This is the first in a series of ‘Dragonfire’ books. In this world there are dragons that can shape shift into human form. They have been there since creation as guardians of the four elements and the earth as a whole. These dragons are called Pyr. There are two factions amongst the Pyr the ‘regular’ Pyr that consider part of their destiny is also to protect humanity. The other faction are called Slayers as they consider Humans to be weak and useless and believe that only in the destruction of the non-Slayer Pyr and of any humans that get in their way will truly fulfill their goals of protecting the earth since humans are destroying their world.
Pyr are very, very long-lived and there are not many ‘female’ Pyr, in fact, only one. And she’s a special dragon, The Wyvern, as she is the Pyr Oracle who imparts her visions and guidance with verse and mysteries, not straight answers.
In this Dragonfire novel, we follow a human woman by the name of Sara Keegan who has recently inherited a New Age bookstore in Ann Arbor. She’s a former ace accountant who has decided to settle down with running her aunt’s store and lead a less globe-trotting life. She’s a very richly written character, and comes across as very real. She’s about to discover a life much different than she was expecting.
The Pyr central character of this novel is Quinn Tyrrell, a blacksmith and artist who’s now to be the centerpiece of a new cycle in the lives of himself and the good Pyr as it looks like Sara Keegan is his destined mate and the subject of his Firestorm, a destiny-driven urge to mate and create a heir for both his skills and his destiny. For Pyr can only be born from the mating of human and Pyr and the Firestorm is the sign that it is THEIR turn!
And while the Firestorm is a precious and wonderful thing, the Slayers have plans of their own, wishing to eliminate both the Seer (Sara) and the Smith (Quinn) to prevent the new age that is to come, and they have kidnapped and endangered the Wyvern, both to torture her into giving the Slayers and only the Slayers her prophecies as well as to bait a trap for the Seer and the Smith.
In general the book is very well written, with interesting hints into the background of the Pyr and is populated with well thought out characters that are anything but the cardboard characters so common in series romance novels.
The sexual tension in the novel is strong, but not overpowering for anyone other than the Seer and the Smith, and the sex, once it happens, is not described explicitly, but rather in the nature of a HBO or Showtime presentation, with anything that goes on below the hips being only indirectly described. And the sex is not the focus of the novel, rather it is the growing relationship between the destined mates and the overarching conflict between the Slayers and the Pyr that carry things.
While not the best Paranormal Romance novel I have read, it is written in a good hand, and I will not turn away from the sequels when I find them in the bookstore. However, I doubt I would have found it as interesting without the ‘Paranormal’ elements of the dragons. And dragons are an interesting change from the werewolves and vampires that commonly populate Paranormal Romance these days.
According to Deborah Cooke’s website there are 6 books in this series, with Kiss of Fire as the first, Kiss of Fury being second and having come out this past August. The 3rd, Kiss of Fate is currently scheduled for February 2009. Number 4, whose title has yet to be announced, is listed for November 2009.
Deborah Cooke’s blog called Alive & Knitting.