Death before Dragons – Lindsay Buroker

Cover of Death before Dragons book one, sinister magic.

Val Thorvald’s got her sights on the magical community and it hasn’t made her any friends.

Death before Dragons is a modern day urban fantasy set in Seattle. It’s written in first person POV, past tense. Which is a favourite for this genre, as it gives a close insight at the action and thoughts of the main character. It’s also the start of a multi book series, so perfect if you like to be immersed in a story world for a long time.

Val Thorvald, magical assassin, has an assignment go wrong and ends up on the bad side of a dragon. To make matters worse, her boss is dying. Val doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence and sets out investigating what’s really wrong, all the while avoiding the unhealthy attentions of the dragon. There is a good amount of mythological creatures and magic woven into the plot along with a few normal side characters that helps round out the world. I especially liked the magical assistant – a silver panther. He has some of the best wisecracks in the book.

I enjoyed this book and found it easy to read once certain realities were suspended but I nearly put it down after the first chapter where the protagonist appeared to be over the top perfect (ie climbing down a cliff with no rope then hanging by one hand to answer a phone) and seemed to have some very poor motivations (ie killing a wyvern that a big dragon was after just because it was her job). There was enough intrigue in the opening that I did carry on. Things were explained later such as the MC being half elf gave her super strength and abnormally quick recovery times. Other issues remained a niggle, so I just tried to ignore those for the sake of enjoying the book. Death before Dragons is a complete story and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, although larger story-world questions are left open for the next book in this series.

I feel this book would appeal to modern urban fantasy readers that are after a fast paced adventure with a bit of intrigue and hints of a future romance.

4 out of 5 coffee beans

For more information check out the author’s website