Heart of Fire (Legends of the Storm #1) by Bec McMaster
Synopsis: The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes, and steal away fair maidens.
Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth.
Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic, and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so he must take mortal form. It’s the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he’s never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?
Review: A new series from the author that brought us the steampunk series, London Steampunk, is now trying her hand at dragons in 1800s Iceland. This was a fresh spin on the dragon genre of paranormal romance and I liked Bec’s take on the lore. The two main characters were strong and suited each other well. The plot developed nicely and slowly, and also kept the reader entertained. The conflict and villains varied in degrees of badness and not all bad guys ended up actually being bad guys, which kept it fresh and moving along. Freyja was a strong character and I am curious about her origins because Bec doesn’t tell us in this book what her origins are though little teaser hints are dropped along the way. Watching Rurik work to win her was fun and their passion was good though I could have used more. Overall, this series definitely has potential and I am already wanting to read more about the dragons and Rurik’s path towards returning home and confronting his uncle and mother.
This book is also published in the anthology Myths and Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection.