I loved Dragon Bound. It was an amazing and fresh book, with a good storyline, inventive action sequences, and lively dialogue. I'm a big believer in good dialogue, with characters having a sharp wit, and generally-speaking a touch of sarcasm and humor. The dialogue and action were two of the best things about Dragon Bound. I read in twice, then couldn't wait for Storm's Heart, even though it was out only a few months later. However, I was a little disappointed in Storm's Heart. Sure, I realize not every book in a series is going to be a favorite. But, I missed some of the humorous, witty banter. Tiago and Tricks just didn't seem to have the same chemistry as Dragos and Pia. All in all, I gave it a 4 rating, and I still had high hopes for Rune's story.
Rune was a great character from the beginning of the series. He was funny. He had good dialogue sequences with Dragos, Pia and the others. I had such high hopes for this book that I pre-ordered Serpent's Kiss, and read the entire thing in one sitting (which I normally do for books I'm dying to read). And... I have never been so let down with a book and an author. Rune was turned into some kind of almost cartoonish character, and Carling, whom I actually liked in Storm's Heart, became a weak-minded (and weak-willed) female (and I'm not referring to the "episodes").
But the thing that really got me, that made me furious with Ms. Harrison, is the way Rune treated Dragos. Dragos told Rune in Dragon Bound that he was his best friend, yet at the drop of a hat, Rune not only deserts him but wonders if he'll ever forgive him. And for what, you ask? NOTHING! Dragos did nothing!! He acted as anyone would do in that situation, without knowing Rune and Carling were mated.... because Rune didn't tell him. Then, even though it's affecting the other gryphons, Rune actually neglects to tell Dragos or his other supposedly long time friends about what's going on. I understand needing to protect your mate, but seriously... "bros over hoes" anyone? These are his BROTHERS/SISTERS for all intents and purposes, and he just leaves them out in the dark about a major events (trying not to be spoilerish). At least Tiago was upfront with everyone when he had to leave, so everyone knew it was because he was mating Tricks. Furthermore, Carling didn't even try to intervene, to try and help Rune repair his relationship with the other Sentinels and Dragos. She was truly selfish, basically just accepting Rune giving up everything to be with her as her due.
Pretty soon, Dragos is going to be left by himself with not one of his friends/sentinels to help defend him and his new mate and child. It's sad. Now, I doubt I'll read the new book. It's not even about any characters I have interest in, anyway. I may read Book #5, which is another Pia and Dragos story, but part of me is afraid she's going to ruin two of my favorite characters. I don't know if Ms. Harrison reads these comments, but please, just go back to the winning formula of Dragon Bound -- good snappy dialogue, strong females and action. If I wanted a introspective, sad sack of a female, I'd watch a Lifetime movie.