September 2012, Paranormal Romance
Berkley, $7.99, 336 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425246620
Despite loving to reread books, I have a strange quirk. If I start a series in the middle, I rarely go back and reread others from the series. Because of that, I put off reading Dragonís Moon hoping for time to read the previous books first. I never found the time, so I had to jump into this series with this book. But this may be a series I break my rule for.
Eirik is a dragon shifter who is the prince of his people, the …an. Because they are facing constant barrages from the Highland clans who want to exterminate them, he is forced to send his people off to incorporate themselves into the clans. Eirik himself goes to join the Sinclair clan with a third of his people. There, his friend Talorc, accepts him and his people wholeheartedly. Though still the prince of his people, he has agreed to become a member of the clan under Talorcís undisputed leadership.
But Eirik has a nasty event in his past for which he still has not completely forgiven himself. As a young prince not yet able to fully control his dragonís power, he killed two wolf shifters when they threatened his young cousins. This event was witnessed by the sister of one of the wolves. Ciara has been haunted for years by dreams, sometimes of the death of her beloved brother Galen. She never told anyone that it was a dragon that killed him, but she knows the truth and fears the dragon. When Eirik joins her adopted familyís clan, she knows that she will need to come to terms with the dragon and her own familyís deceitful past. That she can deal with. What she canít accept is that the dragon will show her love again. Love for her adopted family and love for him, things that leave her open to the possibility of loss and pain.
Eirik and Ciara eventually are forced to find the missing sacred stone of the wolf shifters clan. The stone has been calling to Ciara for years through her dreams and the stone has rarely let her sleep. She alone has the power to find the stone and bring it back to her people. In doing so, she would restore an immense power to her people. Of course, the only one that can help her do this is Eirik and along the way, they come to understand exactly what they meant to each other.
Overall, I found this story to be enchanting. Though I have listed it as a paranormal because it has shapeshifters and destined true mates, I donít know if that is really the right designation. It reads with the tone and magic of a fantasy story and the Medieval Highland setting could easily put it into the Fantasy genre. It is honestly a good mix of the two. The gentle love story of not only Ciara and Eirik, but the sub story of Lias and Mairi really make this rich story a pleasure to get lost in. The world is rich and well defined. Though I didnít get to read the previous books in the series before I jumped into this one, I was never lost in the terms and rules of the world. There is a glossary at the end of the book if it is needed, but I never even knew it was there till I finished the book and never felt the loss or any confusion.
The one and only reason this book didnít get an A is an annoying habit of the authorís that I just couldnít overlook. The characters, especially Ciara, have a tendency to have overlong internal monologues in the midst of dialogue. I often found myself having to go back to figure out what question it was the character was responding to. For example, Eirik would ask a question. There would then be a few paragraphs of internal monologue, usually about how attracted Ciara was to him, that went far afield from the topic. By the time she answered the question, I had no idea what the original question was anymore and I had to go back and look. Fortunately, once the heroine understood her lust a little better, the internal monologues cut down and I had less page flipping to do, but in the beginning, it seemed to be happening every time the two talked and it was aggravating.
Overall though, that should certainly not dissuade someone from reading this book. It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon treat. The world is magical and definitely pulls you in. The characters are engaging and the plot is rich. For me, I have found another author to add to my anxiously awaiting list.
-- Louise VanderVliet
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