shana's Dragons series.

Overall rating : 2/5
Sizzle Factor : 2/5
(Library Copy)

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