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Monday, May 11, 2009

The Quickening by Antonia Tiranth

The Quickening by Antonia Tiranth
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Action/Adventure; Contemporary; Fantasy
Length: Full (166 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Orchid

Sometimes, dragons are a girl's best friend.

Aer was my best friend in high school. Okay, I had a huge crush on him. Then he disappeared. But, now he's back and he's in some kind of trouble. He needs my help. I should say no, just on principle, but he's too cute to resist.

Did I mention Aer is a dragon?

Having a dragon for a boyfriend might not be a bad thing. Of course, first I have to help him rescue his brother--and save the Rikashi, an entire race of dragon shifters.

Phi is fascinated by dragons so she shows very little reaction when the man she has loved since high school shows her he is one of the Rikashi, dragon shifters.

Phi, whose real name is Josephine, finds Aer in her living room in the middle of the night. She never told him her true feelings, as she was afraid he didn’t feel the same way about her. Her fears were well founded when Aer left school without a word and never contacted her again. Now he’s back with an incredible tale and a cry for help.

Aer’s flight from Phi had been forced on him when his feelings for her tempted him to betray his race. Now he has returned to ask her help in rescuing his brother. First, he must reveal the secret that will affect all of his people.

Phi surprises Aer when she calmly accepts he is a dragon shifter. She also agrees to help him save his brother from a member of the old dragon shifter race. This deluded dragon shifter is trying to rid the world of those he considers a danger to the Great Dragons, thought to be extinct. Together the friends plan a rescue mission to save Aer’s brother, but Phi discovers this is only the beginning of her connection with the dragon shifters. She has to adjust to a massive change in her life and the world she knows pales into insignificance when she is presented with an undertaking she cannot refuse.

Aer and Phi’s feelings for each other are rekindled, even though Aer knows dragons are forbidden to reveal their natures to humans, and definitely not allowed to take a human as their life mate. Things are about to change for dragons and humans as the past erupts into the future. The Rikashi may be forced to reveal themselves to humans if they are to survive.

This dragon story is one of the very few set on present day Earth rather than on other planets or in other times. The mythical creatures blend naturally into the fabric of the world. They have hidden from the humans for many centuries, and it seems incredible they have not been discovered earlier. The touch of humor which surfaces between Aer and Phi at regular intervals brings the characters to life in a way that made me hold my breath and silently encourage them every time a seemingly insurmountable problem arose.

I found The Quickening a pleasure to read, one of those books that is a torment to put down before it is finished. It’s also a refreshingly new look at the world of dragons. I would be happy to place The Quickening on the shelf beside dragon books by authors such as Anne McCaffrey and Melanie Rawn.

Although The Quickening is a complete story, there are a few unsolved problems, which indicate there will be a sequel, and hopefully more, to come. I will be eagerly looking out for another book from this author and have no hesitation in recommending lovers of romance and fantasy to read this fascinating tale.