I understand why she did it. Everyone loved Dragon Bound. It is the standard against which all other books in the Elder Races series are measured. It makes total sense for Thea Harrison to go back to Pia and Dragos... and give fans some more time with their beloved characters. But the result was a mixed bag for me. I did enjoy revisiting these characters, but the romance wasn't nearly as powerful for me the second time around.
The basic premise of the book is two-fold. The main arc of the story follows Pia as she travels back to the land of the Elves to try and repair the damage Dragos caused there during the first book. This, as Dragos stays in New York to oversee the "Sentinel Games," a competition among the strongest Wyr to essentially replace Rune and Tiago.
I actually liked both storylines. We're introduced to several new, intriguing characters... like a dark Pegasus Wyr and Pia's bodyguard. And at the same time, we're reminded of older characters we haven't seen in a while (like Quentin, Pia's old boss and the safe bet for the hero in Aryal's book.) The world-building is great and bigger than ever. There is action and bloodshed. And Harrison addresses old hanging threads like the Oracle's prophesy and the fractured relationship between Dragos and Rune. All very cool, as was the way the Elf-mission played out.
But. The romance didn't light my fire. Sure, Dragos was hot. The sex was good. But this relationship was established and solidified a long time ago. There was never any chance that things weren't going to work out. She is carrying his baby for crying out loud. Almost all of the conflict is external and, even then, Pia and Dragos are on the same side. Yeah, Dragos has to work on treating Pia as a partner. And? And that's it. It wasn't bad. It was... ok. I guess I really fall in love with Harrison's books while watching her characters fall in love. We just don't get that here.
I still liked it. As I said, I think the worldbuilding is awesome, the games were cool, and I felt like we laid the groundwork for Aryal's future HEA, and maybe even Graydon's. Plus -- I thought the ending was a great surprise. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Rating: B-*ARC Provided by Berkley