Saturday, August 06, 2011

Dragon Bond by Thea Harrison

Pia Giovanni is a girl with a problem. She's not entirely human, but half-Wyr,with a very special talent- being able to be mostly unaffected by warding magic. Since she can't shift, she spends most of her time off the radar of both human and Wyr, since most seem to despise her for being neither fish nor fowl, so to speak. But because of her talent, her ex-boyfriend suddenly has a use for her, and one which just might end up getting her killed.

Because he had her steal something from Cuelebre, the world's oldest and most powerful Dragon. Though his hoard is protected by the best spells he can cast, or have others cast for him, Pia was still able to walk right through them. Not easily or painlessly, but she managed, and did what her ex coerced her into doing with magic. She lays a similar one on him to make him not able to talk about what she did or who she is, and then she must flee, because she knows that it won't take long for Cuelebre to find out that something was stolen from his hoard- and find out who was responsible for it. She must leave or die, and the only place she can take sanctuary is in the Elven lands far to the South, for the Elven King hates Cuelebre and has forbidden him entry to the Elven lands.

But when Cuelebre follows Pia there, they are kidnapped by Goblins and must work together to escape the Goblins, who have magic specific enough to deny Cuelebre his magic. And Cuelebre finds that, while he would normally want to destroy anyone or anything that stole something from his horde, he doesn't feel the same way about Pia. In fact, he finds himself wanting to protect her, and also wanting to find out what kind of Wyr she is, as her magic is strange, and her mother, also a Wyr, raised her to protect the knowledge of who and what she is very closely. So closely that not even Pia knows what kind of Wyr she is, just that she must constantly hide from everyone. But why?

As Cuelebre, in his human persona of Dragos, works to discover who is behind Pia's theft from his hoard, he also works to discover the truth about Pia, and what makes her tick. Meanwhile, she, who has been trained to leave no tracks behind and to remain a ghost on everyone's radar, has to deal with her attraction to and feelings for a Dragon, the oldest and most powerful of Wyr-kind, who is determined to discover her every secret. But when the Elf King's minions kidnap her and her unborn child, she and Dragos Cuelebre will once again have to work together to bring each other out of imprisonment, and to claim a life together.

This book is the first in a new series, and I actually enjoyed it very much. Instead of a world where Vampires and Werewolves are the most powerful species vying for dominance, this book sort of throws that to the winds to make werewolves just one of the many species of Were or Wyr and throws elves, fairies and goblins into the book as well. I liked that it wasn't just werewolves, and that there were actual weredragons, not to mention all sorts of other werecreatures. And the revelation of what type of Wyr Pia is was appropriate, stunning, and moving. I liked that part a lot.

I like the direction that new Supernatural/Paranormal romance seems to be moving in I wonder how cross-species weres will work. Will they have two possible animal forms? Or be hybrids? From the included chapter from the next book, it seems that the next book will be about a Faerie crossed with another wyr for romance. And what makes me even happier is that this one is a native-American aspected wyr, a Wyr-Thunderbird, which looks totally awesome. I found myself enjoying the direction of this series, which veers away from tropes that are becoming overdone. Good job!

I loved this book, and I loved the world-building and all the characters who Pia met during the story. This world looks like it will be a fruitful world to set stories in, and I loved the way that Thea Harrison writes. While it's not jaw-droppingly lovely deathless prose, the writing made me want to read more, and I finished this book in only a few hours. Highly recommended.

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