Reviewed by May
This series by G.A. Aiken must be read in order, and you really can’t skip any of the books either. The amazing thing is, in this marvelous world you really won’t want to skip any books because you’ll want to soak up every scene, page, every line of dialogue. As I sit here and attempt to review this story, I realized that I’ll either have to be extremely vague or risk posting spoilers from earlier in the series. I don’t want either so I’m going to tell you the reasons why this book has convinced me you should be reading this series.
What is this series? The Dragon Kin series takes place in a fictional world where dragons (who can take human form) live alongside humans, where magic is very real, and where the marriage of one crazy human queen to one dragon prince has brought their worlds together in a very amazing way. The cast of characters is quite epic – but don’t worry. In the beginning things are pretty simple and the cast grows and builds as the series does so as well.
1. The best, strongest, most kick-ass heroines in the PNR world. From Annwyl the bloody queen to the newest heroine Elina; they pull no punches, take no crap, and can do anything as good or usually better than their male counterparts.
“What was your name again, dear?”
“Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight Mountains of Despair in the Far Reaches of the Steppes of the Outerplains.”
2. The incredibly epic plot. What started as a wounded warrior (Annwyl) fighting for her life at the entrance to a dragon’s lair has spanned decades, expanded into a huge world, and introduced us to dozens of fantastic characters. From politics to romance, you can never quite guess where this world will take us next!
3. Character development. While the plot is incredibly rich and ever developing, so are the characters. They are the heart and soul of every book, are artfully crafted, and they continue to grow and be important in the story line even long after their feature book ends.
4. The most hilarious dynamics. Whether it is Gwenvael being slammed into a door or Keita chasing someone around with something fashionable – each character as well as the relationships between them is something to cherish. Some are sweet, some tender, and many are downright hilarious.
“Why,” Elina cut in, “must you ruin everything?”
“I didn’t know I had.”
“I was imagining the wonder of a strong queen fighting her way back from the embrace of death and you give me stories of mice and cats and Gwenvael.”
“You askes a question. I merely answered it.”
“Then do not. Do not answer any more questions. Just sit and look pretty. It seems that is what you are best at.” Elina glanced off, then back at Celyn before ending with, “Dolt.”
5. The deep emotion. What makes this a true winner of a series is that this author is able to make me both laugh and cry in every book. There is always a fantastic balance between action and tender romance, drama and humor, and the recipe is one for truly epic success.
6. Seriously smexy characters. The icing on this literary cake is the seriously sexy cast. They don’t just fall in love – they get down and dirty and oh my. The scenes are always well done, sexy as can be, and flow with the story as well. This is one of the few authors that doesn’t bore me with her ability to write sex scenes that are interesting.
These books are incredibly long and I’m grateful because once I dig into one I truly never want it to end. I could talk for hours about all the wonderful moments and how much I love it! For those who are already fans of this series, here are three things I need to tell you about this most recent installment.
First of all, it was worth the wait. While I wasn’t excited about reading Celyn’s story, his heroine Elina brought everything I could have wanted and more and made me forget that I might not adore that particular dragon male. By the end he still wasn’t a favorite, but oh did I love every page.
Take for example the time he informs Elina that they got off ‘on the wrong claw’:
“We tolerate each other because I owe your queen for her kindness to me. I’ll put up with you because of her. But that is all. We will not be friends. We will not get along. We may have sex, but it will be cold and impersonal. Just something to pass time during long nights. So do not come to me with your wrong claws. I have no use for your wrong claws.”
Feeling that they now understood each other, Elina cuddled the sleeping puppy closer and followed a servant up to a room. A room she would not have to share with anyone.
The second thing I must mention is that things are really getting interesting with Annwyl’s twins and their cousin. I was wondering if enough time would have passed for us to see some more of their journey and get some more insight. Again, it does not disappoint.
You will rejoice at all of the appearances of past favorites. From Dagmar to Izzy all of the amazing characters that have previously starred in novels are here. Better yet, we see how they continue to grow, live with, and live out their happily ever afters.
Finally let me just say that there was not a dull moment, and this book was everything I could have asked for. I have not one single complaint, and in fact I remain in awe and completely impressed by how this author has maintained the quality of each book in this series. If you even have a remote interest in a PNR/UF series this is the one for you. The plots run deep like a UF, but there is a PNR happily ever after in each story.