The Dragon’s Lair
Tor Starscape, Jul 2008, $12.95
Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme has completed successfully his secret mission for King Vandemere of Serendair and looks forward to some respite before his monarch sends him on another assignment. His hopes for some needed rest are dashed when High King Vandemere says he must leave the area; the Thief Queen is livid that he escaped from her and her Gated City and took with him her grateful daughter. Ven sends him on a task that will place Ven and his friend oceans away.
A dragon is burning Nain villages in the High reaches, which is personal to Ven who happens to be a Nain (a species that has a lifespan four times greater than humans). He agrees to try to stop the dragon. The Kingdom of Lirin and Nain are at odds because the latter has something the former believes belongs to them. He wants Ven to straighten out the problem so the King can get what he wants. The group goes through dangerous adventures to avoid the wrath of the Thief Queen who has her horde of ravens seeking Ven.
Readers will enjoy the latest Ven journal as he describes his escapades dealing with a recalcitrant dragon who has a legitimate reason for his ire towards the Nain and avoiding the Thief Queen’s thugs. Ven also escorts the audience on a tour of the island of Serendair to show the magic it contains. Ven’s comrades are a diverse group that includes a merrow (mermaid) who starts turning human when she loses her cap. Nain Studies expert Elizabeth Hayden has “found’ an entertainingly stunning fantasy journal.