the smoke thief by shana abe

Posted on May 5, 2010

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Are dragons my next vampire?

Only if they can turn into smoke, breathe enchantment into every word and action, turn what could have been another paranormal romance fiction into a magical reading experience.

In this genre, with thousands of titles peopled by alpha males and females oozing sex and kick-ass attitude, I grasp at this story, relieved that authors still believe in sensuality, a dance played out not only physically but also, I would like to believe, at the level of the heart and soul, and elegant, if a little aloof, characters.

Mesmerized by how mesmerized Kit and Rue are with each other, even when they don’t touch, especially when they don’t touch.

For centuries, beings who can shapeshift into dragons and turn into smoke have lived in northern  England’s misty hills. To safeguard their secret from humans, they have developed a strict code of conduct that severely punishes runners, those who would wish to live free among humans. At 17, Rue discovers she has the ability to ‘turn,’ believed a lost ability among the tribe’s women. This places her, automatically, in the role of their lord’s mate. Rue loves Christoff, but doesn’t want him like that. So she runs away, and becomes a thief. Years later, Christoff goes to London to hunt the mysterious Smoke Thief, dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel as bait.

To the dragons, jewels are not just shiny baubles; the stones somehow call to them. Not even Rue can resist.

The fairy tale-like quality of the writing, and lack of humor, may be a turn-off for readers who like funny and witty. But I love it, it makes me ache for more.

So, no, dragons are not my next vampires. I think they were soaring the skies even before vampires cleaned up and became hot.

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Posted in: mushy weird