A powerful witch is pulled back into a life of dangerous adventure when the dragon who once held her captive returns for her help. The Black Dragon
Saba Watannabe has had her fill of excitement over the last couple of years. Growing up in a mixed family with an American-born mother and a Japanese father, Saba was fortunate to learn of both of her heritages but happened to identify more with her Asian side starting from a young age. Her earliest memory was of having a nightmare at the age of four and being terrified of the darkness that she woke up to find in her room. Remembering the story her father once told her of the Japanese God called Baku, she quickly clapped her hands three times and called out, "Baku, Baku! Come and eat this dream!" And just as quickly the mythical creature appeared in a flash of light, smiling rows of sharp fangs at Saba before turning to the darkness in the corner of her room and pouncing on it as if it were prey. It quickly gobbled up the slithering blackness as if it were a tasty snack and then smacked it slips while giving off a loud belch and patting its protruding belly. When she told her parents of what she'd seen her father smiled down proudly and told her that she would grow up to be a wise woman indeed.
She didn't feel wise though, being as she's spent most of the last eight months pining over a mythical being that had once been her captor. Being a witch herself seem to cause trouble to flock to her, literally. She found herself in a ruthless coven holding a great golden dragon captive against his will for centuries, until he was finally freed by the love of his life, Lisa. Lisa herself happens to be the Silver Dragon, the only dragon in existence that truly is above all other magical beings in terms of power and freedom. Unfortunately before Lisa was able to figure out who she was Caleb had to endure fights against witches, demons and another dragon (enter Saba' s unbelievably handsome kidnapper, the Black dragon named Malcolm). Love and the power of the Silver Dragon, however, endured and Caleb and Lisa were finally able to be together, and were now expecting their first child.
Malcolm had to spend 800 years in the human realm, unable to shift to Dragon thanks not only to a witch's curse, but as mankind became more “enlightened" their lack of belief in magic and dragons made it that much harder for dragons themselves to perform magic including shifting to their true form. All dragons were very different in personalities depending on their color, for instance the golden dragons tended to be fierce warriors the Malcolm to not consider them very high on intelligence, whereas black dragons were known for their high forms of thinking, able to calculate mathematical formulas and probabilities to the nth degree within seconds. And last there were the white dragons, beings that Malcolm considered barely above animals and filled with hostility and violence. It is time trapped on the human plane however, proved to be not all bad when Malcolm found the witch Saba. At first he intended to use her in his plans to finally escape his imprisonment, but her beauty, fire and untapped power had enthralled him in the end.
Unfortunately, once the bad witch coven and the demons were defeated and Malcolm and Caleb both free, Malcolm finally was able to do what he had desired all along and return to Dragonspace; leaving Saba behind with a new job, a new apartment, and a broken heart. Before he left however, Malcolm gave her a gift of Dragon's tears, three crystals that should she use them it would open a portal to Dragonspace and bring Malcolm directly to in case of emergency. That was eight months ago, and she still carried them around in her pocket without knowing why. Lucky she does though, when one day on her way home she is attacked by a white Dragon in human form on the train. The last-ditch effort to save herself she grabs hold of the Dragon's tears and screams Malcolm's name. Malcolm appears and defeats the white dragon sending him back to Dragonspace and giving Saba a quick kiss before returning through the portal himself.
That night as she lay dreaming of Malcolm in her bed she wakes to find he is actually there in her apartment and now needs her help. He claims he is fading, that his energy is waning 3000 years earlier than it should and he needs her to counteract the spell that is draining him. He also alludes to an ulterior motive for meeting her help specifically, but refuses to give in to her questions planning to tell her at a later date that he also came back for her because he missed her. She agrees to help him and they begin to plan how to find the white Dragon assuming he is responsible. They look up some of the people that they encountered before, including Lumi one of the many humans Malcolm had put a Dragon Mark on that would cause them to do whatever the Dragon wished. Unlike the white Dragon, Malcolm was not evil and never harmed the people he marked.
