The Dragon’s Slave by Lacey St. Sin
Series: The Amber Aerie Lords Series, #1
Released: May 1, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “I did want to warn you…You are so eager to have your dragon half accepted that you ignore your Shifter blood.” …“Are you nervous? I cannot tell any of your emotions any longer,” he eyed her. “No…well a little…”
I love stumbling across unexpectedly good paranormal series! I was almost put off by the title and blurb, but there was something there that felt very interesting. My reward? Another fun and thrilling series to add to my burgeoning TBR shelf.
Woman. Virgin. Sex slave. Three words that describe Gayriel on the day she is to be sold into service. But words could be deceiving, and so could she. Because there was nothing she wouldn’t do to walk the world free, never to suffer a touch she did not desire. She expected it would be difficult, and she expected it would be dangerous—the very act of escape would forfeit her life if she was caught. What she didn’t expect was…
Dynarys Firestriker, general of the Amber Aerie guard. Dragon Lord. Half Breed. His very blood is a legacy he must fight to overcome, and slipping a female spy into his enemy’s midst is the easiest way to prove himself. But the slave he chooses for the task is anything but easy. Worse, she tempts his beast, a complication he definitely doesn’t need. Not with a traitor in his Aerie and one in his delegation. Can he rein in control long enough to salvage his mission? Does he even want to? They say a dragon’s mate is the pinnacle of what it means to love…what of a dragon’s slave?
Sold! Hero is a big, sexy, royal dragon shifter and the heroine is a virginal pleasure slave for sale to the highest bidder. Dragons and virgins are my jam and I am so very appreciative that new-to-me author Lacey St. Sin (is this her real name? if so, COOL, if not, still, cool!) didn’t phone it in and give me shifter porn virgin trope strung together with a few weak strands of faux plot. This paranormal romance has depth and intrigue and mystery and I enjoyed every facet.
Just to get it out of the way, the hero’s name is all wrong. I know. Pick much Sheena? In this case, yes. Pick I shall. Daenerys is StormBorn of the House of Targaryn, First of her name, Queen of Mereen, The Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Queen of the Andals, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. The hero’s name being Dynarys was too close! Ha, There should be a rule that states once a character is so kick ass and ubiquitous as Daenerys, there shall be none named after them in romance fiction. It’s polarizing, and distracting…and besides, it’s a girls name.
Namegate aside, Gayriel and Dynarys were a great team. Despite her servant status, Gayriel was empowered from the start and Dynarys was a goner before he even knew he was snared. The novel opens at a sort of slavers bay where the auction is about to begin. Gayriel’s POV drew me in immediately as she began to observe the wealthy buyers plot her escape. She was no wilting flower or arm adornment. She was determined to save her self and the most important nuance of her plan- to be purchased by the right man. A weak man, more interested in trying to eagerly bed her or show off for his cohorts. An unthinking and unobservant man. Certainly not the man who enters the bay oozing authority and wielding unchecked power- his perceptive glance like a cobra. Anyone but him.
Of course he is the one who buys her in a move that shocks all in attendance. Gayriel has to swiftly recalculate her plan because despite how attractive her new lord is, she is no one’s slave. Lucky for her, Dynarys has more need for a spy than a slave.
Dynarys and Gayriel keep one another at arms length. Sure she’s alluring and is stirring his beast to mate, but he needs her skill outside of the bedroom to catch a traitor who means him mortal harm. Gayriel is game, slowly coming to see that she will not have to fight him off (darn?) but work for him as a respected ally. Their power dynamic is interesting. Gayriel was such a fish out of water, but adapted to her post quite well. So well that Dynary’s can not help his possessive streak and can’t help but want to claim her – but the choice is ever Gayriel’s and she knows it. The banter, the teamwork, the suspicion and the jealousy all collide to craft a nice plot.
Secondary characters were scene stealers and conceptually clever. It was clear that the author was so very thoughtful with the supporting personalities and how she weaved their personal motivations and histories into the plot. My only concern- toward the middle-end, things seemed to be getting away from the author and the focus wavered a bit. Things never went completely off the rails but it was shaky for a little while and I had to do a couple of “wait, what” checks before things were smoothed out. Hey. I’m apt to forgive- there can be inherent difficulty balancing such fun action packed goodness. The bulk of the story was about uncovering the traitorous mole in Dynarys’ Arie to prevent total anarchy. Caught up in the Aerie politics, I often forgot about the mate angle, and when they finally did unite as mates, it felt kind of jammed into the plot. I just wanted to pluck it elsewhere, like sex? Now? Bah! not right now, we are thissss close to fingering the rat! Fine…ohh well hello there Mister Dragon Lord…
Anyway, what started out being such a big deal (Gayriel’s virginal status) was abandoned as sort of a footnote in the grand scheme of things and I was ok with that. Primarily because, despite the fated mates and virgin trope, there was so much more to this story than “hunky dragon divests his purchased pleasure slave of her virginity and falls in love while saving his realm.”
*squeal* so much more!
All things considered, The Dragon’s Slave is first of the new Amber Aerie Lords series and lays a great foundation for story arcs to come. The world building was really fascinating. I felt as if I were a part of the very fabric of this dangerous, complex world. It felt futuristic yet deeply historical in the sense that the sheer age and otherness of the characters really pushes through. The attention to detail was precise down to the detailed imagery. This series has phenomenal potential. I can’t wait to begin book two.