Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Storm's Heart

STORM'S HEART (Elder Races #2)
Thea Harrison
Paranormal Romance
336 pages
Berkley Sensation/Penguin
Available August 2nd
Received from publisher for review

Warning: Contains mild spoilers from Dragon Bound, but no spoiler's from Storm's Heart.

With the death of her uncle, Tricks (also known as Niniane) is now the rightful heir to the Dark Fae throne. She escaped from a life of politics over two hundred years ago when her entire family was slaughtered, seeking sanctuary with the Wyr and their leader Dragos. Now, she has to return to that life she ran from and be the person she's not entirely sure survived that tragedy.

When Tricks goes missing after a scheduled meeting with Dark Fae representatives, Tiago, as one of the best trackers Dragos has, is sent to find her and ensure her safety. Though he's immeasurably powerful, battle-scarred, and possesses control over lightning and thunder, he finds himself vulnerable to the petite-sized Niniane, and he discovers his need to protect her extends beyond a mere desire to follow orders.

Both Tricks and Tiago knew there would be many who were not happy with her placing a legitimate claim on the throne in the wake of her uncle's death, but they quickly realize the real threat is coming from someone close to her, someone in their small group of people traveling to Niniane's former home. Battling passion and politics, Niniane and Tiago leap into the fray together, hoping their combined emotional and physical strength will restore both order and leadership to the Dark Fae.

The world of Storm's Heart is one that rejuvenates the paranormal romance genre, infusing it with new breeds of hero and heroine who delight us with their charismatic personalities and enthrall us with the newness of their supernatural abilities. Fairly unknown entities such as dragons, thunderbirds, and gryphons dominate the novels of the Elder Races, and we can't help but smile gleefully as these new additions join familiar vampire and faerie favorites to create stories that allow us to revel in what we love most about the genre as a whole while also providing us with new experiences and new characters with whom to fall in love.

Ms. Harrison is a master at creating extraordinarily alpha-male heroes–men who are unapologetically protective and possessive, but who also acknowledge that the need for their women goes far beyond the physical and into a true and believable partnership. Tiago is typically rough on the exterior, strength and dominance oozing from his black-clad physique in staggering waves, but his tenderness and sensitivity when it comes to diminutive Niniane guarantees himself a treasured place in our hearts as we secretly wish for him to step from the pages and turn that slightly intimidating and focused attention our way. He is literally a raging storm encased in flesh, his temper impressive but never overwhelming, and his aggressiveness just enough to remind us what he's capable of as we melt with the knowledge of just how much he tempers that power with his mate.

Niniane is strong in her own right, her power lying in the force of her infectious personality and her ability to diffuse tension with soothing words and genuine compliments when those around her would resort to more violent means of communicating. Though her relationship with Tiago is a bit of a push and pull in the beginning–her sense of royal responsibility outweighing her desire to pursue a relationship–once the decision to move forward is made, both parties throw their full weight behind the effort to present a unified front to all those who seek to do them harm. Little flashbacks to her gruesome past make us fully appreciate the safety she finds in Tiago's embrace, and we easily root for a woman of intelligence and wit who constantly seeks to put the well-being of others before her own.

Though not quite as strong as its predecessor, Storm's Heart is still an intensely satisfying addition to this series. The political maneuvering, conniving, and corruption make for a slightly quieter read in comparison to Dragos's explosive and combative nature, but Ms. Harrison's characters are written in such rich and lush detail that they exist fully formed in our minds; their features, personalities, strengths and weaknesses etched crystal clear into our memories where they will remain indefinitely no matter how many books we pick up following their stories.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Dragons, thunderbirds, and gryphons? Wow, that is so awesome! I think I come to expect the same sort of routine and paranormal creatures from paranormal romances so this one sounds absolutely refreshing! I'm for sure interested in this one, whereas I might overlook the same old, same old.

  2. Gah, I want this book now! =/

    Fabulous review. ;)

  3. I loved Tiago and Tricky's back and forth bickering in book one so I'm looking forward to reading their story. You have me all exciting about just how their unified front comes together.

    Exciting review. Thanks Jenny.

  4. I need a new adult paranormal series to get addicted to and this sounds perfect. I love the sound of the world - dragons, thunderbirds and gryphons.