Lumi agrees to help Malcolm and Saba and says that he will introduce them to someone who will definitely be able to point them in the right direction in order to find the witch that is helping the white Dragon enter the human realm. Saba returns to work the next day as usual only this time she is accompanied by Malcolm on her commute. For the most part the day goes off without a hitch until Saba receives an e-mail that afternoon from the white dragon, making it clear he plans to be back for her. At the end of the day Saba reveals this to Malcolm who doubles his determination to find the white dragon and figure out what he wants with Saba. It doesn't take long before Lumi lets Saba and Malcolm know that his connection is ready to meet them, and he takes Malcolm to meet his friend known as Axel at a bar downtown. The two men size each other up pretty quickly, Axel being unwilling to reveal exactly what he is, but making it clear he is more powerful than your average magical being. He does agree to help Malcolm find the witch he seeks, claiming she is throwing a party that night and that he can get them in.
Malcolm enlightens Saba to the new information provided by Lumi's friend, and after beginning to relieve some of the sexual tension between them they are interrupted by the arrival of Lumi and Axel. The four head off to the party and arrive at a fancy house on a dimly lit street that feels as if it is surrounded by evil. They enter the party to find it is actually a BDSM theme and split up to attempt to find the hostess. Eventually as Saba and Lumi are investigating the upstairs area they stumble upon another, less powerful witch that is asking desperately for Saba's help in locating her friend, that Saba suspects is the witch they are looking for. She agrees to help the woman named Annie and casts a Wiccan circle of protection before attempting the locating spell. During the spell she notices tendrils of black evil creeping in from the corner of the room towards her protective circle. When it attaches itself to the power of her circle and starts to gain energy, bashing its way into her circle, the three men Axel, Malcolm and Lumi burst through the door and Axel quickly sends the darkness fleeing. Saba's locating spell, however, was successful and it pointed them to a hidden room above floor they were on. When they go up to find the witch they discover her dead with her neck broken, having been killed several days before. After a quick accusation at their newest member they agree that the witch was killed by the white dragon when he was done with her.
When the gang leaves the house to assess the situation and call the police for the dead body upstairs Annie flees from them. When Malcolm and Saba arrive back at their apartment he pushes for her to complete the locating spell that will find his mate. What Saba does not know is that Malcolm has concocted this whole destined mate story with the help of Ming Wei, Lumi's aunt, so that Saba may be more willing to accept Malcolm as her mate. After the spell points to Saba as the object that Malcolm seeks multiple times she claims that she is unable to locate Malcolm's dragon mate, and that he will have to find a more powerful witch to complete the spell. Malcolm finally comes clean and lets Saba know that she is who he wants, and though she initially balks at the idea Malcolm is eventually able to persuade her to come to his bed.
The following day Malcolm and Saba head over to Caleb and Lisa's apartment to see if Lisa will be willing to open a door to Dragonspace, as Malcolm needs to return to the Dragon Archives in order to learn more about their enemy. Malcolm takes Saba with him this time, and once back in the Archives they learn that a single book has been stolen, The Book of All Dragons. Malcolm reveals the importance of the book lies in the fact that it carries the true name of every dragon that is currently in existence, and a dragon with that knowledge can control whoever's true name he knows. Once they investigate the area where the book has been stolen Saba realizes that the database for their Archive, powered by crystals, is much the same as any program she worked on in the human world when coding. She reveals that they have been hacked, and that a virus was used to break down their defenses enough to let the dragon in to steal the book. They also realize the witch they found dead in the house is the same woman that Saba's employer had fired not long before, and she had left a similar virus for her former employer.
Unfortunately the couple's return to Dragonspace set off a time bomb that was left by the witch Rhoda before her untimely demise, but worked effectively at injuring Malcolm and sealing the pair in the Archives. Worried as to why the white dragon may want them stuck in Dragonspace Saba takes all of the energy from around her and inside her to create a doorway that once again nearly kills her. Once Malcolm gets her back to the human realm he uses his dragon magic and the passion between them to heal Saba, and in his relief at her survival they make love multiple times throughout the night. When Saba wakes the next day she has very little time to relax with Malcolm before she is due at her Japanese tea ceremony practice, and Malcolm offers to accompany and watch her. While at the tea ceremony practice Malcolm is approached by the white dragon and through the subtle use of his true name leaves the room and the building seemingly willingly. Saba is not convinced, however, and chases after the pair to finally catch up to them down the street entering another building.
