Monday 30 October 2023

The Dream Thief

Finished October 25
The Dream Thief by Shana Abe

This is the second book in the Drakon series. They are set in the late 18th century. I've read the third book in the series Queen of Dragons, so I had some sense of where this book would end up. The Drakon are people who can transform from human to smoke and to dragons. Most gain this ability during their late teens, but not all. 
Amalia (Lia) is the daughter of the leader of the clan and she doesn't have the ability to turn, but she does have other abilities that she keeps to herself. One is to recognize real gems, like diamonds, sapphires, etc. including being aware of them from a distance. One that she has sensed for a long time is Draumr, an infamous diamond buried in the mountains of Carpathia, that has the power to enslave the drakons. It was buried by a princess of the clan who died doing it after being enslaved for years to an ordinary man. Her other gift is that she dreams the future, and she knows that it is a man with special skills who will go after Draumr. 
Lia is sent to boarding school in Scotland, but her knowledge of the future enables her to prepare in some ways for that, things like learning the languages of Hungarian and Romanian. She is also aware that Zane, a man rescued as a child by her mother, and who thus knows about the drakon, is a skilled thief who will be the one to go after the diamond. She approaches him when she is very young, but he rebuffs her. 
So when he is hired to go after the diamond, she must use her skills to follow him, and then travel with him on this journey. Along the way, she learns more about her own skills and abilities and finds herself capable of even more than she realized. 
We also see how capable Zane is, with his weapons knowledge and preparedness, and his ability to move quickly and surreptitiously when needed. 
In Romania, we also see the current Prince Imre of the castle where the diamond is, a man of drakon heritage, who lacks the ability to turn, and his bride Maricara, a child taken against her will from her peasant family because of her turning ability.
This is a story with strong protagonists, Zane and Lia, as well as other strong female characters, which I liked to see. It is also a story of control and power, and how that can corrupt and taint relationships. This story has a journey that is difficult and fraught with setbacks and hurdles from arson to snowstorms. 
A very enjoyable read. 

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