    And you always write the most brilliant reviews. I am in AWE of your review writing skills :)

  5. Dragons, thunderbirds, and gryphons instead of the usual paranormal entities sound refreshing! I am not really a fan of alpha-male heroes, but I think I will like Tiago :D You've convinced me to add the first book to my TBR! Great review.

  6. Not as strong, yikes, well then I certainly stay away since book 1 was only ok for me (yes yes I was that person) ;)

  7. While this is not a genre I read, I loved your review. I do really enjoy the addition of all the mythological creatures often forgotten in YA.

  8. I read Dragon Bound just to see what all the hype was about and loved it - I cannot wait for Storm's Heart - glad to see it delivers!!!

  9. Since I haven't read book #1, I just want to agree with everything Nic says :)

  10. This sounds really good. I read the discription but not your review mainly cause I havent read the first book yet. Im def adding these to my to read list.

  11. Aylee - It is really refreshing! I just love her world and her characters - super fun to read:)

    Amanda - Not too much longer and Tiago is worth waiting for:)

    Missie - I loved them in Dragos's story - they were hilarious. After they do their push and pull for a few chapters, they decide to go for it and I really liked that they didn't play games once they reached that decision.

    Nic - THANK YOU!!! I hope you give this series a try, they're just different reads and highly enjoyable:)

    Misha - Dragos is definitely Alpha with a capital A in book one, but he's also sort of charming in all his gruffness:) She writes her heroes really well so they never get overbearing. Or if they start to, the heroine calls them on it:)

    Blodeuedd - It's okay, the series isn't for everyone:)

    Jan - Me too! I don't think I've ever read about a gryphon or thunderbird before, and I've only read Firelight dealing with dragons, so this was a fun take on them:)

    Patti - So glad you liked it! I'm just loving this series:)

    Jacinda - Hahaha that works:)

    Laura - If you like paranormal romance I think you'll really enjoy these books!

  12. Love, love love this world of Ms. Harrison's. Fab review Jenny.

  13. This sounds like a great book. I love that the heroine is strong and that she is able to be a comfort. Nice review Jenny!

  14. LOL- his chest is so chesty!! I probably wont read this one...but as always you rock the reviews..;)

  15. This sort of paranormal romance isn't really my thing (I over-indulged a few years ago, haha), but what a fabulous review! It's nice to know that the hero and heroine are both strong characters in this series. :)

  16. Tori - ME TOO! Can't say enough good things:)

    Savy - I love how all of her heroines are equally strong personality wise as the heroes, so they never get steamrolled:)

    Tina - He is chesty. His boobs are way bigger than mine. *sigh*

    Lauren - I love paranormal romances, they give me a break from some of the teen angst in YA, but that's why I read both, so when I get tired of one genre I can switch to the other:)

  17. I still need to read the previous one. =) These books sound great! Glad you enjoyed this one!

  18. Great review! Storm's Heart sounds really good so I have have to look up the first book too.

  19. I still need to read the first one. Oh and now I need this one too! Especially since the characters are just so well done! Oh and LOL I glanced up and I saw what you wrote to Tina. He does have nice moobs. ;)

  20. Bailey - They're fantastic, definitely a new favorite series of mine:)

    Jenny - It's called Dragon Bound, hope you give it a try!

    Melissa - You do. These boys are serious book boyfriend material:) And his moobs are fairly spectacular. Not Khal Drogo spectacular, but pretty darn impressive nonetheless:)

  21. This sounds like a good PNR. I'm always up for some good PNR, especially if we get a little yummy yummy goodness. Plus, her character development sounds really good.

    Think that guy up there can jiggle those pecs up and down??

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  22. I've read much of dragons in PNR. I think I'll look into this series once I'm all catched up with my other PNR series I'm reading now.

  23. I haven't read many books about dragons and absolutely nothing about thunderbirds or gryphons so the use of those creatures is what makes this one sound fascinating to me. The fact that the character development is really good makes it even better.

  24. Already on pre-order and will be on my kindle for travel :) Can't wait!

  25. Okay, since this one isn't out yet, I Kindled (can I use that as a verb? I'm going with yes...) the first one in this series! Your review totally inspired me. Lately, the paranormals I've read have been a bit repetitive but this series sounds like it really stands out in the crowd. Thanks for a new read!
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  26. I like the sound of these crazy alpha-male men. I'm a girl who can take care of herself, but who doesn't want to be protected?!?! Haha fab review, Jenny! This series sounds great :)