Review of TREASURE KEEPER by Shana Abe (see her website)
Bantam, March 2009
Zoe Cyprienne was a perfectly ordinary dragon girl, dreaming of a family, a home. Like almost every other female dragon, she couldn't transform, but that was all right--until she developed an unusual talent. The fate of talented female dragons was written in the law--they were to be married into the chief's clan to preserve the magic in their genes. And when Zoe discovered she could turn invisible, she knew she'd be given to too-sexy Rhys Langford, younger son of the Alpha.
Rather than accept her fate, Zoe hides her talent and accepts the marriage offer of a male dragon. But when the dragons of England discover that they aren't alone, and that a group of humans have sworn themselves to eradicate dragons from the earth, Zoe's fiance is sent to investigate. And when his letters abruptly stop, Zoe decides to violate the laws of dragonkind and seek him out. What she doesn't expect is to run into the very active spirity of Rhys.
Author Shana Abe (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Abe) combines fantasy and romance in her intriguing dragon stories. Readers will both empathise with Zoe's struggle to create a normal life for her and shake their heads at her blindness to Rhys's attraction and affection. Abe's ornate prose lends an air of gravity to her story-telling, as if she were recounting ancient legend rather than spinning a modern tale. The historical setting (18th Century England and France) adds to this other-worldly air.
I confess I struggled a bit with Zoe's blind holding onto the idea of her loser-fiance. After all, she couldn't stand his smell and he didn't seem to be attracted to her at all. I know it was important to the story, but I would have liked to see some reason for her to continue to want him rather than Rhys. Also, I thought there was a lot of time spent setting the stage rather than moving the story forward. Still, I thought Abe did an excellent job creating a story that will appeal both to romance and straight fantasy readers.
Ready to buy? Click the 'buy from Amazon button':