Maxis Dragos or the dragon upstairs in the Sanctuary bar gets a turn in the spotlight as the tortured hero d’jour when his dragonswan, Amazon warrior Seraphina comes to collect him and has an armed hunting party at her back. The last thing solitary Max wants is but reconciliation with his mate as he faces her with his brothers and the sanctuary family standing with him.
Taking a walk through their difficult past together in (oh goody) flashbacks and skipping a 3k year separation, where Max and Sera did things Sera’s way until she didn’t have Max and felt lonely and guilty. It’s easy to dislike Sera for her treatment of Max (even from her POV) and uncertain if the Arcadian Dragonslayer, warm in her own selfishness, is hunting Maxis or warning him.
Sera lies to her fellow warriors so they depart and tells Max the Amazons are being blackmailed into working with the demon Karras. Max is the key to Karras’ revenge upon Styxx and to ensure Max’ cooperation, their dragonets (children) are held hostage. As Max absorbs fatherhood, Sera spills Max’ deepest secret to his friends that threatens the balance of Sanctuary.
The characters, pacing and writing were great and Maxis now has a story but as a series fan, I didn’t feel as if new worlds were conquered with such a middling tale. Though not a long read, for this readers taste the outing may have been better as a novella. Glimpses of fan favorites add to the story and the tale itself reads like a foundation for a series off-shoot or mini-arc.