Title: Serpent’s Kiss (A Novel of the Elder Races, 3)
Author: Thea Harrison
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (5th July 2012)
In the lastest Novel of the Elder Races, a queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion . . .
In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with vampire Queen Carling – without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.
Recently, Carling’s power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing queen and decides to help her find the cure for the serpent’s kiss – the vampyric disease that’s killing her. With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Serpent’s Kiss is the third book in the Novel of The Elder Races series, although it is not a direct sequel to either Dragon Bound or Storm’s Heart. Instead Serpent’s Kiss takes characters from both books and draws them on to the centre stage. We see Rune in both Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart, though Carling doesn’t appear until Storm’s Heart. It is interesting to see both Rune and Carling step forward and become the protagonists in Serpent’s Kiss, and to read Harrison fleshing the characters out. Like Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart, Serpent’s Kiss is very definitely a book – and a series – which is aimed at an adult audience.
Although, like Storm’s Heart, Serpent’s Kiss is not a direct sequel to either of the preceding books in the Novel of the Elder Races series – in that it has two new protagonists – I would recommend that you go back and read both Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart so you can get a fuller appreciation of the characters and series. You could, of course, dive straight into Serpent’s Kiss but you would miss some background information if you did.
Since his appearance in Dragon Bound I have thought that Rune is an interesting character – he’s Dragos’s First sentinel and his friend, so when I discovered he was one of the main characters in Serpent’s Kiss my interest was piqued. Since her appearance in Storm’s Heart Carling has been a bit of a mystery too. She was a vampire Queen who gave up her throne to rule on the Elder Council. So going into Serpent’s Kiss I was hoping to find out more about these interesting characters, and I was not disappointed.
The plot of Serpent’s Kiss is really interesting, and unique in the Novel of the Elder Races series so far. Although one of the major subplots of the novel is of course the relationship between Rune and Carling, I found the idea that Carling is suffering from a vampyric disease that’s killing her and she and Rune need to find a cure the most interesting aspect of the novel. Harrison did a really good job in illustrating Carling’s decline and her disease – which has some really neat aspects – and the origins of vampires in her novel – which was also really interesting. I also really enjoyed the conclusion of the book.
If you are a fan of paranormal romance and like you characters with a bit of a twist and brains, then you really should check out Thea Harrison’s Novel of the Elder Races series. Serpent’s Kiss is a brilliant addition to the series and I look forward to reading book four.