A Letter from Shana Abé
I began the journey of the drákon years past with The Smoke Thief. I loved the idea of a secret tribe of people who could Turn into smoke or dragon, but I had no notion that the story would spark such a firestorm. Readers fell in love with the dark, lush magic of the drákon as deeply as I did.
I made them beautiful. Pale in their human shapes, slender and stunning. I made them magnificent in their dragon shapes, glittering with colors, living ribbons slicing across the heavens, hunting the moon, mastering the winds.
I made them cunning, but not without morality.
I set them primarily in eighteenth century England, because I wanted them to be forced to live bejeweled lives, bound with corsets and powdered wigs, hidden beasts confined in human garments of silk and satin and lace.
I made them civilized—barely—on the outside but feral within. And then I made them struggle every single day with their own true nature.
Imagine having the power to shapeshift into smoke or a fabulous, mythical creature so splendid that no ordinary human could ever fully take you in. To be able to soar through the clouds on razored wings, to hear the silent music of gemstones and stars. To know without doubt that you are the pinnacle of all beings.
Imagine the temptation you’d feel every moment to shed your human skin. Why should you hide your glory?
Yet that’s exactly what the drákon do. Mankind has always far outnumbered them, and over the centuries they’ve been hunted nearly to extinction. For the sake of their very survival, the drákon now live according to their own strict code of law, every single aspect of their lives planned out, from birth to death. Every single rule designed to protect their true identities. To keep them all safe.
Naturally, there have to be drákon willing to break those rules, and humans who have discovered them. Otherwise, where’s the fun?
The Treasure Keeper follows the hearts of two very different members of the drákon race. One is Lord Rhys Langford, the arrogant, reckless second son of the drákon’s Alpha leader. Born blessed with all good things, Rhys has a loving family, fine looks, exceptional wits, charm and wealth. Oh, and he happens to be one of the most powerful dragons of the entire tribe...there’s just one problem with him. Apparently, he’s dead.
Zoe Lane, on the other hand, is very much alive. Not only that, she’s using her considerable skills to hunt down the humans she believes killed her fiancé, Hayden James.
Unlike Rhys, Zoe was born into a much more common drákon family. She’s the daughter of a seamstress, someone who grew up with no special dragon Gifts beyond her cool intellect and astonishing beauty. But Zoe’s been keeping secrets. It turns out that she’s Gifted after all. So Gifted, in fact, that she realizes if she mentions it to anyone else in the tribe, she’ll be handed over to the Alpha, to better his bloodline.
Female drákon have been losing their Gifts for generations, and no one knows why. The situation has become so dire that now any Gifted female is considered tribal chattel, to be wed and bred into the family of the Alpha for the betterment of all.
Zoe sees ghosts in glass. She can read minds. She can Turn invisible. And she has no intention of being forced to wed anyone—especially not Rhys, the only unwed male of the Alpha line. They were once childhood sweethearts, but that was years past. Their relationship as adults has been anything but sweet.
She will do as she wants, and marry who she wants, and to hell with the rules. If it means having to hide her Gifts from everyone, even her chosen fiancé, she will.
If it means having to clandestinely escape the confines of the tribe to track the murderers of her fiancé when he goes missing, she will.
And she does.
Zoe arrives in the glimmering, seething heart of Paris right at the brink of its revolution. But to her great surprise, the ghost who haunts her days and nights there isn’t Hayden James, but another drákon entirely, one who has been missing for even longer than Hayden: Rhys Langford.
At least, Rhys thinks he’s dead. His world is gray and thin. He cannot touch anything; he cannot feel anything. He finds himself adrift on the streets of Paris but no one sees him. In fact, people tend to walk right through him. He doesn’t hunger or thirst or sleep. He’s a phantom of a figure, and the sole source of light and color in his existence now is the lovely Zoe. She alone knows he’s there; she alone is able to communicate with him, to respond to his wintry touch. She’s the final link to the life he used to know, and he’ll do anything to remain by her side. It’s too bad she rather hates him.
A living dragon and a dead one: together they must join forces to discover who has been hunting their kind, and strike a blow against them that won’t be forgotten.
And who can say what the power of a slow-blooming true love can conquer...perhaps even death itself.
Visit Shana's website at: http://www.shanaabe.com/