Thursday, September 16, 2010

DRAGON’S PEARL by Jane Toombs

Publisher: Devine Destinies
Date published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-55487-548-1
Reviewed by Rebecca
Obtained via: reviewer purchased

There’s darkness afoot. An ancient evil has been freed after the death of the one who kept it at bay died. Now her young relatives plus the son of a long-dead guardian have come to her home as per her request to see to her last will and testament. The five young people will all be tested. Love will be found. And someone’s not coming home…

This is book one of Jane Toombs’ series “A Darkness of Dragons.” The prologue is the same one from book two, which I read first. I wrote the summery as a fantasy rather than a fantasy romance because it didn’t read like a romance. There is a distinct difference in the two genres- the plot focus. Both tell a fantastic tale of daring and usually have a somewhat dark under tone. Fantasy romance, though, places the importance on the development of a romantic relationship. Anything with, let’s say less than 50% romantic content, doesn’t really qualify as a romance, though it may still be a sound story otherwise. This was something I had noticed in book two of the series, as well, though it wasn‘t as pronounced.

At the beginning, we have Vran, the son of the old Keeper’s Guardian, traveling to her to help lay her to rest. We have Mona, the great niece of the old Keeper, sitting with her relative during her last hours. The two start to develop a romantic relationship, but when the three long lost cousins show up, that budding romance gets forgotten. It’s missing from about page 40 to page 120, so I’m not calling this a romance even if that’s what it was published as. When the others show up, there ceases to be a clear hero and heroine- another must for a true romance.

I’m giving DRAGON’S PEARL 3 hearts. Despite not really being a romance, it stands very well as a straight fantasy. There is a clear peril to be averted. There are five people who discover their heritage as descendants of either Merlin or the ancient dragons of old. There is a bad guy who tries very hard to snuff our budding heroes and heroines out. One gets tempted by evil. One gets tempted by selfish desires. One has trouble accepting what fate and genetics has dealt. One stands strong despite being battered by uncertainties. One loses a battle and disappears. In short, it has all the makings of a grand fantasy!

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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