Early Review: Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison

September 23, 2011 Uncategorized 12

*This title will be released on October 4, 2011*

Serpent's Kiss (Elder Races, #3)

Title: Serpent’s Kiss
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #3
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; October 4, 2011
  • ISBN-10: 0425244407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425244401
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Sexual Content:

Several sex scenes.


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.


In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion…

In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent’s kiss—the vampyric disease that’s killing her.

With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss…


Thea Harrison’s Elder Races novels are my current addiction, I no sooner put down one than I’m anxiously anticipating the next. SERPENT’S KISS is a bright spot in an already wonderful series, and I’ll be able to fill some of the months before ORACLE’S MOON comes out in March by mulling over it’s interesting magical theory and characters.

The world building in SERPENT’S KISS is ambitious, delving into the mythology of gryphons and vampires, the history of Carling’s origins, and the politics of her present day position. Harrison writes enough explanation and detail to make reading along with Rune and Carling interesting, without getting bogged down in inconsistencies or procedure. I was so fascinated with how the mystery was unfolding, I almost lost sight of the main characters themselves. Details about Rune’s personality or Carling’s history that seemed inconsequential at the start come together at the close to make this an even more satisfying romance.

I am continually impressed with the attention Harrison lavishes on her character’s relationships, going beyond destiny or chemistry to write pairings that compliment and strengthen one another. Rather than writing generically appealing characters, Rune and Carling are another Elder Races couple that have quirks and rough spots that happen to fit just right with each other. What better balance for one of nature’s most playful and mutable beings than the cool, capable steadfastness of a human woman who has survived for millennia?

It is still frustrating to see glimpses of beloved past characters without getting to spend much time with them, but luckily, Harrison always gives readers a glimpse of the next relationship on the horizon. Based on the introductory chapter included at the close of SERPENT’S KISS, ORACLE’S MOON promises to be a thoroughly entertaining blend of human practicality butting heads with another charming, if arrogant, magical being. I can’t wait!

Previous Books in Series
Also Reviewed By:
  1. Dragon Bound  – 4/5
  2. Storm’s Heart – 4/5

12 Responses to “Early Review: Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison”

  1. Jen at Red Hot Books

    I love this series as well, but this has been my least favorite so far. I think it had a lot to do with Carling. It was hard for me to feel invested when she was detached from her feelings for so long, KWIM? I am really looking forward to Khalil's story now…

  2. Rain Maiden

    This series is fun. I have not read Serpent's Kiss yet, but I will be picking it up. It's not out just yet…or is it?:). Thanks for the low down Julia. Sounds like the series is still going strong.

  3. JenM

    Want! I'm so excited – Spider's Revenge next week, Serpent's Kiss the following week. The only problem is that I'm going to be so busy at work that I won't be able to dive right into either of them.

  4. Amber Hughes

    I can't wait to read this book! This is one of my new favorite series and Thea Harrison has definitely become one of my new favorite authors 🙂

  5. Julia

    @Jen – It's funny, if I had to order the Elder Races from favorite to least, I'd go with DRAGON BOUND, SERPENT'S KISS, then STORM'S HEART. Carling is definitely removed, but Harrison's attempts to balance her overall worked for me.

    @Rain – Not out yet, I requested the ARC for SERPENT'S KISS the minute I finished STORM'S HEART (and I'd be requesting ORACLE'S MOON right now if I thought it was available yet).

    @JenM – Sounds like you have two books to treat yourself with once work is done (or you can substitute reading for sleeping… which may not help the "working" goal at all).

    @Amber – Me, too! Harrison is definitely on my "pre-order immediately" list.

  6. Alexa

    This sounds like a great book and I really need to pick up the first one in the series. I often feel that some adult romances gloss over the deeper parts of a real relationship so I'm glad that this author spends the time making a great relationship.
    Thanks for the review.

  7. Julia

    @Alexa – A fellow reader on Goodreads pointed out something I had missed. One of the reasons I enjoyed DRAGON BOUND is because of how Harrison plays with romantic tropes, she puts a new spin on the usual alpha hero that adds a lot of humor to the book. I'd be interested to know how you like it, Harrison's books are definitely at the top of my paranormal romance pre-order list.

  8. Jill

    This series is new to me, but it sounds interesting. From your description it seems like a very real world is created within the book. Kim Harrison is one of my favorites as well!

  9. Lexi

    This series has been in my TBR list for a while, just dont seem to getting around to reading it. Then I read this review and makes me wonder what am I waiting for? On the other hand I love to wait till there are a few books in a series so I can read them back to back, esp if I know its going to be a good one that sucks you into the story completly…

  10. Julia

    @Lexi – Hope you enjoy it! DRAGON BOUND is my favorite, followed by SERPENT'S KISS. Though each book in this series inhabits the same world (and loosely touches on each other's characters), they're practically stand alone in terms of action. Very little by way of continuing plot arc, other than each book establishing the couple for the next.

    @Dannika – Preaching to the choir, lady, the cover for this book is just perfect.