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The Smoke Thief Hardcover – 27 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (27 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804485
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 843,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 May 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The year is 1737 and humans remain blissfully unaware of the small, isolated drákon community of Darkfrith living in northern England's hills. Once a prosperous race originating from the Carpathian mountains, the drákon now find themselves in decline; not only are fewer males born with the ability to shift into both smoke and full dragon form, several generations had passed since the birth of a full shifting female.

By 1751, London is abuzz with the news of another successful robbery; the individual dubbed the "smoke thief" has struck again. Only a few people realise this increasingly infamous thief isn't human but drákon. Aware that this "runner" (a rogue drákon) risks exposing the tribe, the drákon Council decree the runner be captured and returned to Darkfrith for punishment. Christoff Langdon (Kit), Earl of Chasen and Alpha male of the tribe heads to London to find the thief, taking with him as bait the most powerful and desirable diamond the gem loving drákon possess, the "herte" (the heart of the tribe).

Catching the thief, Kit is amazed that not only is she a woman, but a female able to Turn. Taking Rue (aka Clarissa) back to Darkfrith, he secures an agreement that should she fail to find the Herte within 2 weeks, she will willingly return to Darkfrith as his wife. What Rue fails to realise is that Kit is fully determined that she return with him, willingly or not and take her rightful place as female Alpha. Rue is equally determined that she not fall back into the life of an ostracised Halfling in Darkfrith, her drákon blood tainted by a human father. On her 17th birthday (left uncelebrated by the tribe) she discovered she could fully shift; the first female in four generations with the ability.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Sep 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book after reading its follow-up, "the Dream Thief", so some aspects of the story were already familiar to me. Shana Abé's world is that of a race of people, the Drákon, who can turn into smoke or dragons. Originally from the Carpathian mountains they area now living in Darkfrith in the North of England with the Marquess of Langford as their Alpha. He remembers the young girl he dubbed 'Mouse' who drowned aged 17 after being teased by the other drákon young girls.

However the Council of Drákon are worried as a jewel thief has been identified as a member of the drákon race, and yet none are allowed to leave and those who escape, called 'runners', are hunted down and killed. The Marquess plans to capture the runner by taking his special diamond to London for a museum display and catching the thief in the act. However all does not go according to plan when he gets sidetracked by a female drákon, discovering that she is Clarisse Rue Hawthorne, the 'mouse' who drowned nine years before.

Rue and Kit set out to find the diamond but Kit has decided on Rue as his bride although she is unwilling. Their hunt for the diamond is hampered by the fact that the drákon must keep their existence secret but also because they don't know the identity of the real thief, the other 'runner', and by Rue's care for street urchin Zane (hero of 'The Dream Thief').

There are some exciting scenes in this book where they race around London as humans, as dragons and as smoke; Kit is trying to wear Rue down into becoming his wife and yet she fears the seclusion and restricted life in Darkfrith, plus she needs to bargain for Zane's life as a human who is aware of the drákon.
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By woman30 on 25 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is quite nice, if a little unexciting. Don't misunderstand me, there is allot of action going on, but the problem is that it passes you by in a wink. I felt that there were several aspects to the book that went unexplored. Quite frankly, it was a little fast-paced for me. It felt like the author was rushing through her story, and although I enjoyed it I felt that I couldn't quite keep up.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 111 reviews
75 of 93 people found the following review helpful
Rapist does not = hero. 25 Mar 2008
By Amy Dreyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hated this book. I really really hated it, and the fact that I really wanted to like it makes me hate it even more. When I read the back I thought to myself "Hey, shape shifting dragons with some love scenes, what's not to like?" Well, what's not to like is that the female lead is built up to be a strong female, yet shows herself to be weak, ineffectual, and having no willpower. Woo, someone I sure look up to. The male lead repeatedly lies to the female, bullies her, absolutely cares not at all how she feels about a damned thing, and winds up raping her. (if you don't give your partner even a CHANCE to say "no", it's rape.) The "hero" straight up says "I don't care if I'm raping her, as long as I get what I want. Yeah, charming fellow.

One scene that had me wanting to throw the book in the fire was a scene where the "hero" tells the female lead "we're in a hallway where only one of us can fit in here as a dragon, so neener". Does the MORON of a woman say "Hey thanks for telling me!" shapeshift to a dragon and snap him up like a bonbon? NO, she just snivels and gets escorted to the cell. She had NUMEROUS opportunities to do something, anything to get away from that abusive jerk, yet just feebly flaps her wrist and lets herself go along with everything he wants.
Some people will say "Well she loved him!" NO she did NOT. She had a crush on him when she was a young girl, and as an adult has NO clue what kind of man he is. In fact, all the evidence points to him being a big selfish buttwipe, but she falls in love with him anyway? WHAT?
Then there's the shoddy writing. I read quite a bit, it's very easy for me to "fall into" a book, and see things from the character's point of view. This book may as well have been stone for how solidly it remained a book to me. If the characters weren't driving me crazy, the poorly written plot would push me there instead.
So, if you actually enjoy sexy scenes, strong female characters, strong male characters and good storytelling, go read the Dark Jewels books and run the hell away from this one.
70 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Confusing a bully for a hero 30 Dec 2006
By Ember - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I hate it when a good idea and good writing gets ruined by the misconception that a manipultive, abusive liar is a romantic lead. Christoff repeatedly ignores, insults, and disrepects the heroine. When he finally bullies her into submission, they ride off into the sunset, happy and in love.

In a "passionate" moment, he doesn't care if it is "rape or seduction" as long as he can have sex with Clarissa. Any hero that can confuse rape with passion is no hero.

