Friday, August 12, 2016

Sherrilyn Kenyon - Dragonmark

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.
Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn...

Comment: This is the most recent installment in the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, one of the most successful paranormal series out there.

Basically, this book follows the same timeline as the previous two books, but from Illarion's perspective. Illarion is one of Maxis' dragon brothers and we knew about him in the previous book, precisely Maxis'.
Illarion has loved Edilyn, a human woman for centuries, even after she was killed and he had to learn to live without her. Now he finally meets humans again in the realm where he got trapped and decides to help them. How that helps him in meeting Edilyn again is a surprise for everyone, especially Illarion himself.

I'll just write a couple sentences about this book because, to be honest, there isn't much to say. I'll say a bit more about other stuff after, related to the series and author but not the book itself.

Illarion and Edilyn don't have much airtime in their book, apparently. They met a long time ago and somehow they fell in love. But of course family challenges -  that don't have much development related to themselves as independent characters - make things in such a way that they must battle enemies and Edilyn gets separated from Illarion.
The glimpses to their personalities aren't well developed, not if one compares to the first books in the series where everything seemed more vital, both the personality of each character and the relationship with others. It is as if the author took the easy path an just told us the basics and that's it. Then half part of the book - more or less - is about Illarion's perspective on others and their stories, namely the two previous books featuring Cadegan and Jo and Max and Sera. Why on earth he had to describe everything and how that helped him I don't know.
I guess I understand the logic, after all it makes us visualize how all the previous facts had an impact on each character. But come on, this did not made the plot move forward in an enriched way nor did it present a solid couple, it was simply repetitive. Having so many books all showing the same is not moving on! It's just using large chunks of story to make another book look bigger and expensive without being a book per se. The end was great for Illarion and Edilyn but why I never knew because it all happened so fast and without the expected emotional impact.

Therefore, this leads me to wonder what is the author or her editors thinking? Is the money greed so important that it's best to present hardcovers with repetitive stories rather than a solid new installment the readers deserve? The previous 3 stories could have been told in one book! This means three years of waiting and getting a story were wasted and the author could have used that time to actually develop her series with more characters! If she does insist in being prolific in giving us more and more ideas and characters then she should start having HEAs for three or four couples in each book, otherwise how can this move any further?

I understand the idea, the purpose but it's too much. Years waiting between installment, different series is getting too much an no one lives forever, the author included. Will we ever have closure for out beloved characters?

What still saves this (both the series' goal and this book in particular) is the amazing bonds between characters, the heartfelt scenes between characters, families, people we like to see happy now that their stories were told and wishing others to feel the same. If not for this eagerness to see a happy ending for all, would anyone still have the patience to wait? I really hope the author has a change of heart and realizes her rhythm isn't doable like this anymore.
Grade: 5/10

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