Friday, March 2, 2018

Audiobook Review: Serpent's Kiss by Thea Harrison

Series:     Elder Races #3
Pub. Date:Oct. 6, 2011
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Sophie Eastlake
Length:13 hrs 14 min
Source:Audible Romance

My re-read for the Elder Races series continues, and I'm approaching the point where I got waylaid in the series before. So I'm making sure to take notes this time! I continue to enjoy Harrison's world building and unique paranormal characters, and I remember the next book, Oracle's Moon, being one of my favorites so I will be moving onto it very soon. That's not to say that Serpent's Kiss wasn't very good... it was.

The hero of this installment is Rune Ainissesthai, a gryphon and First Sentinel for Dragos Cuelebre (hero of Dragon Bound). In the last installment, Storm's Heart, Rune made a deal with a vampire to save Tiago's life... and now he has to go pay up the favor he owes her. Rune is a typical weir hero, a growly alpha male that is dominant and protective when it comes to his mate. Rune is also a being of the between places, as his gryphon nature demonstrates. He has an affinity for portals to other times, places and dimensions... and we see that working in interesting ways in this story.

Carling Severan is a counselor on the Elder Tribunal, and somewhat of a Queen among the vampyres. Carling is a very old and powerful vampyre, having learned sorcery when she was still a human in Ancient Egypt. Now Carling seems to be dying, which makes her power unstable and she has been secluded on an island off San Francisco. She is facing her death with stoic grace however, until Rune shows up on her island. Rune gives Carling hope, and makes her feel things that she has not felt in a very long time. Carling was a good heroine as well. I liked that despite her immense power, she was still able to be soft and vulnerable with Rune. Though that didn't stop her from being assertive when it came to her misbehaving vampyre children. I also loved Rasputin, the little Pomeranian, and though he helped to show Carling's soft underbelly. I was extremely fascinated by Carling's past and was glad that we got a peek back into her early life through her fade episodes. 

The relationship between Rune and Carling unfolded at a nice pace that fit well within the confines of the story. The romance seemed to have an equal focus with the mystery of vampirism and the search to find a cure for Carling's issues. The dual focus helped to advance the plot quite nicely so that the reader/listener never gets bored. 

I was somewhat surprised (again) by Dragos' behavior in this installment, as he came off like an uncaring douche at times. I really like all the secondary characters in this series, and I loved seeing more of the djinn prince, Khalil, in this story. 

This narrator, Sophie Eastlake, always does a good job with her narration and performance. She is able to affect male and female characters without issue, and she always holds my attention. I am a fan of her work.

Coming soon - my review of Oracle's Moon.

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Elder Races