fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsShana Abe Drakon Queen of DragonsQueen of Dragons by Shana Abe

So here we are in the third book. The plot has something to do with the mysterious Drakon princess, Maricara, who was introduced in The Dream Thief and Kimba the White Lion — I mean, Kimber, the son of Kit and Rue from The Smoke Thief. There’s something to do with someone murdering Drakon, I think, but frankly I didn’t make it far enough to find out. Which is kind of sad, actually, because if the reader isn’t sure of what’s going on by page 70 or so, you’re doing it wrong.

I suppose a large part of the problem was that nothing was going on. One party is talking and doing tedious stuff, the other party is talking and doing tedious stuff, and that’s it. The main characters — the love interests, for crying out loud — do not even meet one another until page 50. We don’t actually get to see them interact until about page 60, though, because Ms. Abe felt the need to write a ten page long detail-by-detail account of Maricara breaking into Kimber’s manor home, so the reader is treated to a flashback that is not only boring, but jarring.

I don’t get much feel for the characters before I quit reading, which is a pretty good mark of how bland they are. But I don’t really want to get to know them either. I don’t enjoy any of it anymore. I could deal with the backwards mindset of the Drakon in The Smoke Thief, but it’s completely out of hand at this point. Why do the women have no choices? Why is Maricara betrothed, without her knowledge or consent, to Kimber at the age of 15? Why are the Drakon still not allowed to get out and experience the world even a little bit? The events of the past two books should bring some growth to the Drakon society—like, perhaps, allowing Rue, who was a very intelligent and capable woman in The Smoke Thief, to be on the council — but there’s been none. In fact, it’s devolved even further.

The Smoke Thief was fun. The Dream Thief was not. And Queen of Dragons was so slow and dull that I couldn’t get far enough to discover if it might be fun. I was excited when I bought this book, but it was nothing more than a massive disappointment. I won’t be bothering with the next one. It’s just not worth my time and money.

DrÁkon — (2005-2010) Publisher: For centuries they’ve lived in secret among northern England’s green and misted hills. Creatures of extraordinary beauty, power, and sensuality, they possess the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret–and their survival–is threatened by a temptation that will break every boundary… Dubbed the Smoke Thief, a daring jewel thief is confounding the London police. His wealthy victims claim the master burglar can walk through walls and vanish into thin air. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, knows the truth: the thief is no ordinary human but a “runner” who’s fled Darkfrith without permission. As Alpha leader of the dra´kon, it’s Kit’s duty to capture the fugitive before the secrets of the tribe are revealed to mortals. But not even Kit suspects that the Smoke Thief could be a woman. Clarissa Rue Hawthorne knew her dangerous exploits would attract the attention of the dra´kon. But she didn’t expect Christoff himself to come to London, dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel–the Langford Diamond–as bait. For as long as she could remember, Rue had lived the life of a halfling–half dra´kon, half mortal–and an outcast in both worlds. She’d always loved the handsome and willful Kit from the only place it was safe: from afar. But now she was no longer the shy, timid girl she’d once been. She was the first woman capable of making the Turn in four generations. So why did she still feel the same dizzying sense of vulnerability whenever he was near? From the moment he saw her, Kit knew that the alluring and powerful beauty was every bit his Alpha equal and destined to be his bride. And by the harsh laws of the dra´kon, Rue knew that she was the property of the marquess. But they will risk banishment and worse for a chance at something greater. For now Rue is his prisoner, the diamond has disappeared, and she’s made the kind of dangerous proposition a man like Kit cannot resist… In this bewitching novel, Shana Abé transports us into a world of exhilarating romance and magic.

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  • Beth Johnson Sonderby (guest)

    BETH JOHNSON, one of our guest reviewers, discovered fantasy books at age nine, when a love of horses spurred her to pick up Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns. Beth lives in Sweden with her husband. She writes short stories and has been working on a novel.