Monday, November 5, 2007

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

In this bewitching novel, Shana Abé transports us to an exhilarating world of romance, adventure, and magic. Here, among northern England’s misted hills, live a race of extraordinarily beautiful and sensual beings with the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret – and their survival – is threatened by two forbidden lovers…and a passion that will break every boundary.

Dubbed the Smoke Thief for a series of daring jewel thefts, Clarissa Rue Hawthorne didn’t expect the drákon leader himself to come to London dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel as bait: the Langford Diamond. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, had to catch Clarissa before anyone else did – or risk exposing the entire clan to the world of ordinary mortals. He never expected that the outcast Halfling he pursued would have a proposition of her own to save the drákon – a proposition so dangerous, so tempting, that Christoff will find it impossible to resist: to join forces with her.

Compelling story. It’s a marriage of a fable with the historical (the Georgian era) that yields the start of a stirring mini-epic featuring the drákon…the dragon-people who can turn into smoke and shapeshift into dragons.

I find the premise of the story interesting. The prologue reads like a mesmerizing fairy tale, where the reader is introduced to the world of the drákon…a rich, rigid world governed by Draconian laws.

Christoff and Clarissa Rue are wonderful and well-fleshed out characters. Both are strong and independent; both will do what they think is right, for the people they care about. Their love is a natural progression and is believable. Christoff’s love and care for Clarissa are apparent and touching, even when he applies devious means to achieve his purpose.

A lot of action moves the story along. Although it lags in the middle, particularly when Christoff and Clarissa Rue are searching for the missing Herte diamond, it is still a wonderfully solid story with a lot of heart.

I like the way the author writes. The imagery is vivid. The prose is sometimes lyrical, dreamy even, but never overdone. Overall, it has a luminous mythical feel that simply captivates me.

I can’t wait to read the follow-up story, The Dream Thief.

5 out of 5. I love it. It's phenomenal - in a class by itself. Sensuality: Warm


Kristie (J) said...

I read this one and was very impressed to. I also have The Dream Thief TBR. I really must get to it! I've read a number of books by Shana Abe and all are very good.

Jace said...

Hi, Kristie. This is my 1st Shana Abe book, but it won't be the last. I'm really captivated by her drakon story and I can't wait to read Dream Thief. But it's out of stock at my bookstore! I placed an order and it'll arrive in about 3 weeks.

Kristie (J) said...

It bites having to wait when you really want a book doesn't it? But - if you're anything like me, you have plenty of others to tide you over in the meantime :)

Jace said...

I do indeed have a small TBR mountain to pick at. *LOL* I'm currently trying to wrestle it down to a molehill. *grin*