When I find an author I enjoy, I have a tendency to go from book to book, glutting myself on their entire catalog. This can be good and bad. It's great to immerse myself in a style I enjoy, but when I think about rating or evaluating the book, my scale is skewed towards rating in comparison to other books by that author. Thea Harrison's Elder Races
novels are my current addiction, I no sooner put down one than I'm anxiously anticipating the next. SERPENT'S KISS
is a bright spot in an already wonderful series, and I'll be able to fill some of the months before ORACLE'S MOON comes out in March by mulling over this magic and these characters.
The world building in SERPENT'S KISS
is ambitious, delving into the mythology of gryphons and vampires, the history of Carling's origins, and the politics of her present day position. Harrison writes enough explanation and detail to make reading along with Rune and Carling interesting, without getting bogged down in inconsistencies or procedure. I was so fascinated with how the mystery was unfolding, I almost lost sight of the main characters themselves. Details about Rune's personality or Carling's history that seemed inconsequential at the start come together at the close to make this an even more satisfying story.
I am continually impressed with the attention Harrison lavishes on her character's relationships, going beyond destiny or chemistry to write pairings that compliment and strengthen one another. Rather than writing generically appealing characters, Rune and Carling are another Elder Races
couple that have some quirks and rough spots that happen to fit just right with each other. What better balance for one of nature's most playful and mutable beings than the cool, capable steadfastness of a woman who has survived for millennia?
It is still frustrating to see glimpses of beloved past characters without getting to spend much time with them, but luckily, Harrison always gives readers a peak at the next relationship on the horizon. Based on the introductory chapter included at the close of SERPENT'S KISS
, ORACLE'S MOON promises to be a thoroughly entertaining blend of human practicality butting heads with another charming, if arrogant, magical being.
Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy
: Several sex scenes.
Read #2 (3/1/2012): Much like with STORM'S HEART, I liked SERPENT'S KISS even more the second time around. Rune's playfulness seemed a little juvenile on my first read, and I missed how perfectly it compliments the mutable nature of his immortality. I also misunderstood the origins of Carlin's name the first time around, and how she maintains a core of self despite changes in history. Of all the books I've read dealing with time travel, SERPENT'S KISS is the most accessible and elegantly done. Love it!