Reviewed by: Krista
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book #0.5, Fantasy Lover.
So I have been reading Sherrilyn Kenyon for so long I can’t even remember how long ago it was, but it is safe to say that I have been reading her books for the better part of a decade. While I may not obsessively devour them, as I did in the past, I still enjoy each and every outing.
Max, Sanctuary’s resident dragon, first appeared in Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #4*) and now in book 26, he finally gets his chance to step up to the plate. Seriously, what took so long? Through the series we were only given hints as to his past because he ate anyone with the temerity to ask too many probing questions. It’s somewhat unexpected when Max’s past comes crashing into Sanctuary in the form of his Amazonian wife Seraphina and her tribe of Amazons demanding his head on a platter.
In Dragonbane, Kenyon lays out all of Max’s and Seraphina’s secrets pretty quickly and boldly, as if the characters were saying screw it to keeping everything only need to know. Hell, Max even offhandedly remarks that he is responsible for the ancient blood feud between the Were-Hunters and Arcadians. Sorry, y’all, for the thousand year war, my bad. Max finds out that he has twin children he didn’t know about and they are currently being kept captive to bring him out of hiding. What proceeds are pages filled with dragon, demon, and mythical god hijinks.
While the plot of Dragonbane is pretty simple—find family and friends, save family and friends. The book gets complicated with the amount of cameos by other characters in the Dark-Hunter universe. There are several sub series in the Dark-Hunter series (Dark-Hunter, Dream-Hunter, Were-Hunter, Hellchaser, and, depending on your preference, The Chronicles of Nick) and this book brings in most, if not all, of them. I spent half of my time trying to place each character to the book I knew them from. I was floored when Blaise from The Lords of Avalon series showed up on the page and I learned that this series was bundled in the Dark-Hunter universe! I now have to go and pick up Son of No One, because I guess missed something pretty epic. This is not a series to jump into lightly. We are 26 books in and that’s a lot of backstory a new reader would be missing.
Dragonbane was a good read, but it wasn’t the pull-your-heart-out book that I have come to know Kenyon for. (Seriously, Styxx had me bawling through most of the book.) The action was quick and brutal, but I was startled with how easily Max was able to get out of it. I loved the humorous touches throughout, especially the exchanges when Max’s new family were gathered together. As to the romance, Max and Seraphina were able to overcome their differences so easily, it made me wonder what kept them apart for so long. You know other than her being frozen in stone for a thousand years.
I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Dark-Hunter universe. The Dark-Hunter series is also great if you are looking for something to binge read. You can’t go wrong with fabulous characters, steamy sex, heart-wrenching drama and brutal action sequences. Also, dragons are always a must.
Sexual content: sex
* Note: Sometimes you’ll see Night Embrace listed as the second book in the series, because that listing discounts the full-length novellas. However, we’re using the numbering Sherrilyn Kenyon uses on her website. Sorry for any confusion.