Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dragons Luck - Robert Asprin


Dragons Luck
Robert Asprin
Ace

Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Note: If you haven’t read DRAGONS WILD, this review contains unavoidable spoilers to the plot of that book.

When a New Orleans voodoo queen asks you to moderate a conclave of various supernatural beings, it’s a little disconcerting. When that voodoo queen is a ghost, it’s hard to tell her no.

The sequel to DRAGONS WILD picks up where the first book left off, with Griffen McCandles living in New Orleans, running a gambling operation, and getting used to being a dragon. Until recently, he thought dragons were the stuff of legend. Now he knows that dragons are pretty much at the top of the supernatural pecking order, in relation to their power and reputation. Accepting the role as moderator seems like the thing to do, but Griffen quickly discovers that it comes with a lot of baggage and might have been a huge mistake. He’s going to have to act as go-between, arbiter, and peacemaker among the very disparate groups that attend. All while maintaining his position of power as the head dragon in the region.

The first two-thirds of the book is filled with frantic activity. Various groups arrive and introduce themselves; some with more tact than others. Griffen’s sister, Valerie, discovers that she’s going to have a little fire-breather of her own. Flynn, a powerful dragon from California is in town and offers Griffen his support and advice on anything and everything. Another powerful – and powerfully crazy – dragon is making life difficult for Valerie. And George, a hunter and killer of dragons, is lurking in the area. Most of the activity here consists of various people and factions connecting, conversing, arguing, and maneuvering for position. With all the activity, surprisingly little is accomplished.

In the last third of the novel, there’s a murder mystery. One of the local attendees turns up dead and all roads seem to lead to Griffen. This, finally, gives the novel some focus as Griffen and various others attempt to clear him with the police. It’s too bad that this part of the story feels rushed, both in the telling and in the wrap-up, because it was the best part of the novel. A final confrontation at the masked ball that ends the conclave begins in a very dramatic fashion, then fizzles. Maybe realistic, but not terribly satisfying. I find the female characters much more interesting than Griffen, but perhaps that’s intentional. They seem stronger and more centered than most of the males. It will be interesting to see this develop.

Rating: 7
April 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01680-8 (trade paperback)

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