Shana Abé
The Smoke Thief
Drakon, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

Beware-Spoilers ahead!!

This is Shana Abé’s introductory book in her drakon series that introduces us to a new species of shape-shifters that can turn from what appears to be human to mist and to dragon.

This installment centers around Rue (formerly known as Clarissa) an outcast halfling that faked her own death to escape the drakon world and has made a life for herself in the human world as a jewel thief.  But when the prize jewel of the drakon tribe, goes missing it leads the alpha, Kit, to London and to her.

Rue makes a bargain with Kit and the drakon council that if she helps them recover their prize jewel, herte, and find the thief that took it she will be given her freedom.  Otherwise, she will have to return to Darkfirth to marry Kit against her will.

Kit and Rue set out on their journey and quickly find herte, but not without cost; Kit is injured recovering it and his wound becomes infected causing him to get deathly ill.  While trying to find a cure for him, Rue discovers that Kit had never intended to give her freedom back to her.  She then must decide if she should save him or let him rot.

I was really skeptical of this book when I first started reading it, as the only dragon series I’ve ever read was pretty crappy.  But I’m happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I didn’t want to put this book down.  It was engaging and fun to read.

This is the first shape-shifting novel that I’ve ever read where they could shift into two forms other than human.  The turning to mist was an ingenious idea and a great way for the drakons to stay camouflaged.  It leaves you thinking that they could be all around you!!

There was one little part of the book that I found drug on a little too long.  It was after Kit was injured and Rue was trying to take care of him.  I think it was a bit too detailed and it could have been condensed, but other than that the story is well paced and is a fast read.

I loved Rue as a lead character.  She’s strong, independent and loving in a genre that is so full of whinny flaky heroines.  Seeing the way she was with Zane gives us a glimpse of her softer maternal side.  I didn’t like how quickly she gave in to Kit though, but I guess it’s supposed to be instinctual for their kind?!?

I’m not sure what to think of Kit.  Part of me liked him.  He’s sexy and charming….

“I didn’t ask you to catch me!”

“You’re so delightful when you’re irrational. Of course I’m going to catch you.” He slid a hand behind her nape and kissed her again. “It’s what I do.”

But part of me hated him at the same time.  He’s cocky and controlling and expects to get everything that he wants, including Rue even if it means she’ll be forced to be with him.  And if I was Rue, I would have hated being called mouse all the time.

But in the end, I enjoyed the two of them together and that Rue makes Kit a better person and I hope to see more of this couple in the subsequent installments of this series.  This was a great book and I can’t wait to devour the rest of the series!