Berkley / $7.99 print / digital / November 6, 2012
Before she met Dragos, half-human/half-Wyr Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now she’s mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyrs’ frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners—in more places than just the bedroom.
In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the Games heat up, Pia’s negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear…
Usually an author in a paranormal romance series choose the way they will be presenting their storytelling at the beginning—it is either by a continued character such as Jeaneine Frost’s Bones and Cat or Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse, or a group of characters with a central background or location where each book focuses on a new couple with only guest appearance from prior or future heroes and heroines as with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters or Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark.
Thea Harrison shakes things up in her newest book in her Elder Races series. Lord’s Fall returns us to our hero and heroine of Book #1, Dragon Bound. After several books and short stories featuring the Wyr sentinels and other members of the Elder Races, the focus is once again on Dragos Cuelebre and Pia Giovanni. Understandably, since there is no question that this story could only be told through the eyes of the very powerful Lord of the Wyr and his new mate.
In the last book Oracle’s Moon, Dragos and Pia are given a prophesy from the Oracle which will soon come to be:
It had spoken of stars dying in agony, and the nature of evil, of Light and Dark as creatures, and Lord Death himself having forgotten he was a fraction of the whole.
“I am not form but Form,” the voice had claimed, “a prime indivisible. All these things were set in motion at the beginning, along with the laws of the universe and of Time itself. The gods formed at the moment of creation, as did the Great Beast, as did Hunger, as did Birth along with Finality, and I am the Bringer of the End of Days…”
In Lord’s Fall, Pia Giovanni has been the mate to the Lord of the Wyr for seven months. She is going to the Elven domain on a diplomatic mission to try to convince the Elven Lord to lift the trade embargo between the Elves and the Wyr, which is financially harming both demesne. The embargo was imposed after Dragos Cuelebre illegally crossed the Elven border when he was chasing the fleeing Pia—who he was determined to find at any cost—in Dragon Bound. As the new First Lady of the Wyr demesne, it is her duty to try to negotiate an acceptable conclusion to this mess which began with her and Dragos.
“We get that you’re special, being Dragos’s mate and all,” Eva said.
“No, knucklehead,” she snapped. “We’re not on some kind of pleasure jaunt or shopping trip, and I’m not just going to have tea and cookies and go shopping with Beluviel. We’re going to try to fix one of the biggest problems the Wyr demesne has right now, repair treaties and better our relationship with the Elven demesne. It’s something Dragos can’t do, since he’s the one who broke the treaties to begin with—the Elves have threatened war if he enters their demesne without permission again.”
But Pia isn’t the only one seeking an audience with the Elven Lord. When another faction of Elves, who had closed off their borders centuries ago, decides to show up and ask for help from the Elven Lord, Pia won’t be set aside and can’t let her chance to mend things between these Wyr and the Elves slip away. She travels deeper into the Elven domain, into a place between here and the Other land, cut off further from her mate.
“Other issues need my attention,” Calondir said. “I’ll take my leave now.”
Pia saw everything she had worked for slipping through her fingers as the High Lord turned away.
Anger sparked. Sure, an upcoming visit from Numenlaurians must be hugely important, but the Elves had invited her first, dammit. She couldn’t afford to let him wriggle out of granting her an audience. People in the Wyr demesne needed for her to succeed at reestablishing trade agreements.
But when it comes to light that someone has unearthed a Deus Machinae or God Machine, and they are determined to use it to destroy the world, Pia gets trapped in the middle of an Elven civil war, and the only one with enough power and authority to step in to save the Elven Lord and his people is the powerful dragon—the Great Beast.
She told him, “I dreamed that I went to look out the window and saw that stars were dying. He was there and he said ‘nothing shines forever,’ along with something about paving a way to some kind of new age. This is what the Oracle prophesied, isn’t it?”
Dragos smoothed a strand of her hair back. “It sounds like it.”
She took Drago’s much larger, harder hand in both of hers. “You know we have to help them, don’t you?”
He said, “I have already summoned the Wyr.”
Giving readers continued stories staring a main character or characters is wonderful for getting to know your characters, but you miss an opportunity to delve into some interesting side characters. If each new book features a new hero and heroine finding love, we leave behind some characters who might still have a story to tell. In returning to and refocusing on our central characters of this series, Dragos and Pia, we get a chance to enjoy more of their story. It would be exciting to see more authors take note of this twist and think about returning to beloved characters and giving them another turn in the spotlight.
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.