September 2012, Fantasy Romance
Kensington, $7.99, 352 pages, Amazon ASIN 1420108905 Part of a series
If you want a funny series to read, you must pick up G.A. Aiken’s Fantasy series about a family of Dragon Shifters. Though the humor may be an acquired taste, it is one that I definitely have. These crazy dragons are laugh out loud funny and the latest installment is no exception.
Eibhear is the youngest hatchling in the Dragon Royal Family. When his first true love, his brother’s adopted daughter Izzy, lost her virginity to his cousin, Eibhear became a bit of a prat. Because he was annoying them, and they really didn’t know what else to do with him, his brothers and father sent him off to become a Mi-Runach - a dragon special ops unit that is characterized by their complete lack of concern for orders and their desire for women and ale, preferably in that order. For ten years, Eibhear has froze his nether regions off in the Ice Lands, become one bad ass dragon. and finally, so he thinks, forgetting all about Izzy.
When Eibhear’s brother in law sends him after Izzy in order to fetch her home, right off the bat the sparks fly again. Only this time, Izzy is no longer the love sick teenager that fell for Eibhear at first sight and who pinned for him for years before giving up. She is now a battle hardened general in her aunt’s army who is well known for decapitating ogres. On the journey home, the two spend more time verbally sparring than they do romancing, but it is clear that only some strong feelings could bring about that much passion. And once Izzy and Eibhear are off on a quest to find help for Izzy’s baby sister, the feelings only seem to grow stronger.
I have been waiting on this book since the couple was first introduced in the second entry of the series. The sweet and innocent baby blue dragon (he was only 87, of course) and the feisty and engaging Izzy really captured my attention. My biggest fear with this book was that it would get bogged down in the mistakes the two made in the past in an effort to not admit how they felt about each other, but, thankfully, it didn’t. Instead, Izzy and Eibhear, very healthily I might add, moved on from where they were without rehashing everything that had happened. There was no awkwardness as they first fell into an easy role of friends until the sparks took them both by surprise.
In addition, this book is filled with humor. When Eibhear’s friends show up – the very scary and intimidating Mi-Runach – the throw away line of “we will kill the females first and then kill ourselves” in order to avoid pain and torture, had me laughing uproariously. All of Aiken’s trademark humor is alive and well. What was even more wonderful was that the stories of the next generation were well set up. Though I thought that this would be the last book in the series that I would salivate for, Aiken has made sure that the Eibhear’s two nieces and his nephew were intriguing enough that now I want to read their books. From the bitter and dangerous Talwyn to the gentle and naïve Rhianwen, their books are now going to be at the top of my auto buy list.
For me, this book was going to go one way or the other. Either it would be a complete success or a dismal failure that didn’t live up to the years of build up that this couple has received. I am glad that it fell into the former category. It is a worthy addition to the Dragon Kin series. The series, and this book in particular, is funny and clever with straight forward plots that are by no means simple. And laughing your way through them would not be unusual.
-- Louise VanderVliet
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