The Last Slayer by Nadia Lee
Released: December 26, 2011
Series: The Heartstone Trilogy #1
Source: Review copy from publisher
Ashera del Cid is a talented demon hunter, but when she kills a demigod’s pet dragon, the hunter becomes the hunted. Her only potential ally is Ramiel, a sexy-as-hell demon. Now the two must work together to battle dragons and demigods…and the chemistry crackling between them.
Ramiel has his own reasons for offering Ashera his protection. He knows her true identity and the real reason the demigods want her dead. What he can’t predict is how she’ll react when she discovers he knew who she was all along…
Ashera is shocked to discover that she is the only daughter of the last slayer. To claim her destiny, she and Ramiel must join forces to face down danger and outwit their enemies. Only then will she be able to truly accept her legacy…
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I got this book a while ago for review but it’s taken me a while to get to it, as I explained in a previous post. I’m really happy that I’ve finally read The Last Slayer, though, because it’s a fast and delightful read set in an outstanding world.
Ashera del Cid lives in a world where demons are common, though dragonlords, who are demigods, are not. Ashera’s made a great living as a demon hunter for her adopted family’s firm, as she tries to track down the incubus who killed Miguel, her first love. Unfortunately for her, she’s hired to help with a meeting with a dragonlord, which is what propels the rest of the novel, since the dragonlords have been looking for her since she’s the titular last slayer. A spell had hidden her until her 27th birthday, so now she’s fair game and they’re looking to eliminate her as soon as possible. Thankfully, she has a mysterious ally in Ramiel, who saves her and helps her explore her birthright while also sexing her brains out.
Ashera’s a fun protagonist and I quite enjoyed following her journey from regular (though talented) hunter to potential dragonlady. She’s in a situation she’s not prepared for, which is unusual for her, but she copes and struggles and perseveres even though she’s out of her depth. I was rooting for Ashera almost instantly and I’m sure you will be too if you give The Last Slayer a try.
Ramiel’s a nice foil for Ashera. He’s mysterious at the beginning, but we learn a lot about him over the course of the novel and it gives him a lot more depth and helps explain his motivations. He acts as Ashera’s guide, partner, and also lover, though the roles don’t always sit well with Ashera, particularly when he’s being less than forthcoming. After learning about his past, I’m quite intrigued to see where their relationship is going since they will likely continue to work closely together.
The world building of this story is what really grabbed me, though. The idea of dragonlords and dragonladies is quite fun, even though I think the term dragonlady doesn’t sound nearly as powerful as dragonlord. (It does make sense etymologically but there’s something about it that made me cringe the first couple times.) Dragon society is explored in really interesting ways and I particularly liked learning about the different types of dragons and the hierarchies and roles they have. My favourites were the fairy dragons, especially Toshi, who was absolutely adorable. He’ll win you over instantly!
The one thing I did find a bit odd was the idea of Sex (with a capital ‘s’) as a way to power up magically. But not necessarily by having sex. You can just drink it and apparently it comes in different flavours. The origins of Sex are discussed in The Last Slayer but I’m still not 100% sure why folks use it so I hope that it gets explained in more detail in the next Heartstone novel, which I fully intend to pick up because I want to find out what happens to Ashera next.