So, I was looking at the signup to review Mary Auclair’s Touch of Ice, and there was one thing that really drew me in. I mean, the blurb sounded great, but the fact that the heroine’s name is Endora was what tipped the balance toward reading this book. It’s a pretty serious book, but the name gave me a happy. So sue me, I watched a lot of Bewitched when I was growing up. We had like 3 channels, so we watched whatever was on. But that’s neither here nor there. Did I say that there are also dragons?
On this Earth, the world didn’t end in fire, it is ending in ice. It’s cold. And 200 years ago, it was invaded by aliens called the Delradon. Among other things, the Delradon stopped the world from being destroyed, and now they are ruling. The ruling class are the Draekon. They are matched with dragons at birth. When a Draekon is conceived, a dragon lays an egg. It takes 9 months for each of them to cook and they are linked at a soul level. They live for hundreds of years, since the dragons will share their vitality with the dragon lords. Now, with all that background, it’s time to get to the story.
In a part of the world that I’m pretty sure is French-speaking Canada, Endora lives with her gran-maman Henriette and her daughter Tallie. Tallie is very sick and the doctor says she has leukemia and she’s not got very much longer to live. He can’t do anything for her. The Delradon could at their hospital, but everyone knows that the hospital won’t help humans, and it’s a several day journey, in the cold, which is hard enough for anyone, but even harder when it’s a very ill little girl. So, in order to save her little girl, Endora is going to do something that she never thought she would. She pulls her compatibility report out so that she can go sign a mating contract with the Delradon she is genetically compatible with. She’ll get some money when she provides him with a child, but she figures that she can get some money ahead of time so that she can send some back to her grandmother so that Tallie can get better.
Lord Aldric Darragon is the High Lord of Katanie, his white dragon, Rhyll, is the strongest dragon of his generation. The stronger the dragon, the more territory the Draekon Lord can hold, and Aldric holds a lot of territory. Ten years ago, his match came through, but she refused to meet him. He went and spied on her, and he saw her with a human man and she seemed so much in love. He froze his heart so that he didn’t have to feel anything. Now she’s back and she’s ready to mate. He has her brought to his castle in a mountain, the Whispering Castle. He meets her in the throne room with Rhyll with him. Aldric wants to both impress and intimidate Endora. It kind of backfires though, when Rhyll lets Endora touch him. Normally a dragon would be dangerous to a human and would never let a human touch him. But not only did Rhyll let her touch him, he appeared to really like it. That was an incredibly rare thing to happen, and it means that Endora is his Draekarra, his Dragon Mate, the other half of his soul, basically.
There’s a lot of conflict going on in this one. You have Aldric vs. Aldric, Endora vs. Endora, Aldric vs. Endora, although that conflict isn’t as much that they are fighting each other, more than they are trying to figure out there path to each other and to the relationship that they want to have. Then there are the Knat-Kanassis. They are the definite bad guys. I really enjoyed this one, and not just because it’s full of dragons. You know how I’m a sucker for dragons. There are a lot of things going on in it, enough to keep your interest but not so much that you are overwhelmed with what is happening. The way that Mary Auclair works everything, and her dragons, is just pretty damn awesome. I’m really hoping for another story with Aldric and Endora, or at least another one in this world, if I can’t have them. I’m intrigued by it.
I totally called the nasty-ass governess. And I knew that Wilmer was up to no good either, but at least he wasn’t as terrible as the governess.
The description of the child’s Mourning broke my heart. But it was so beautiful too. The way that the dragons were chanting and the scales of all the dragons being placed over the child and his dragon. Beautifully described. I could so see it in my mind’s eye. And the description of Endora’s dress sounds so beautiful. Sad to have something so beautiful for such a sad reason, but still.
OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. If you love that mix of scifi and fantasy, this is a good choice. Happy reading!