Val Thorvald’s got her sights on the magical community and it hasn’t made her any friends.
Death before Dragons is a modern day urban fantasy set in Seattle. It’s written in first person POV, past tense. Which is a favourite for this genre, as it gives a close insight at the action and thoughts of the main character. It’s also the start of a multi book series, so perfect if you like to be immersed in a story world for a long time.
Val Thorvald, magical assassin, has an assignment go wrong and ends up on the bad side of a dragon. To make matters worse, her boss is dying. Val doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence and sets out investigating what’s really wrong, all the while avoiding the unhealthy attentions of the dragon. There is a good amount of mythological creatures and magic woven into the plot along with a few normal side characters that helps round out the world. I especially liked the magical assistant – a silver panther. He has some of the best wisecracks in the book.
I enjoyed this book and found it easy to read once certain realities were suspended but I nearly put it down after the first chapter where the protagonist appeared to be over the top perfect (ie climbing down a cliff with no rope then hanging by one hand to answer a phone) and seemed to have some very poor motivations (ie killing a wyvern that a big dragon was after just because it was her job). There was enough intrigue in the opening that I did carry on. Things were explained later such as the MC being half elf gave her super strength and abnormally quick recovery times. Other issues remained a niggle, so I just tried to ignore those for the sake of enjoying the book. Death before Dragons is a complete story and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, although larger story-world questions are left open for the next book in this series.
I feel this book would appeal to modern urban fantasy readers that are after a fast paced adventure with a bit of intrigue and hints of a future romance.
4 out of 5 coffee beans