The Smoke Thief
Sometimes I don't get myself. It's been years since I've enjoyed an actual romance novel and to be perfectly frank, I wasn't expecting to enjoy The Smoke Thief.
Joke's on me there, I guess. Shana Abe's writing is so light and airy that reading it is, if you'll excuse the pun, a breeze. It just floats by without effort, easy and evocative (and occasionally slightly purple, especially during love scenes, but no one is perfect and I don't expect them to be). It's easy to sink into, to just let the book sweep you away, and that makes it all the easier to enjoy.
Though it's been a long time since I've cared for romance stories too much, especially the characters, I found that I liked Rue. The premise of a woman like that becoming a master thief in the way she does is utterly charming, teaming up with courtesans and thieves. She's a strong character, w... Read More
Shana AbeShana Abé writes paranormal historical romantic fantasy. She also writes traditional romances. She resides in the Denver area with five surly pet house rabbits, all rescued. Read excerpts of her work at the Shana Abé website.
DrÁkon — (2005-2010) Publisher: For centuries they’ve lived in secret among northern England’s green and misted hills. Creatures of extraordinary beauty, power, and sensuality, they possess the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret–and their survival–is threatened by a temptation that will break every boundary… Dubbed the Smoke Thief, a daring jewel thief is confounding the London police. His wealthy victims claim the master burglar can walk through walls and vanish into thin air. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, knows the truth: the thief is no ordinary human but a “runner” who’s fled Darkfrith without permission. As Alpha leader of the dra´kon, it’s Kit’s duty to capture the fugitive before the secrets of the tribe are revealed to mortals. But not even Kit suspects that the Smoke Thief could be a woman. Clarissa Rue Hawthorne knew her dangerous exploits would attract the attention of the dra´kon. But she didn’t expect Christoff himself to come to London, dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel–the Langford Diamond–as bait. For as long as she could remember, Rue had lived the life of a halfling–half dra´kon, half mortal–and an outcast in both worlds. She’d always loved the handsome and willful Kit from the only place it was safe: from afar. But now she was no longer the shy, timid girl she’d once been. She was the first woman capable of making the Turn in four generations. So why did she still feel the same dizzying sense of vulnerability whenever he was near? From the moment he saw her, Kit knew that the alluring and powerful beauty was every bit his Alpha equal and destined to be his bride. And by the harsh laws of the dra´kon, Rue knew that she was the property of the marquess. But they will risk banishment and worse for a chance at something greater. For now Rue is his prisoner, the diamond has disappeared, and she’s made the kind of dangerous proposition a man like Kit cannot resist… In this bewitching novel, Shana Abé transports us into a world of exhilarating romance and magic.
The Smoke Thief
The Dream Thief
The Dream Thief stars Amalia Langford, the daughter of Kit and Rue from The Smoke Thief, and Zane, a thief who was introduced in the previous book. Zane is charged with retrieving a special diamond called Draumr. At the behest of Kit and Rue, he agrees to travel across Europe, into the Carpathians, in search of it. Accompanying him is Lia, who is possessed of the ability to hear the future. In her dreams she hears a future in which Zane, using the power of Draumr, holds her as his slave, slaughters her entire tribe, and uses her knowledge of precious gems to steal. So she decides to um...help him retrieve the diamond. Oookay...
This only so-so plot is not helped by the characters. As much as I enjoyed Rue in The Smoke Thief, I can't stand Lia. She's just not very interesting. The plain Jane outcast who ... Read More
Queen of Dragons
So here we are in the third book. The plot has something to do with the mysterious Drakon princess, Maricara, who was introduced in The Dream Thief and Kimba the White Lion — I mean, Kimber, the son of Kit and Rue from The Smoke Thief. There's something to do with someone murdering Drakon, I think, but frankly I didn't make it far enough to find out. Which is kind of sad, actually, because if the reader isn't sure of what's going on by page 70 or so, you're doing it wrong.
I suppose a large part of the problem was that nothing was going on. One party is talking and doing tedious stuff, the other party is talking and doing tedious stuff, and that's it. The main characters — the love interests, for crying out loud — do not even meet one another until page 50. We don't actually get to see them interact until about page 60, though, becau... Read More
The Sweetest Dark — (2012-2013) Publisher: For fans of Lauren Kate and Libba Bray, The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time. ‘With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.’ Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems. England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny. Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper — a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves. Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.
The Last Mermaid — (2004) Publisher: Shana Abé has entranced countless readers with her passion-filled novels of adventure, intrigue, and romance. Now the author of The Secret Swan delivers a gift from the sea: three hauntingly beautiful tales connected by a legend, a locket, and a love beyond time. 531 a.d.: The tiny island of Kell is said to be enchanted, inhabited by an extraordinary creature who comforts shipwrecked sailors passing into the next world. Prince Aedan of the Isles believes in no such nonsense—until he awakens on Kell itself and meets the sensuous siren who rescued him from the sea. 1721: Ronan MacMhuirich, Earl of Kell, is the target of an unlikely assassin: Leila, a mysterious woman from an exotic land. But his irresistibly beautiful would-be slayer is in just as much danger as Ronan when she falls for this man with a magic of his own. 2004: What do you do when you inherit a Scottish island you never knew existed—and find yourself pursued by a handsome stranger who wants to buy it from you? That’s what happens to Ruri Kell when she accepts Iain MacInnes’s invitation to visit her birthright, and listens to a proposition as sinfully tempting as everything else about him. Three seductive love stories, three passionate couples, all linked by one of the most romantic myths of all.