Title: Serpent’s Kiss
Several sex scenes.
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!