Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1) by Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1)

The theft was a violation of privacy. It was an unbelievable act of impudence and disrespect. Not only that, it was—baffling. He was murderous, incandescent with fury. He was older than sin and could not remember when he had last been in such a rage.
He looked at the paper again.
I’m sorry I had to take your penny. Here’s another to replace it.
Yep, that’s what it said.
One corner of his mouth twitched. He gave himself a deep shock when he burst into an explosive guffaw.

Pia Giovanni had gotten herself into a pickle. Her mother had always warned her not to trust anyone and to keep to herself because of her wyr heritage. Pia was half human and half wyr, but didn't have any idea what wyr animal her mom, and potentially she, could change into. All she knew was that whatever it was would make her a target, and so it must be kept a secret. When her mother had died,  however, she'd gotten lonely and, unfortunately, picked the wrong guy to get involved with. She figured it out rather quickly, but not before she'd revealed a little something about herself. Something which at the time didn't seem all that big of a deal. Now her ex-boyfriend was using that information to blackmail her into stealing something from the rich and powerful Dragos, who was rumored to be a wyr who could turn into a dragon. Told that it didn't matter what she stole as long as it was from Dragos' hoard, she chose to steal a penny. Thinking in terms of 'take a penny, leave a penny', she hoped her crime would be forgivable.

I felt Ms. Harrison did an excellent job of world building. The "Elder" world consists of elder races which include Wyrkind, Elves, both Light and Dark Fae, Demonkind, Nightkind, human witches, and other magical and monstrous beings that inhabit the Other lands. Other lands are dimensional pockets where magic pooled and "time and space had buckled when the earth was formed and the sun shone with a different light". The US had been divided into seven elder territories called demesnes which overlay well known human cites. The wyr demesnes, ruled by Dragos, is centered in New York, while the Elves' demesne is centered in Charleston, South Carolina. Demonkind's demesne is centered in Houston, while Nightkind, which consisted of vampires, controlled the San Francisco Bay area. The Dark Fey were located in Chicago, while the light Fae ruled out of Los Angeles. The seventh demesne centered in Louisville, Kentucky and belonged to the human witches. 'Dragon Bound' deals mainly with three of the elder races--Wyrkind, Dark Fae, and Elves.

 I loved the chemistry between Dragos and Pia. From the very first scene where Dragos seeks her out and invades her dreams, the attraction between the two is undeniable. It was interesting that he attempted to see what she was like with a dream that would tempt her with her heart's desire. What he found she wanted was nothing like what he expected and was surprised to find himself drawn into the fantasy.
Dragos, as stated above, is a Wyr who can change into a dragon. Wyrs, like many of the creatures which make up the eldest race, were created before humans inhabited the earth. Dragos is one of the oldest Wyrs and reported to have been around since the earth was created, if not longer. He is a lethal predator and is even feared by others of the eldest races. Pia was the first person or creature to ever get access to his hoard. The treasure had been warded and heavily protected and anyone who had violated its space should have been killed. So while Pia's crime had infuriated Dragos, it also intrigued him. He couldn't fathom how she did it. Plus, the fact she only took a penny for which she left another with a note saying she was sorry for taking it tweaked his sense of humor, something most would have thought he didn't have.

Pia is interesting because she doesn't seem to know what creature she might potentially be able to change into. Dragos has assisted other wyrs to make the "change" into their wyr form and ends up offering her assistance if she wishes to try one more time to make the "change" into her wyr form. Not all half human/half wyr offspring can make the change, but Dragos thinks he can help her. What she changes into was not what I expected. It is pretty much about as opposite as you can get to Dagos' dragon form. Don't let anyone tell you before hand what Pia ends up being. It's a great surprise and I think it's best left to remain that way till you get to that section of the story.

While Pia did the crime, she was not the one who orchestrated the theft. That was something that one of Dragos' enemies had done. For proving her skills at getting past Dragos defenses, she made herself a target. While her ex was the "middle man" of the whole scheme, she couldn't trust that he hadn't told those in charge who she was. Plus, there was no guarantee his bosses couldn't figure out who she was in the future. Luckily, she had devised a clever way to prevent him from revealing her identity to anyone from the point she handed over the penny on. She just didn't know if that would be enough. Rather than be used as part of a crime in the future, she packed up and attempted to run away from all potential problems that the theft had created. She is a strong and smart character who knew when to cut her losses.

On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you look flustered and flushed. Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I found it to be well written and thought out. The story had a nice mixture of drama, humor, and romance. I HIGHLY recommend this one and have already started the second book in the series.

Order of the series:

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