Top positive review
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An author to watch out for!
on 13 October 2005
Dela and her brother Max are part of Dirk and Steele, a "detective agency" formed by their Grandparents. Their international agency specialises in the impossible; their motto; "help those in need, no matter how difficult, and no matter what, keep the secret safe". No member of Dirk & Steele can truly be regarded as "normal" and Dela herself displays not only a strange affinity to metal, creating both works of art and deadly weaponry with a skill no one else can match, but also has limited powers of clairvoyance. Despite her own psychic abilities and her knowledge of others, Dela has difficulty believing in magic; until during a trip to China she witnesses a beautiful man emerge from an ancient wooden box she purchased.
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!