A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron. ★★★★
It’s official: The Heartstriker series is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, please do yourself a favor and start with the first book, Nice Dragons Finish Last. A Dragon of a Different Color is the fourth book in the series, and you’d be pretty confused if you started here. Also since book four picks up directly where book three left off (this entire series has taken place over the span of something like a month), spoilers for prior books are inevitable! So quit reading now or forever hold your peace.
Let’s get this review rolling and start with the biggest topic of them all: last book, Marci died. Only, dying is a bit more complicated than usual when you’re bonded to the spirit of the Forgotten Dead. Marci’s dead, but she might not be permanently dead. To get out, she’s got to become a Merlin, and she’ll need to beat Myron to the chase. I don’t want to say too much about this whole plot line, but I love how it allows Marci to shine and how it expands the world. We actually get to see the sea of magic that’s flowing into the world and creating spirits! That’s pretty darn cool.
On the downside, Marci and Julius were apart for most of the book. And he still thinks she’s dead! But he can’t spend all his time grieving for her like he’d want; instead, he’s got serious problems trying to keep his now democratic clan afloat. For one, Amelia’s dead, Bob’s killed her, and Svena’s left after the death of her best frenemy. The clan’s unprotected, Algonquin’s on a warpath, and to cap it all up, the Chinese dragons have landed on Heartstriker’s doorstep, demanding an immediate surrender. Now would be a really good time for Julius to figure out what happened with Chelsie in China…
Speaking of, how is it that Julius is so clueless about what Chelsie’s big secret was? It’s sooo obvious! Oh, well. Everything is revealed in this volume. Well, regarding Chelsie at least. I still have plenty of questions about what Bob’s up to. He’s clearly got some grand scheme, and he doesn’t seem to care if it results in his own death? I’m starting to question how much Bob actually cares about Julius versus seeing him as a tool. Somehow, I still have faith in Bob, and I think Julius does too. Let’s just hope that that faith doesn’t get betrayed any farther in book five.
And I need book five! I’m very happy that it’s coming out this year, because I want to read it ASAP. This series has been so amazing that I can’t imagine what the final volume has in store.