This is a gorgeous new package for the book that started it all in bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu's award-winning "Dirk and Steele" series.--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
Cursed over 2000 years ago by a powerful Magi, Hari is under the full control of his owner, the person who purchases the small exquisite box he lives in. Betrayed following the death of his sister, he no longer has the ability to shape shift into his tiger form; and after encountering many cruel masters in his long past, he has difficulty believing that Dela really intends to release him from his curse and not command him for her own purposes. As with his previous masters, Hari is bound to Dela until her death and in no way anticipates discovering his new owner is his mate.
Dela herself is a fantastic character. Strong but vulnerable, she in no way overpowers or emasculates the equally strong men in her life, instead she stands firm to her beliefs, confident in both her own abilities and the strange skills of those around her. When she finds herself caught up in escalating events, not all of which are connected to Hari, she obtains the assistance of some very unusual friends. Not only is the Magi who cursed Hari still alive, he wants Hari back for sinister purposes and to accomplish his plan he needs Dela dead. Unfortunately he is not the only one who plans her death; Dela also faces lethal threats from the Chinese Mafia when she returns to America.
I have been left berating myself for not purchasing this book several months ago when it was first recommended to me. I have to add that although there is nothing new with the story line in "Tiger Eye", in fact Sherrilyn Kenyon and Gena Showalter have both written extremely similar good books ("Fantasy Lover" and "The Pleasure Slave"); however neither SK nor GS included such a red hot shape shifter in their respective stories - Hari is one major hottie!! Marjorie Liu has created something unique even amid a not so unique plot, weaving together modern day psychic powers, ancient magics, shape shifters of various forms and deadly revenge to create a wonderful romance. This is a great book containing at least another 4 or 5 vividly drawn characters who seriously deserve their own stories (strong hint to M. Liu) and I am delighted that one of these characters, the Russian ex-mafia gangster Artur is due his own story next year. He has a fantastic ability which I am sure MML will explore further in "Shadow Touch", due for publication in Feb 06 - a very long wait for a new fan!
Tiger eye tells the story of Hari, a shapeshifter imprisoned in a box and at the mercy of the commands of the owner of the box for two thousand years. He has endured hardship and humiliation as a series of owners have used him as a weapon, forcing him to commit unimaginable acts of cruelty and degredation. His fortunes change when Dela Reece, a human with mystical powers over metal, buys the box in a chinese market. She makes it clear from the first that she has no time for slavery, but is prepared to be Hari's friend and to help him overcome the curse placed on him by an evil Magi. Gradually, they come to friendship and then love, but have to battle Dela's enemies as well as his before they can find happiness.
What makes this book so good is a combination of features-a complex and coherent plot, an excellent prose style,excellent characterisation, and at it's heart, a tender and passionate love story. There were also a range of secondary characters who would make excellent material for a sequel-I understand this is in the works and look forward to learning more about this fascinating cast of characters, and also to meeting Dela's brother, who is referred to but never actually appears in this story. This book is praised by Chritine Feehan, and I am a fan of her Dark series, but frankly, this book is even better.It was a joy to read, and I recommend it to all lovers of paranormal romance
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