Release Date: Sept. 4, 2012
Children of the Moon #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
When Eirik, the only living dragon shifter, and prince of the Ean, killed her brother, Ciara was left alone to face her prophetic dreams. Now, in order to find the wolves’ sacred stone and save all the Chrechte from destruction, she needs her rival’s help.
Eirik was only protecting the children of his people, but that day in the forest left a mark on him as well. Controlling his dragon’s fire is the most difficult thing he’s ever done—until he and Ciara are forced to face not only their shared tumultuous past, but a hallowed bond stronger than they realize. As avowed adversaries and predestined mates, their quest ushers them into a world of great danger, and a passion hotter than the dragon’s fire.
What VampBard’s talking about:
Jumping into Lucy Monroe’s fourth book of her Children of the Moon series was no big deal- I wasn’t lost, and Ms. Monroe provided enough background that I really didn’t notice that it was the fourth title in the series. However, now that I’ve been introduced to the world of her shifter clans, picking up the first three titles in the series sounds like an awesome idea. *adds three more titles to the ever-growing TBR list* I must admit, I’m a sucker for Gaelic and men in kilts. Dragon’s Moon definitely didn’t disappoint on either account. Pop in some shifters and some romance – Ta Da! – it’s a book I’m gonna lurve! The over-arching theme that was intricately woven throughout the book speaks to the masses: One cannot allow the past to define who (or what) they are today; and certainly cannot define one’s happiness.
With Dragon’s Moon, we got a two-fer in the romance department. The dominant romantic story line, that of Eirik and Ciara, was definitely the center of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Ms. Monroe developed her mythology for the Chrechte people, and their mating rituals. I think the fact that Ms. Monroe presented a pair of mated males within the story instantly won her points with me, as well. I was also pleased with the way in which she defined the roles of and within the shifter races through the course of the story. This was a very well-developed world, and the rules of the world were followed throughout, never giving me a reason to go back and read a passage (well, except those I simply wanted to experience again!).
Right from the beginning of the story, we know that there’s conflict regarding Eirik and Ciara:
Never before had she felt such a connection with another. Her wolf whispered a word she refused to hear, her mind whirling with thoughts she was determined never to have. (p. 26)
Ciara, the brave heroine of our story, denies her heart from the start of the story. With her history, she’s been emotionally barren for the past seven years. Now, she is learning how to feel, and it scares her. Orphaned, then taken in by the Sinclair clan, Ciara has been like a daughter to the laird and his wife. She’s a second mother to their twin sons. They treat her as family and call her daughter, though she’s been unable to reciprocate the feelings, as well as return the familial titles to those that love her. Until Eirik saves her life, as he and his people approach the castle of the Sinclair:
But it was not the hard ground that broke her fall. Sharp talons curled around her body, warm scales that felt like living chain mail pressed against her face and suddenly she was not falling, but flying upward. In the arms of a dragon.
That was the last her tormented mind could take. Ciara welcomed the black oblivion as it came. (pg. 26)
This was the couples’ first introduction. They’re one of those ‘fated’ couples. You can tell from their interactions as well as the way their special talents interplay with one another from their initial meeting, and throughout the book. Even when one or the other are trying to deny the fact that they’re meant to be together. Ciara is especially adept at this form of denial, believing she doesn’t want a mate nor children, as she cannot bear to endure the grief she felt with the deaths of her brother and mother. Fortunately, Ciara does go-with-the-flow, and she grows into herself, as well as the one destiny has chosen for her to be. Ciara’s is a lovely story, wrought with honest emotion, as well as self-esteem issues.
Eirik, the prince of the Ean, has brought part of his clan to the Sinclair stronghold. The Ean, forest dwellers, are no longer safe in the woods as they had been previously. Their numbers grow too large; they will surely be unable to secret away the settlements necessary to house their people. Eirik delivers volunteers to several clan that welcome the Ean with open arms. He is, however, riddled with secrets of his own that may be entirely too powerful to allow him to open his heart to love, no matter how much he desires it. Blessed (or cursed) with sharing his soul with both a raven and a dragon, Eirik is not a man with which one should trifle. While he is a fierce warrior, and loved by his people, Eirik is determined to ensure the safety and peace that he wants for his people. Even at tremendous personal cost.
We’re lucky we get to see both Ciara and Eirik’s point-of-view throughout the story. We get to know what they’re both thinking, and I found myself secretly cheering when one or the other would have a revelation regarding the other. One of the things that I loved most about the couple was the way in which Eirik’s dragon was the one that could protect Ciara from her dreams, allowing her much-needed sleep.
On a quest for a fabled healing stone for their ‘tribe’, Ciara wasn’t truly aware that she had a destiny to fulfill, until Mairi – battered and bruised – arrived, convincing Ciara that she was ‘the one’. I really enjoyed this part of the world-building! Ms. Monroe clearly outlined both Ciara and Mairi’s roles in the recovery of the fabled stone, and I was easily able to identify their roles, after their full values were revealed.
Lais was Eirik’s best friend, and his ‘second’. It was a smidge predictable that he would have the bonding urge with Mairi, but I like the way it was presented. What I wasn’t too keen on was Lais’ self-depreciating attitude regarding his worthiness due to his past. *eyeroll* Don’t guys know that what they did in the past doesn’t define who they will be tomorrow?!?! *sigh* Lais. Wake. Up. You’re an awesome dude, and Mairi would be lucky to have you.
Most of the conflict in the story was surrounding the stone. There was one skirmish to which the reader was privy prior to the cave on enemy lands. I’d call this an intellectual conflict, because most of the conflict/resolution within the story was centered around thoughts and impressions. I liked it!
Over-all, I felt Lucy Monroe’s Dragon’s Moon, possessed an intriguing plot-arc, and the characters were believable. Ms. Monroe, however, expertly wove the silken threads of two love stories in the midst of a brilliantly crafted shape-shifter world. Her balance between the couples as well as the inevitable points-in-time that would arrive to hijack blooming love, is nothing short of spectacular.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)