This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Last Dragon Standing
by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #4
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Dragon Actually, What a Dragon Should Know, About a Dragon, The Dragon Who Loved Me, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy, Supernatural, Light My Fire, Feel the Burn.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Fourth in the Dragon Kin hysterically funny paranormal romance series revolving around a large family of dragonshifters. The couple focus is on Ragnar the Cunning and Keita the Vile.
It takes up shortly before the end of What a Dragon Should Know.
Pee before you read. It is such a snark-fest. Aiken will make you laugh and wish you knew these characters as she stands society and manners on their heads.
Wait, just wait until you get to the part where Keita is in jail with the worst scum of the kingdom. In some respects I wish Aiken had let it play out just so I could find out how Keita planned to escape, but it was pretty funny as it was.
Sex is casual for dragons until they mate, and the antics on both sides of this are too funny. There’s nothing overt or I would have included an erotic, ahem, warning. It certainly is one of the more unusual courtships I’ve read.
It’s a dragon thing: self-absorption, quick to react, unmerciful teasing, honorable, hypocritical, and they have your back at all times. You’ll enjoy their perspective on life; it’s unexpected and somewhat brutal—very dragon-like. We also meet the rest of the dragon “races” for lack of a better term. Besides the indolent, fun-loving Southland and the un-fun, warlike Lightning horde, there’s the Eastland dragons who are loyal to Rhiannon and the brutal Iron dragons itching for revenge.
Be wary of the surface for it is hiding quite a bit. Wait’ll you get to the scene where Ragnar meets Rhiannon with Keita in tow. Then there’s the one where Vighold and Meinhard find out how incredibly wrong they are about that bloody human queen….LMAO.
Then there’s the fact that the dragons are all royal. Too bad none of the women pay any attention to it as Aiken blends prideful dragon reactions with impatient women who “don’t want to hear it”!
The serious bit, the plotting by the Iron dragons with Styrbjórn, is hidden underneath all the snark and I either missed the details of it or Aiken was too absorbed in making us laugh to flesh this out enough to provide it. I do like that Keita is so very obsessively careful about not falling in love.
Damn it, we still don’t know about the shoes..!
Ragnar is hoping desperately that Queen Rhiannon will take her daughter off his hands. Please. For Keita has succeeded in making him think she’s an idiot. All he wanted was a chance at an alliance with the Southland dragons. Well, that alliance has its ups and downs…the queen for one. Demanding and a pain in the keister. Now she’s insisting that Ragnar hand deliver Éibhear back home, but stop by and capture the traitor Eswyld as well. A dragonwitch Ragnar respects even when they find a possible clue that links her to the Southland dragons’ mortal enemies.
The danger is that Annwyl is ignoring all battles, the idea of war in favor of her babies. Protecting them, keeping them safe. But she’s taking it too far and an unknown enemy is encroaching.
Ragnar’s danger is that he’s making assumptions about Keita and the journey to the Southland is teaching him how wrong he is.
Ragnar the Cunning is from the Olgeirsson Horde, a Lightning dragon who practices magic and the sword. He intends to overthrow his father Olgeir as leader. Vigholf the Abhorrent is his brother; Meinhard is a soon-to-be-shorn cousin.
Princess Keita of the House of Gwalchmai fab Gwyar is a Southland dragon. She is amazingly self-centered, but not selfish if called to account. She just doesn’t see it. The most dramatic drama queen ever, and she can play the idiot quite well, but in truth, is quite intelligent. She’s also known as Keita the Slut, Keita the Giver of Ridiculous Eye Patches, Keita the Traitor. Queen Rhiannon is her all-knowing, extremely powerful mother; Bercelak the Great is her father and the putty under her thumb. Éibhear the Blue is her baby brother and too sweet for words. He’s also in denial about loving Izzy.
Ren of the Chosen Dynasty is an Eastland dragon although the description makes him sound more tiger-like. He’s been Keita’s most faithful friend and companion for years in spycraft, friendship, and general all-around trickery. He really does understand her.
Fearghus the Destroyer is a black dragon. He’s also Queen Rhiannon’s firstborn and her heir, consort to Queen Annwyl the Bloody, and a very jealous mate who is very frustrated that Annwyl is lying to him. The twins are two now and their age has nothing to do with how terrible they are. Talwyn is a black-haired, fearsome little girl with her own sword who takes great delight in how it looks in people while Talan keeps up with her quite well.
Dagmar “The Beast” Reinholdt is mated to Gwenvael the Handsome (see What a Dragon Should Know) and has been appointed Battle Lord to Annwyl’s armies. And, yes, she’s still training her battle dogs. Eirianwen is a human goddess and consort to the dragon father god, Rhydderch Hael, calls Dagmar friend with a bad habit of just appearing. Nannulf spends most of this story, um, in hiding from us but not from Izzy.
Briec the Mighty is mated to the human Nolwenn witch Talaith and has adopted Iseabail in his heart so he has two daughters now, with the newly arrived Rhianwen a joy and a worry. Izzy has been away with the army for the past two years. No one has informed her of her new baby sister. Branwen the Black considers herself Izzy’s cousin; Fal and Celyn are Branwen’s brothers. Celyn feels much more than cousinly with Izzy. And Éibhear is furious. Too furious and the fight between them is tremendous. That’s before Izzy intervenes!
Brastias is the human general of Annwyl’s armies and is with Morfyd the White Dragonwitch, sister to the Southland dragons and one of Rhiannon’s daughters. And she hates Keita. Eswyld is the queen’s sister and is considered a traitor. She’s also a powerful witch and excellent healer hiding out in the Outerplains. General Addolgar is Ghleanna‘s brother and they are leading human troops and Dragonwarriors for Queen Rhiannon.
Brighid is the Centaur head mare and she remembers Annwyl at twelve. Her daughter, Ebba, has agreed to be the twins’ nanny. Snicker…
Castle Moor, renowned for its sexual excesses, is owned and operated by Lord Athol Reidfurd, a degenerate, magickal elf. Needless to say, Keita is very well acquainted with him. Lord Bampour, the previous one, is dead and the current lord has Keita chained up before her execution. Ragnar thinks his cousin, Styrbjórn, has already aided the Iron dragons. Overlord Thracius leads the Irons and his wife is Lady Franseza, Rhiannon’s cousin. Vateria is their eldest daughter. Elders Gillivray and Lailoken pay a quick visit.
The Kyvich are warrior witches from the Icelands. Once they set out on a mission, they do not turn back. Their chosen prey are very young girls. Like Talwyn. Asta is their leader, Death-bringer her horse, and Storm her battle dog. Bryndis is her second-in-command; Hulda is one of her warriors.
Elestren is Queen Rhiannon’s captain of the Royal Guard and the siblings’ cousin. She hates Keita and snatches at the rumors about her traitorous actions. Two of the Dragon Elders are present: Siarl and Teithi.
The Cover and Title
The cover is some lovely shades of purple and orange with a full moon in the misty background. Ragnar is obviously someone to be wary of when you see those hard, bulging, muscles in his arm as he stands holding his sword at an angle behind his back. The oranges are a bit lurid on his body, but with a body like that, who cares.
Ooh, the meanings that could be read into this title..! The primary Last Dragon Standing is obviously Ragnar since he wins out, but it could also be considered a challenge for future events.