Thea Harrison exploded onto the paranormal romance scene in 2011 with her Elder Races series. And during the last several months the author has consistently treated readers to novels that go above and beyond the Vampire/Werewolf stereotype with her universe full of Wyr shifters. Since series starter Dragon Bound, Harrison has released three additional full-length novels and one novella — all featuring different unexpected creatures. Today we take a metaphorical ride through the Wyrlife Preserve that is Harrison’s body of work thus far, just in time for the release of the fourth novel in the Elder Races series, Oracle’s Moon. So please keep your hands and legs inside the moving blog post, and do not feed the animals!
THE DRAGON: DRAGOS CALUBRE
Older than time itself, Dragos is used to getting his way. His hobbies include intimidating others and gathering treasures for his precious horde. And with no one strong enough to stop him, Dragos pretty much gets whatever he wants … until he meets the unexpectedly spunky woman who changes everything he’s ever thought about what it means to be the boss.
THE UNICORN: PIA GIOVANNI
Young and impetuous, Pia is blackmailed into stealing from Dragos. Even though she only takes a penny (and gives him one in return), she’s sure to face brutal retaliation from the merciless dragon shifter. However, Dragos is not interested in gaining revenge, he would much rather go after a more rewarding prize — Pia’s heart.
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AND THE WINNER IS … THE DRAGON!
“So sorry, Pia,” says RT web director Morgan. “As much as I love your strong nature and delicate heart, it’s your hero Dragos that I will never forget. This shifter has literally watched the cosmos form and has seen, or had a hand, in every major event in human history. And despite his tendency to get a little aggressive and chauvinistic, his power and sheer presence makes him one of the most unforgettable heroes ever!”
THE THUNDERBIRD: TIAGO BLACK EAGLE
Tiago has roamed the Earth for centuries, controlling the weather and becoming increasingly powerful. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know. So who would have thought that all it would take was true love, in the form of the bubbly Dark Fae Queen Niniane, to turn his life upside down?
THE DARK FAE: NINIANE (AKA TRICKS)
After her uncle’s supporters brutally slaughtered fairy Niniane's royal parents and siblings in a bloody coup, this small-bodied, big-spirited fairy princess hid in the human realm under the protection of Dragos Calubre. Known as Tricks, she grew up to head Dragos' PR team. But now it is time for her to do the dangerous work of reclaiming her throne, and she’s not going to let anyone stop her — not even a protective Thunderbird wyr.
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AND THE WINNER IS … IT'S A TIE!
“This was a particularly hard one to call,” says RT’s Whitney. “Both characters are so fantastic I mean, Tiago’s a thunderbird. He’s the size of a Hummer and controls thunder and oh yeah, is a THUNDERBIRD. So in terms of interesting creature, Tiago wins. But in terms of fantastic character? Well that’s Tricks all the way! She may be the queen of fairies but don’t expect this heroine to be a Tinkerbelle-wannabe, she can drink her friends under a table and still come out smelling like sunshine — plus she’s a PR whiz. Oh and on top of all of that, she juggles her duties as a queen and her budding romance with Tiago. What I wouldn’t give to have that fae’s multitasking skills!”
THE WOLF SHIFTER: GIDEON RIEHL
This detective for New York City’s Wyr division is ultra protective. He has recently left his pack and so when he meets his mate, a timid rainbow chameleon, he’s even more determined that the murderous fiend trying to make her wyr kind extinct won’t get near her.
THE RAINBOW CHAMELEON: ALICE CLARK
Like most wyr chameleons, Alice Clark is quiet, unassuming and good at hiding. But when she is caught in a killer’s crosshairs, she refuses to give up without a fight. Thankfully, she isn’t fighting for her life alone, Wyr detective Gideon has a wolf’s heart and his dedication to his newly found mate is absolute!
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AND THE WINNER IS … THE RAINBOW CHAMELEON!
RT reviewer Kate thinks the choice is clear, “Alice Clark is one of my favorite recent shifters. She truly seems to be part chameleon and Harrison’s talents shine as this heroine enjoys such activities as hiding in the leaves of plants, hanging out curled up with her Wyr lover, Gideon, and creating a living space that is bright, airy and sings of chameleon’s natural habitat.” With praise like that, is it any wonder that Alice Clark steals the show?
THE GRIFFIN: RUNE AINISSETHAL
This happy-go-lucky Griffin can’t help but be curious about the unknown. It’s in his nature to be playful and relaxed, after all he is one part King of the Jungle. However, when he promises to help the Queen of the Vampyres with a single favor of her choosing, Rune discovers that it isn't just his honor keeping him by Carling's side, he will do whatever it takes to help this amazing creature survive the transition she’s undergoing ...
THE VAMPYRE: CARLING
Carling may be Queen of the Vampyres, but recently her powers have become dangerously unstable. Will she be able to let down her guard and ask a laid back, tee shirt-wearing Griffin for help — or will her vampyre protégé get his way and have Carling exterminated?
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AND THE WINNER IS ... THE VAMPYRE!
RT reviewer Dawn is super impressed by the Queen. “Carling is one of the most complex romance characters I have met in a long, long time. Readers not only get to see her at her high points, but we are also given glimpses of her past, as far back as her childhood which was thousands of years ago. And the best thing is that Carling's intensity is brilliantly balanced out by her fun-loving mate, Rune.”
THE DJINN: KHALIL
Khalil is a powerful being with centuries of living under his belt. And although he normally doesn’t get involved with lowly humans, he won’t stand to see any child unhappy. Over the course of his interactions with the human who has just become the Oracle of Delphi, and is also the guardian of the last children of the lineage, Khalil forms a bond with her wards. He even transforms into several different creatures, including a talking cat, in order to put smiles on their faces. (And he still manages to kick some major butt when it’s called for!)
THE ORACLE OF DELPHI: GRACE ANDREAS
The most recent Oracle of Delphi never wanted the job, but when the power passes to her after her sister dies in a mysterious car crash, Grace is determined to keep her family’s legacy in tact. But with a scarred body, two tiny tots who are more than a handful and an ancient duty filling up her days and nights — Grace certainly doesn’t have time for romance, but an opinionated djinn may make her change her mind.
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AND THE WINNER IS … THE DJINN!
“To the best of my knowledge, readers haven’t seen a Djinn hero since approximately 2004. And the last Djinn I remember meeting in fiction at all was in 2010’s Moonshine by Alaya Johnson. So to get this bigger than life, brilliant hero — who was more than a little bit out of touch with ‘the human lifestyle’ was a pleasure. Khalil is absolutely everything I want a hero to be and more. I particularly love the way that he is so caring and careful with Grace’s children. Plus, Harrison does an excellent job of fleshing out the Djinn world and making it clear that it’s quite different from our own!”
Which of these creatures do you think is the most world-rocking, earth-shaking and frankly fantastic paranormal hero or heroine you’ve read so far? Let us know in the comments below! For more paranormal creatures visit our Everything Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Page!