by Delta James
Just what I think Delta James has got to be out of ideas for a new shifter series, she totally proves me wrong. “Dragon Storm” is the first book in the new ‘Reign of Fire’ series by this author, and it promises to be as entertaining as the series it is spun off from, ‘Masters of Valor’.
Darius is an honorable dragon shifter, voted in as leader of his Clan after the death of the most recent leader, a despicable tyrant who horribly abused female dragons (drakaina) and treated everybody unjustly. In addition to the serious work he must continue to do to strengthen his Clan, Darius is facing two potentially life-altering situations. First, he keeps having realistic dreams about a woman he realizes must be his fated mate. Second, it’s become apparent to him that an ancient evil banished to the depths of the world by three powerful female dragons is getting ready to come back and exact its revenge.
Aria is a human woman whose late grandmother told her fanciful stories about ancient evils and mystical things. She’s a person grounded in reality; Aria is a highly capable wilderness adventure guide. But she also believes in communing with nature and that there are things in the world we don’t know about. Lately she’s been having increasingly erotic dreams about a mysterious man. Even more disturbing, a disembodied voice has been giving her cryptic messages and warning of dangers she doesn’t understand. Until the man drops from the sky and carries her away, and the pieces all fall into place.
The author does an excellent job building the world of the Dragons, and explaining how it coexists with the human world. The lead characters are interesting and multidimensional, and the key secondary characters are solid, providing important facets of the story as well as humor and drama. Dragon shifters are lusty, and there is also some domestic discipline in the book. Aria is an admirable heroine, strong and fearless … definitely not a damsel in distress! Darius is brave and heroic, but he respects females of all types and shows it. There is a happy ending to this story, and the arc of the series is laid out nicely. The peek we get at the next book has me anxiously awaiting it.