As a magpie shifter, Chester does love things that sparkle. But he’s a practical thief and doesn’t take on a job without having done plenty of research or without applying a healthy dose of skepticism. So when a dragon shifter approaches him with an offer that involves the entanglements of a long family feud, a stolen heirloom, and the very real possibility of getting his tail feathers scorched, Chester knows he should refuse. After all, no smart thief would get between two dragons and their hordes. But Chester can’t help being intrigued by and smitten with the fiery Michal.
Michal doesn’t take kindly to the fact that a precious item has been taken from his horde. But that his brother is the one behind the theft is especially enraging. They’ve never been close, but touching another dragon’s horde simply isn’t done. Anger turns to desire though upon meeting Chester. Self assured and quick witted, Chester is everything Michal wants in a mate. Now he’ll have to decide which treasure is more important: Chester or a chance at revenge?
The Dragon’s Thief offers another twist on shifter romances by introducing two characters that like their baubles almost as much as they like one another. The Dragon’s Thief is a novella and does a good job of providing a self-contained story with a fairly established plot, especially given its shorter length. There are times it feels a bit rushed and messy, but this doesn’t affect the entire book. I wouldn’t say the story is particularly original or exciting, but it is perfectly serviceable.
Chester is far more fleshed out than Michal. His character remains consistent and feels more relaxed in his own skin. We aren’t given much backstory on either character, but Chester is slightly more well defined, though far from complex. Michal is more troublesome. He tends to be something of a jumbled mess and it was hard to connect with him, even on the most basic level. He’s a dragon, but he had no sense of impact, which was frustrating. I want my dragons to be … well dragons. I mean they’ve got to have a wow factor. Even the scene where he shifted for Chester felt flat and blah. Michal the least dragony dragon I’ve ever come across and that was altogether disappointing. The romance between Chester and Michal seemed at times, to have potential, and I appreciated that Chester didn’t swoon just because Michal showed an interest in him. But I felt like their romance was never given the time it needed to develop and it wasn’t used to its fullest potential.
There isn’t anything overtly wrong with The Dragon’s Thief. I just found it rather boring. The romance was underwhelming, the plot lacks much heart, and everything plays out just as you’d expect. And frankly, I need more than that from shifter romances, perhaps because the trope has been so heavily leveraged in recent years. As a result, I wanted more from The Dragon’s Thief than what I got. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad book and those of you who love shifter novels may find something here to enjoy. It just didn’t fully work for me.