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The Dream Thief    by Shana Abé order for
Dream Thief
by Shana Abé
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Readers first encountered Zane as the young thief rescued from a life of squalor by Drákon Alpha female, Rue Hawthorne. Their association resulted in Zane discovering far too many Drákon secrets, which for most humans spells instant death. However, due to Rue's station within the tribe, and her oath to protect him, the Drákon agree to tolerate Zane's existence.

As this episode opens, Zane's become a formidable man. He's cold, articulate, moderately wealthy and the leader of a successful band of London jewel thieves. Zane uses cutting sarcasm and sometimes-hurtful observations to distance himself from everyone, content in his solitary lifestyle. During his infrequent visits to Darkfrith, he often comes in contact with Rue's five offspring, particularly Amalia, whom he considers an ungifted, quiet, odd-looking child not worth his time or trouble. When she voices her infatuation with him, his reaction is harsh and absolute. But young Lady Amalia does not allow his rejection to sway her from her goal. Unbeknownst to everyone, Lia is indeed gifted. She has foreseen that her life - and Zane's - are inexorably linked to the future survival of her family and her Drákon tribe.

When next Rue summons Zane to Darkfrith, she offers him a lucrative and dangerous proposition; to travel deep into the Carpathian Mountains where the Drákon first evolved, and retrieve the Draumr diamond, the only gem that holds the power to enslave the Drákon. Naturally, Zane is intrigued. He accepts, as much for the wealth Rue offers him as the challenge. However, neither he nor Rue is aware that Lia has already set out and waits for Zane's arrival, foreseen in her dreams. Initially he is furious over Lia's presence, as the Drákon would surely hold his life forfeit if they discovered his involvement with their Alphas' youngest daughter. But Lia's insistence that she knows exactly where Draumr lies hidden sways him - as does the woman herself. She has transformed not only into an exotically beautiful woman, but also a formidable dragon. As the pair is drawn ever deeper into the Carpathians by the musical allure of the diamond's song, they begin to realize they are walking into a trap set by rival Drákon - who have their own agenda for acquiring the diamond.

Shana Abé has created another beautifully written, imaginatively plotted story - a sequel that leaves readers asking even more questions about the secretive, intriguing world of the Drákon. Zane is the kind of multi-faceted hero who straddles a fine line between giving in to his darker inclinations and allowing love to turn his life around. Amalia too, is a conflicted heroine whose often disturbing gift of foretelling alternate futures leaves her confused and afraid to voice her fears. However, her absolute love for Zane and her determination to change the dark outcome of their foreseen reality propels the story forward to a very satisfying conclusion. This second in a so far dazzling series introduces readers to more intriguing characters, who will surely return center stage in the next installment of a continuing story that reads like a grown-up fairy tale.

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