I like a strong male as the love interest, but when his "strength" destoys her hopes and makes her miserable, I could only feel disgust for him and for her for not having the backbone with him that she had everywhere in the rest of her life.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Total copy of a better book..... 31 Jan 2007
By Emmly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book because of the great reviews it received. I must say that while I enjoy reading, I did not enjoy this book.

It is a complete copy of Dragonswan (part of the Dark Hunter series) by Sherilyn Kenyon.

Both the hero and the heroine, and the story itself fell short in so many ways. No character development, poor plotline and just plain boring. I kept waiting for something interesting, unique or exciting to happen but it never did. I was so not impressed and disgusted with this book that I sold Dream Thief without reading it.

I would give this book negative 5 stars if I could.

Invest your money in the Dark Hunter series by Sherilyn Kenyon or The Highlander Series by Karen Marie Moning. These series will absolutely not let you down in any way.
45 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Totally Mesmerizing Shapeshifting Dragons!! WOW! 1 Oct 2005
By M. Rondeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After finishing THE SMOKE THIEF by Shana Abe', I feel it prudent to report - Ms's. Feehan, Kenyon, and Holly - make some room in the shape-shifters' realm; there is a new kid on the block and she ROCKS! Make room because here come the Drakon's!

They've lived for centuries in northern England's green hills and mountains, guarded, honored and treasured - extraordinarily beautiful and sensual creatures - able to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. A close tribe that keeps to themselves except for the few that escape - `runners' who are swiftly found, brought back to Darkfrith and punished. Alerted by rumors from London of a jewel thief, `that could disappear in smoke' the Drakon council knew that this was not a human, but another `runner' who had fled Darkfrith without permission. Christoff `Kit' Langford, the Alpha leader and enigmatic Marquess of Langford, knows that the `runner' must be caught before revealing the existence of Drakon's to mortals and planned to dangle the Langford diamond, the tribes' most tempting jewel, as bait in order to trap him. What Christoff, or the council never expected to discover was that the `runner' was not a he but a she.

After years growing up as an outcast in Darkfrith, as a Halfling - half drakon, half mortal - Clarisa Rue Hawthorne on her seventeenth birthday had orchestrated her `death' and fled. Rue knew that a female had not been capable of `Turning' in over four generations and on that day that she had `Turned' -- as an Alpha female - she would be destined to be Kit's bride. After having loved Kit her entire life, she could not have endured being married to him without his love in return. For the last nine years, she had lived in London masquerading as a widow and relished her freedom. When captured by Kit, who in the process lost the famous Langford Diamond, Rue would offer Kit a proposal to help him reclaim the jewel in return for her freedom. Kit accepted her challenge - all the while expecting to win not only the diamond, but something more precious - this most amazingly beautiful woman, Rue, as his willing bride.

- I loved this book! From the very first pages I was totally mesmerized by this fascinating, highly imaginative, and sensually thrilling world of the Drakons. Kit and Rue's sensual dance was exotic, totally bewitching and one, which will leave the reader panting for more. Whether on land or in the air, Shana Abe' has created vivid and exhilarating imagery in the mating dance of the Drakons that is sure to please the most discriminating fans of historical fantasy and catapult this author right up the ranks with the likes of Kenyon, Holly, and Krinard. I for one will be very anxiously awaiting future sequels to this spellbinding new series featuring the Drakons!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An everyday drugstore romance, with too little magic. 11 Feb 2009
By Emily Y. Teng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My sister, an avid fantasy fan, swore by this book, so I picked it up and read it. All I can say is, it doesn't impress much.

It's introduced as a fantasy romance, but from what I see, it's just an average historical romance with a condescending dip into the drakon world. The first fifty pages or so intrigued me. It seemed as if it would be a unique and exotic romance, but once the hero and heroine were introduced, it quickly fell into the cut-and-paste routine of insistent male and indecisive female, wavering back and forth in their passionate relationship that fate handed to them. Forget fantasy. That was tacked on almost as an afterthought.

The physical descriptions of both Clarissa Rue and Christoff are enough to suffocate anyone, with their "coral lips" and "stunning physiques". It reminds me of Twilight--not in a good way--where very five lines there is some mention to how beautiful, handsome, masculine, powerful, etc. the two lovebirds are.

As for personality, Rue started out as an independent and feisty woman to begin with, but then deteriorated into a whining, man-clinging sophead. Christoff never made it past that kid in college swaggering around with women leaking out of his ears. Their romance felt forced and artificial. Rue's "enduring love" for Christoff from adolescence is unbelievable, almost laughable.

However, Shana Abe shines in descriptions of scenery and of the drakon in flight, making for vivid, lush images. It's only a shame that she didn't dwell on those a bit longer and maybe less on the lovers proclaiming love for each other. She creates very sensual romance scenes, and though I will concede that they are better than most others I've read, they still feel formulaic.

The plotline lingered too long on their ditherings over their relationship. The theft of the diamond and the plotline concerning the other thief felt like it was there just for the sake of throwing Rue and Christoff into more and more situations for them to groan heavily and fondle each other. The pacing is wildly uneven and leaves the reader confused at times.

The introduction, before the actual story itself, misleads the reader. It gives a sense of the drakons as wild, free creatures, and then the novel meanders through society in stuffy London and all its constricting worldliness. It should, instead, revel in nature and the wild more.

Overall, it's an everyday romance novel, following the likes of Nora Roberts and Harlequin romances. The redeeming features are its lush descriptions. I would only recommend reading this is you enjoy romances on a whole. If so, you will like this book very much. Otherwise, prepare to be disappointed.
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