01/04/2012. Contributed by Jill Roberts
pub: ROC. 278 page paperback. Price: $ 6.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 0-451-46007-3.
check out website: www.penguin.com
Set in the 20th century, ‘The Seadragon’s Daughter’ is centred around a race of people called the Undrae, who live amongst the humans on an island called Caya del Sangre, off the coast of Miami. The Undrae are dragons of the air, muscular creatures who in their natural form have a thick scaly hide, a strong set of wings and strong, lethal claws that can easily rip a man to shreds.
Peter de la Sangre and his family live there and for the past few weeks, someone has been abducting and murdering people and because of a previous incident, detailed in book 2, Peter is the main suspect. Police patrols increase when the owner of a local newspaper accuses him in the press and the nightly patrols become more invasive, with searchlights sweeping the island Peter suspects that his missing brother-in-law, Derek, might be responsible.
When matters became more serious, Peter sends his wife, Chloe, and family to her parents in Jamaica and wait for the media and police attention to die down while he has been subpoenaed to attend a court hearing.
While on his own on the island, a strange female named Lorriel arrives, claiming to be a distant cousin from another branch of the family. She is actually a Pelk, who are dragons of the sea and in human form are more slight of frame than the Undrae but equally strong and can change to dolphins to speed through the water. She needs his help but is very vague but needs Peter to speak with Mowdar, the Pelks’ elder and leader of her people. When Peter refuses to go, they fight and Lorriel poisons him, forcing him to go if only to drink the antidote and not die in excruciating agony.
On arrival at the Pelk stronghold, below ground in caves near the mangroves of the Florida everglades, Peter discovers that Derek, Chloe's elder brother, had been kidnapped some months previously and can't have been responsible for the murders after all. Derek is in no hurry to leave the Pelk females as he likes being waited on and currently has no partner of his own amongst the Undrae. While Derek and Peter are asked to join the Pelk males in a battle against the local dolphins. Knotch-fin and a group of adolescent male dolphins who are on a revenge attack against the Pelk for Lorriel killing one of their young pups for food. It is during this battle, that Chloe first mind speaks to Peter. Communication is stilted and difficult due to stress of being in the middle of a battle for his life and that fact that Pelk openly mind speak to each other and Mowdar becomes suspicious of Peter’s silence.
The story gets more complicated from here on. The antidote is only temporary and has to be taken every three days. It was Derek that told Mowdar of Peter’s existence, but he isn't remorseful enough to help Peter fight off the Pelk males and escape from their stronghold, even if they do find a real antidote.
Weeks have passed, Chloe returns from Jamaica to find Peter missing. Mowdar finds out Peter has been in mental contact with Chloe and threatens all-out war between the Pelk and the Undrae. Peter argues with the matriarch who has been making the potions and in a rage he kills her. No one else knows how to make the potions, so Peter has to drag Derek away from their stronghold to his home. It is now a race against time to find an antidote and to deal with the Pelk invasion.
No, it doesn’t end there, you will have to read the book yourselves to find out how it all gets resolved. Though I can tell you this, it is certainly not calmly and quietly. Definitely a violent and page-turning book. You don’t need to have read the previous titles as you will find out what’s relevant to the plot as you are reading through.
At first, the story wasn't that interesting as it was very slow to develop past the cliché of pretty girl wanting to have sex with the lead male. I feel the story was written for an adolescent male audience for this reason and for the sex and violence contained but, if you look past the cliché, it becomes a more enjoyable read. As the characters become fully fleshed out, as you read through all the twists and turns in the plot and you find yourself rooting for Peter and Chloe, rather than the manipulative Lorriel or the paranoid Mowdar. The story contains strong female characters as well as the strong male lead. What is interesting is how author Alan F. Troope weaves in not one but two rather alien races of people into the modern day setting of North America. Apart from the inclusion of these two races, it reads very much like a standard murder mystery story.
Even so, it would be interesting to read book 4 to find out what happens next.
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