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The Smoke Thief
The Drákon Series, Book 1
Bantam
ISBN-10: 0553588044 ISBN-13: 978-0553588040

Read an Excerpt

You are cordially invited to taste the clouds and hunt the moon. You are invited to learn how to fly....

Imagine a world where clouds could be dragons, and dragons could be people...where diamonds beckon with silent songs and a beautiful runaway turns out to be an infamous jewel thief who dissolves into smoke with just a whisper of a thought.

Now imagine the drákon lord sent to capture her.

For centuries they've lived in secret amid the green and misted hills of northern England, shapeshifters who have the ability to Turn from human to smoke to dragon, and back again. They skim the sky and haunt the stars, powerful beyond thought, beautiful, sensual. They are the drákon.

Like any hunted beast, they've survived the centuries by learning silence, by keeping the secret of the tribe absolutely sacrosanct. But one of them has broken the rules, has run to eighteenth-century London and is using his powers to steal fabulous gemstones. Dubbed the "Smoke Thief," he's the most serious threat to the drákon in memory. Christoff Langford, Marquess of Langford and Alpha of the tribe, has sworn to bring the runner home at any cost.

But even Kit doesn't realize that the Smoke Thief is a woman.

Rue Hawthorne is a halfling: half drákon, half mortal, and an outcast in both worlds. As a little girl she loved Kit from afar. As a woman she knows better to trust her heart to anyone, especially the charismatic, ruthless leader of the drákon. She fled her home to escape a forced marriage to him; as the first female in four generations to complete the Turn, she knows she'll be considered Kit's property. Rue, however, has much bigger dreams than that.

A spectacular diamond is missing, Kit's hot on her heels, and Rue's about to find out that even thieves can have their hearts stolen?.

RECOGNITION

Named by Romantic Times Historical Romance of the Year
Winner of The Winter Rose for Best Paranormal and Best Overall, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence
A Romantic Times BOOKclub Top Pick
A Featured Alternate Selection for the Rhapsody Book Club, the Doubleday Book Club and the Science Fiction Book Club

 

REVIEWS

"Spellbinding, dazzling, The Smoke Thief is pure magic from start to finish. I simply couldn't put it down. Abé is an immensely gifted storyteller."
New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning

"Shana Abé writes beautifully, her language rich and evocative. Romance, legend, humor and adventure, I don't know what more a reader could ask for. The Smoke Thief is an utter delight."
New York Times bestselling author Susan Carroll

"Adventure, romance and thrills galore. I was swept away by Shana Abé's wondrous imagination and lyrical prose. The Smoke Thief crosses many boundaries of traditional genre fiction. Just call it an absolutely terrific read, and get started."
New York Times bestselling author Michael Palmer

"Shana Abé has a rare magic. I was completely captivated by this beautifully written novel."
New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather

"After finishing The Smoke Thief by Shana Abé, I feel it prudent to report—Ms's. Feehan, Kenyon, and Holly—make some room in the shape-shifters' realm; there is a new kid on the block and she ROCKS! Make room because here come the drákons!

I loved this book! From the very first pages I was totally mesmerized by this fascinating, highly imaginative, and sensually thrilling world of the drákon. Kit and Rue's sensual dance was exotic, totally bewitching and one which will leave the reader panting for more. Whether on land or in the air, Shana Abé has created vivid and exhilarating imagery in the mating dance of the drákon that is sure to please the most discriminating fans of historical fantasy and catapult this author right up the ranks with the likes of Kenyon, Holly, and Krinard. I for one will be very anxiously awaiting future sequels to this spellbinding new series featuring the drákon!"
—Marilyn Rondeau, ParanormalRomanceWriters.com

"This innovative concept in paranormal romance (shape-shifting from human to dragon and back) is nothing short of phenomenal. With unique and captivating characters, setting and plot devices, Abé deftly creates a thrilling novel in her debut hardcover. My interest was engaged from the first page, and I was mesmerized with the intensity of the story. This author gets better with each new novel, so I can't wait for the next installment in this new spellbinding trilogy."
—Tanzey Cutter, Fresh Fiction

"This exciting historical romantic fantasy grips the audience from the moment that readers begin to comprehend the skills of the thief and the danger she places the drákon side of her heritage. The story line is action-packed from the beginning and takes several in air twists that add to the fever pitch of an invigorating thriller. The lead couple is a delightful charming pairing of individuals falling in love, an emotion neither wants, but cannot avoid. Shana Abé provides a terrific tale that screams for similar future novels in the drákon universe."
—The Best Reviews

"Thrilling confection of passion and shape-shifting dragon-kin. Shana Abé mingles fantasy and eighteenth-century romance with a deft touch."
—Sarah Ash, author of Children of the Serpent Gate

"Abé pulls out all the stops in this 'catch-me-if-you-can' story. It's ripe with romance and a legend so intriguing you'll believe every word. Abé brings a new dimension and new possibilities to the genre in an enthralling tale that breaks down boundaries."
Romantic Times BOOKclub