Monday, May 10, 2010
A Perfect 10: The Treasure Keeper by Shana Abe
England and France – 1782
THE TREASURE KEEPER starts with Zoe Cyprienne Lane’s journal from when she received it from her mother at age thirteen until her fiancé, Hayden, disappears in Paris and she leaves Darkfirth to find him.
Through her journal, you learn many things about Zoe—such as how she watched young Lord Rhys Langford change into a dragon at age thirteen. Rhys also gave Zoe her first kiss, but she discouraged him because his interest made her twin sister unhappy. You also learn one other very important fact, although Zoe never changed to smoke or dragon (so few drákon females do), she discovered she had gifts, one of turning invisible, the other, taking images from another's mind.
At twenty-six, Zoe doesn’t love Hayden. She respects him, and he loves her. So rather than become a spinster, she decides to find Hayden, last heard from when he traveled through France taking a message to the Zaharen Drákon. Other drákon have disappeared since the Alpha leader and council learned of the drákon at Zaharen and their human hunters, the sanf inimicus. Some, including Rhys and a few other drákon, disappeared from right within Darkfirth. With her unique talent, Zoe believes she can find and save Hayden. Starting her hunt in Paris, Zoe stays in an abandoned wing of the old royal residence, the Palais Des Tuileries, and there the misty ghost of Rhys appears and continues to haunt her. Very self-confident, Zoe questions a sanf inimicus, placing herself in extreme danger.
A wonderful mix of history, fantasy, and romance, THE TREASURE KEEPER takes you on a quixotic journey that leads a brave young woman on a journey of self discovery. She will face an unimaginable enemy. Zoe, Rhys, and Hayden are well-drawn, sympathetic characters. Sixteenth century Paris becomes both a romantic and terrifying setting.
Author Shana Abé has written three other stories about the Drákon: THE SMOKE THIEF, THE DREAM THIEF, and the QUEEN OF DRAGONS, all equal in excellence. While each stands alone as a story—there is enough back-story skillfully woven into each tale for easy understanding—you will certainly want to read them all upon reading your first. Skillful writing, excellent characters, a fascinating setting and an outstanding story earned THE TREASURE KEEPER a Perfect 10.
Note: this review was written for the hardcover edition.