Nothing makes me quite as happy as seeing a new Buroker book come out, and especially one that features one of the Dragon Blood clan.
This book is special, because it's about Colonel Therrik, who is my guilty pleasure. I've always loved it whenever Therrik shows up, irritated once again with Ridge, becoming unglued by Ridge's flippant and irreverent personality, and speechless (or, actually not so speechless usually) with horror at the love that every other person on the planet seems to have for him and the awe in which he is held.
So, it's kind of a poetic justice when Ridge's cousin is assigned by Angelus to investigate some dragon fossils unearthed by the Magroth Prison gang in their unending search for more power crystals. Lilah Zirkander is a dorky academic widow, a paleontologist with bad jokes and a love of adventure novels she shares with her students. She is also as irritated with Ridge as Therrik is, for similar reasons as he is. Zirkander has outshown her in her quest to be famous for her accomplishments in her field, and she is as tired of her students asking her to get his autograph for them as Therrik is of Zirkander showing him up on the field of honor.
Therrik, as annoying as he is, is also a man of honor, and has worked his whole adult life to overcome the terrible childhood he lived through, which included his father murdering his mother while she tried to protect the young Therrik from being attacked. We get to learn just how bad his life was. Despite being from a noble family, he ends up on the streets after the murder, becomes a thug and a criminal, and eventually is given the choice of going to prison or joining the military. Joining the military gave him the opportunity to become the man he should have been, though with the personality of a bipolar rattlesnake.
There are some classic Buroker scenes in this book. One of my favorites is the moment he discovers that Lilah shares his dislike of Ridge. It's the first time Lilah has seen his smile, and his smile is off the charts. She is floored by how handsome he is. He is also captivated when she demonstrates her knowledge of his weapons collection, the eras the weapons are from, and gives him little details that even he didn't know. She hates teaching as much as he does. The list goes on, and he is smitten immediately.
The rest of the book follows what is not exactly a Buroker formula, but is the heartstopping action she is famous for. No one in the world writes action scenes like she does. I can't imagine where she dreams these things up, but they are always over the top, and edge of the seat thrilling. Whenever I get my hands on one of her new books, I always wait until I have the time to sit and do nothing else but read it straight through, because I will die of impatience if I have to put the book down for some mundane reason like working for a living.
This book is, of course, 5 Stars. Buroker can't write anything less. She is one of my favorite authors, and I will always buy her books without even reading the synopses, or the reviews. They are always wonderful. Whether she is writing as Lindsey Buroker or Ruby Lionsdrake, she's the best. I have devoted an entire Kindle (I have 9 of the things) solely to her. No wasted time searching around in categories looking for her stuff.
Buy this book. If you love the Dragon Blood folks, you'll love this look at one of the characters who has made Ridge's life Hell, on occasion. It's a pleasure to see him so discomfited by the fact that his cousin has fallen in love with his mortal enemy. It's just a pleasure. My only regret is that Deathmaker doesn't show up at any point. Then, the book would have been completely perfect. I love Ridge and Sardelle, but my favorite characters are the flawed ones. The misfits. Buroker writes those people like no one's business. I hope she isn't done with this group. I'm certainly not finished with them.