Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Queen of Dragons (Drakon #3) by Shana Abe

 Queen of Dragons (Drakon, #3) 

Synopsis: It's a stunning claim: the existence of a lost drakon tribe. And it comes from an intriguing source: a woman calling herself Princess Maricara of Transylvania. Alpha lord Kimber Langford, Earl of Chasen, can't ignore the possibility. For whoever this unknown princess may be, she's dangerous enough to know about his existence - and where to find him. And indeed, it isn't long before Maricara breaches the defenses of Darkfrith and the walls around Kimber's heart. Yet the princess arrives with urgent news: a mysterious serial killer is targeting the entire drakon race. To save their kind, Kimber and Mari must ally themselves body and soul in a battle that can spell their salvation, their extinction...or both.

It was such a treat to immerse myself back in the world of the Drakon with this third installment in the series. Queen of Dragons essentially picks up where The Dream Thief left off: Princess Maricara, only eleven in the previous book, is now nineteen and is (unknowingly) engaged to Kimber, the Alpha of the English Drakon. Kimber is the eldest son of Rue and Christoff, the couple from the first book. Kimber is a lot like his father: blonde, bold, and a little bit too domineering. Thankfully, Maricara is not one to be dominated easily.

Princess Maricara is my favorite character in this book. She is smart, powerful, and unwilling to compromise her freedom - even when she is in danger of falling in love with the man she swore she would never marry. The cat-and-mouse game between Kim and Mari is fun to read and while the romance is intriguing, I can't help feel like something is missing. 

I absolutely loved the first two books so anything after is destined to pale in comparison. Queen of Dragons is still a good read but I can't help but think it would work better if it were written as a strict fantasy and not a romance. I felt like if this were not marketed as a romance novel, there is no way Mari would have ended up with Kimber. There, I said it. I just didn't root for them the way I did for the previous two couples - Rue/Kit and Amalia/Zane. (Speaking of Zane, he makes a very surprising, and very welcome, guest appearance in this book. Really hoping we get more glimpses of Zane with Amalia in future books.)

My only complaint with this book is the romance. Everything else is spectacular - there is tons of drama, and action, and there seem to be a lot more dragon moments in this book, always a plus in my opinion. Shana Abe writes such vivid, beautiful sentences that I sometimes get goosebumps reading her books. There was one scene in particular that stands out in my mind. Basically, Mari is being accused by Kimber's councilmen that she is deliberately putting the tribe in danger - the tension builds and builds until it explodes and I actually could feel the emotions that Mari was feeling during that scene. I just get so sucked into these stories and into the world that Shana Abe has created that it starts to feel real. If that's not a mark of a talented writer, I don't know what is.

I have said it a thousand times before and I'll say it again: if you are not reading the Drakon series, you are missing out! 

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