Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Review: Breath of Fire

Breath of Fire
Fantasy Romance
Dragonfold Series*/Book 1
Dorchester Publishing/July 2009
Library book

From the back cover ~

When the dragon came to claim him, Karl knew his great plan had gone horribly wrong. If he had known the creature was real, he wouldn’t have scoffed at the villagers… and he certainly wouldn’t have been so quick to let them chain him to a rock. Mattaen Initiates trained as warriors, but no man could defeat a dragon.

"My name is Elera, daughter of Shane. And you, Initiate, are my virgin prize.”

She had vanquished the beast and named her price: one night with the virgin sacrifice she’d saved. He’d taken a vow of chastity, but Karl still had a man’s needs—and Elera’s sultry curves made him ache to taste his first woman. With one scorching kiss she shattered his defenses… and led him into a world of deception and seduction, where he’d be forced to choose between the brotherhood that had raised him and the woman whose courage set his heart on fire.

What starts out as the old story of villagers sacrificing a virgin takes a drastic change when a man (Karl) questions their beliefs. Our hero Karl then agrees to trade places with the virgin and he can because... he's a virgin too! But Karl is in for a surprise when it turns out the villagers were right - dragons are real!

The dragons in Kane's book are not shape-shifters but actual dragons. One male dragon with a harem of females. Kane gives the reader the feeling that these dragons have unique personalities and are more than the monsters humans think them to be. I became enchanted with these creatures and felt that by making them more than just props for the humans, they were an essential part of the story.

Elena is an alpha heroine who starts off saving the hero and demanding an interesting payment in return. She wants Karl to spend the night with her. I liked her from the very beginning. There was a bump in the road early on but after that I found her to be an intriguing character. She was smart, loyal, brave and funny with a sarcastic wit that she used well on Karl.

Karl is the hero and he is truly heroic in his beliefs. He has trained for many years as a warrior and as a member of the Mattaen Initiates. I liked Karl and his need for knowledge and his curiosity when it came to Elena and her world. He's only a few days from taking his final vow when he finds himself part of Elena's reward for saving him and the village from the dragon. When he agrees to spend the night with Elena he makes it clear that he has no intention of having sex with her. Elena makes it clear that she will try to change his mind. She doesn't sleep around but she does enjoy sex and has a number of reasons for wanting Karl.

Here's where I had the problem. Elena uses her body to try and change Karl's mind about the no sex and then she uses magic and his virginity becomes a thing of the past. I understand why Elena did it, she even tells him she had no choice, but I still thought it was a dirty thing to do. Karl had explained to her about his vow and his celibacy. His body may have wanted her but in his mind he had every intention of remaining celibate and taking his vow.

So once Karl got past that hurdle the story continued with Karl discovering more about Elena, her land and why she rescued him and needed to spend the night with him. I enjoyed the journey Karl had to take to get to Elena and find the answers he searched for. He was a sponge when it came to learning, always wanting to know more and know why. His knowledge wasn't just books, he was a warrior, a skilled fighter. That knowledge came in very handy in Elena's world.

The fight scenes with the humans and the dragons were exciting, filled with action and tension. I liked the secondary characters, they were developed enough without overwhelming the story or the hero and heroine. Elena's good friend, Tem, played an important role, helping Elena and Karl take on the task of leading Elena's people during a challenging time. Tem is the hero of the second book and I look forward to reading his story.

Tammy Kane has created an intricate world of heroines, heroes and dragons. The twists and turns in Breath of Fire were well plotted and for the most part, held my interest. The story was entertaining and left me wanting to read more of this world. Breath of Fire proved to be a captivating start to a new series. The next book, Fires of Faith, is one I'm looking forward to. No word yet on it's release but I'm hoping for this summer.

Rating: B+

*You can go to TGTBTU to read an interview with Tammy Kane where she talks about writing and the direction the series is heading. There are some mild spoilers. That's were I got the unofficial series name of Dragonfold.


  1. I bought this while I was in So Cal and took a look a few weeks ago and I wasn't sure anymore whether it was a good buy or not. Now, I'm going to have to take another closer look :D

    The dragons in Kane's book are not shape-shifters but actual dragons.

    What do you mean by actual dragons?

  2. They're dragons that fly and do dragon things. :)

    So they don't change into men or statues or disolve into mist or anything like that. They're living, breathing dragons. I hope that makes sense. :)

  3. .. but they have humans body?

  4. I'm so sorry if I've confused you nath. The humans and the dragons are separate beings. So Elera and Karl are human and then there are dragons. Think of the dragons like horses that knights ride. Crap, I hope I'm not making this more confusing. :)

    Did you ever see the movie "Reign of Fire" with Christian Bale? Dragons like that but I don't think as big.

    I bet after I post this I'll think of the perfect way to describe the dragons. LOL

  5. This book sounds really good, and slightly risky considering the way Elena overcame the hero's resistance to having sex. I don't know how I'd feel about it - it's one of these things I have to read in context, but I do enjoy being engaged and challenged like that, agree or not.

  6. CJ ~ it made me pause but I found the characters and plot interesting enough that I keep reading. As the story unfolds you find out the why of what she did and that helps with understanding her motives.

  7. Leslie, I had the same question as Nath, but I see you answered it already. I can always read a good fantasy with dragons. :)

  8. Leslie, I remember getting a heads up on this book months and months ago and I since forgot about it. I'm so glad you read and reviewed it. I think I'd really enjoy this story even though I, too, would be annoyed at the heroine for that tricking the hero to do what she wants. I'll keep a lookout for it.

    I like books with 'real' dragons in them. None of that fake stuff for me. LOL j/k I'm teasing you.

  9. Christine ~ LOL You tease! I liked enough that I want to read the next book. :)