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Queen of Dragons    by Shana Abé order for
Queen of Dragons
by Shana Abé
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

As The Dream Thief ended young princess Maricara of Zaharen became leader of her people after the death of her scheming husband. After learning that other drákon exist, she understands that her Tribe's existence deep within the forbidding Carpathian Mountains will no longer remain a secret, especially to those who have stalked and hunted the drákon for generations. In an effort to warn her British kinsmen, she initiates a series of letters but is shocked by the replies. Darkfrith's Alpha, the Earl of Chasen, not only sends spies, but he and his council expect her to abandon her kingdom and become his mate.

Lord Kimber Chasen cannot ignore the existence of the lost tribe of Zaharen drákon, nor the fact that Maricara is aware of Darkfrith. For centuries his people have kept their nature a secret, insinuating themselves carefully into British society as human, not drákon. To guarantee that secrecy, the Council unanimously agrees that to leave this unknown princess to her own devices (and with the dangerous knowledge of Darkfrith's existence) could well bring about their ruin. But Maricara is one step ahead of the Council. She flies to Darkfrith and breaches their defences, bringing dire warnings of the delis inimicus, human and drákon traitors who are gathering in England, and have targeted Darkfrith's destruction. Now both young Alphas have no choice but to form an alliance to stop the delis inimicus or face extinction.

Abé's writing is as rich, evocative and imaginative as ever, but in this third instalment featuring the fascinating drákon, the two leads do not evoke much reader sympathy. Kimber's arrogant and uncompromising pronouncement that Maricara leave her life and people behind to become his mate should have incensed the independent-minded and very loyal young princess. Instead her reaction is impotent and her overall persona aloof and cold to the point where no real sparks or sexual tension are established. Nor does Kimber spend enough time trying to understand his bride, or her loyalty to her Tribe and to her brother. However, Abé does introduce new and intriguing plot threads and characters, as well as a potentially deadly, fascinating and shadowy nemesis bent on shattering the very existence of the secretive drákon.

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