Author: Amy Rae Durreson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 260 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: For a thousand years, since their defeat of the Shadow at Eyr, the dragons have slept under the mountains. Now their king, Tarnamell, has woken. Driven mad by loneliness, he hurls himself south until he finds and tries to claim the Alagard Desert. Unfortunately, the desert already has a guardian spirit, and he doesn’t want to share. Amused by the cocky little desert spirit, Tarn retreats, planning to return in human form.
When his caravan enters the desert, however, Alagard is missing. Rumors fly of a dark power, and soon Tarn’s caravan encounters the living dead and an amnesiac mage called Gard.
Forced to take refuge in the Court of the Shells, a legendary fortress in the heart of the desert, Tarn, Gard, and their allies decide to seek out the Shadow before it destroys the desert. But to confront the Shadow, Tarn needs to gather his strength. A dragon’s power depends on the love and loyalty of his human hoard, but Tarn’s original hoard has been dead for centuries. Before he can face his most ancient enemy, he must win the trust of new followers and the heart of a cynical desert spirit.
Review: I loved this book. I adore dragons. I greatly enjoy epic sagas filled with quests, magic, good vs. evil, sexy soldiers and kick ass warmaids, gods and spirits, discovery and falling in love as you work to defeat the bad guys. This book had all of that and even more. It was awesome!
Tarn is gorgeous whether he is a dragon or in the shape of a human. He is kind, generous and very protective. Waking from a thousand years of healing sleep to find that the world he knew changed drastically and everyone he knew either still slumbered or has died. He soon discovers that the same evil they fought, that forced all of the dragons to sleep in order to heal, has also risen and is wreaking havoc in this unprepared world. Only this time he is all alone. But he is a soldier and a dragon and he will rise to the occasion every time.
I felt so badly for Tarn. I cannot imagine how lonely he must have felt at times. How misunderstood and lost to all of the new cultures, languages, customs and the loss of all of the ones he had known and cherished.
I absolutely want to belong to Tarn’s hoard. He was a wonderful dragon. It drove me nuts that Gard stubbornly refused to see that. Although I did enjoy their banter and that they didn’t just instantly fall in love. Both had to compromise and allow the other person to be true to themselves. Which is a huge part of what made them a fabulous couple. Tarn loved Gard for exactly who he was.
Gard is all fire and wind and fury. He is passionate or bored, he knows little middle ground. Which also means that when he loves, that is just as intense and fiery. He has so much energy and sass, always the smart ass and flirt. He is sexy and amazingly powerful.
Gard is terrified of the feelings that Tarn creates in him and what he thinks that Tarn wants from him. He cannot be tied down or forced, but if Tarn manages to win Gard’s affections and trust he will love with everything in him.
There is a fantastic cast that I quickly bonded with. People of many different races and groups who all came together to defeat the evil that was trying to take over their world. Many had to make sacrifices and there were losses but none of them would have regretted their part in it.
I liked that there were layers to the build up with the bad guy, who is creepy and super evil. Warning signs and strange things that Tarn recognizes from the past that lead to some pretty fun fight scenes.
A very enjoyable tale that will have you dreaming of dragons and their precious hoards as you journey through mythical lands and fight creepy bad guys controlled by a seemingly unbeatable foe. Highly recommended for all who love fantasy and epic adventure stories and those who like a romance where they have to work a little for their HEA.
Reviewed by Nina