Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seraph of Sorrow-MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi

Seraph of Sorrow
MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi
Ace, Jan 27 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441016662

Very few realize that were-dragons and were-arachnids exist as they can shapeshift into human form. They live among humans who son’t know what they are. Gloriana Seabright saw a dragon kull her family and has vowed to kill as many as she can.She obtains power when she becomes mayor of Winoka, Minnesota where the Scales family resides. The Scales father Jonathan is a were-dragon; the mother Elizabeth is a beaststalker; their offspring Jennifer is a half-breed with the skills of both sides.

Just like humans, there are ethically good dragons and then there are evil ones. Most of the beastmaster populace assume the Scales are malevolent due to the matriarch being one of their own and Jennifer has saved their fiery lives twice (see JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE and JENNIFER SCALES AND THE MESSENGER OF LIGHT). They prefer the trio be executed but will settle on banishment. Incidents cause the Blaze, older were-dragons representing every family, to come to Winoka to destroy the town. The mayor is coaxing the were-arachnids to attack the dragons; Gloria believes she will come out of the ashes as a heroine knowing fire cannot harm her. However there is one force she has not considered, the teenage hybrid with the unique abilities of a beaststalking were-dragon. Neither is prepared to face the SERAPH OF SORROW who has his own agenda.

Targeted for young adults, the third enthralling Scales urban fantasy focuses on the destructiveness of racism especially as diabolically manipulated by roving leaders claiming the moral high ground when their actions use the distrust between species for their personal gain. Jennifer has a smaller role than in the previous entries in which she was rightfully the titled character. Still in spite of her youth she seeks harmony between her two families; not easy to achieve when your mom’s DNA screams for her to kill your paternal grandfather. Fans will enjoy the latest scaly adventures as dragons and beaststalkers follow closely the senatorial race in Minnesota almost as much as each side fears ethnic cleansing by the other.

Harriet Klausner

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