Review of DRAGONBORN by Jade Lee (see her website)
Love Spell, February 26, 2008
Kiril is the best of his kind...a dragonhunter, working for the powerful Emperor who is himself a dragon and will allow no one to challenge him. Kiril is convinced that the dragon-human bond is evil. The Emperor killed Kiril's entire family, and Kiril doesn't have much use for him, but better one evil dragon-human than dozens battling among themselves and murdering hundreds to feed their hunger (dragons eat humans). Killing dragons and their humans isn't easy...they both have to die at the same time, for one thing, and they lend one another strength and speed. Yet Kiril has almost rid the land of dragons. Only one dragon-egg remains, but this one is different. This one is a queen.
Dancer Natiya harbors a secret in her naval...it looks like a jewel but it's really an egg--a dragon egg. The Emperor destroyed her family, but she intends to use her dragon to destroy him. Already, the dragon is talking to her, reflecting he passions, giving her abilities that make her the most compelling dancer any man has seen. When Kiril walks into her life, though, Natiya's certainties are shattered. She knows he is a danger to her, that he's hunting for her although he doesn't yet recognize her as a dragon-carrier. He's looking for her expertise because her parents were dragon experts, they explored the clutching cave where the queen egg was laid. He has no idea she's carrying it in her belly.
Author Jade Lee creates an intriguing world and does a good job blending magic with sensuality. When writing action sequences or erotic moments, Lee is at her best. I did have some problems with the characters. Natiya is certain dragons are not evil. But if she's right, Kiril has slaughtered countless innocents based on a misunderstanding. I'd certainly think this issue needs to be resolved. Both Natiya and Kiril are convinced that they're right...to the point where neither really listens to the other. Not only is that not wise, it doesn't seem to be the basis for a strong relationship no matter how much they're sexually attracted to one another. Then there is the resolution. It seemed to me that Lee took a shortcut, simply blowing off Natiya's promises to the dragon, putting aside the dragon's wishes to pursue Natiya's own romantic inclinations. Now, the story has to end this way...there's no point in a romance that doesn't end up with the romantic couple involved. But we romance readers demand that the resolution make sense, not simply be a wave of the hands and a bit of magic to make everything right. The resolution has to come from character growth and from deeper realizations about love. In DRAGONBORN, it didn't.
I had some problems with this story, but they didn't keep me from enjoying the writing and story-telling. Bottom line, about one thumb up.
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