When Saba reaches Malcolm he growls at her to back off, enters the room and closes the door. When Saba finally gains enough nerve to follow them she opens the door to find an empty room and the smell of a recently closed portal. Unsure what to do or how to find Malcolm, Saba contacts Axel and Lumi and asks for their help. Meanwhile the white dragon has taken Malcolm through a local portal that lands them on a platform high above the San Francisco Bay. Reinforcing his control over Malcolm the white dragon Roland also chains Malcolm to the platform for good measure. Unfortunately, Malcolm cannot retaliate against Roland even if he were free because he cannot hurt the wielder of his true name or kill him as part of the spell. Roland leaves Malcolm alone on the crane as he uses another portal to head back into the city and find Saba. Malcolm hangs out on the platform trying to figure out how to escape and save his love when he is approached by the flying spirit form of the silver dragon. The silver dragon informs him that she is on her way to the hospital to save Lisa as Roland has poisoned Lisa and her babies, and all three will die without the silver dragon' s help. Malcolm asks the silver dragon to let Lisa know where he is but other than that wishes her farewell, and is left to worry about Lisa and her babies.
Saba also attempts to contact Caleb in her quest to find Malcolm, but once she gets a hold of him she learns about Lisa and the babies' condition and her, Lumi and Axel race over to the hospital to see Caleb. After a quick visit, and knowing there is not much they can do to help, the three head back to the house where they found the dead witch Rhoda to see if they can find any more clues as to where Roland may have taken Malcolm. When they arrive back in the house they find Annie there waiting, looking smug in her new association with Roland. Though the trio tries to convince Annie of Roland's evil, his Mark on her is far too strong and so they control her by magical force. Saba realizes that only a witch could have created the portal where Roland took Malcolm and forces Annie to re-create the portal for her.
When Annie and Saba step out onto the platform they immediately begin to fight. Malcolm, worrying for Saba, begins his attempts anew to break free of his chains and shift back to his dragon form. Unfortunately, Roland's hold on Malcolm is still secure and Malcolm nearly blacks out multiple times in his attempts due to the pain. At one point Saba finally gains the upper hand and sends Annie flying off the platform, but her victory is short-lived when Roland comes flying up holding Annie in his claws. After Saba has her own fall nearly sliding off the end of the platform, she sees The Book Of All Dragons taped underneath the platform too far back for her to reach, clearly meant for someone who could fly to reach. Fear for Saba gives Malcolm the strength to finally shift and break his chains, ramming into Roland right as the white dragon is about to blast Saba with a plume of fire. Unfortunately Rowland is less warn out than Malcolm and is not being overpowered by the use of his own true name, and eventually fatally wounds Malcolm who falls out of the sky. Caleb arrives soon after and is able to chase off Roland and at the same time save Saba who almost falls off the platform as she's attempting to retrieve the book.
The pair's devastation at Malcolm's death is quickly removed when they find Malcolm's body and learn that he is alive, though barely. The pair quickly take him back to Saba's apartment where she uses the book and Malcolm's true name combined with her own magic to heal him and save his life. When Malcolm awakens he realizes what Saba has done, and accuses her of attempting to enslave him in retaliation for his putting his Dragon Mark on her the year before. After a heated argument Saba finally convinces Malcolm that she loves him, and she has no intention of using his name to hurt him. Though Malcolm is still unsure he eventually relents to her pleas and they make love throughout the night. The next day the pair head over to the hospital to see Caleb and Lisa. The silver dragon was able to save Lisa and her babies and all are making a speedy recovery. Malcolm asks Lisa if she is able to remove his name from Rowland's mind, but Lisa tells them that the caster of the spell has to be in the room for her to remove it from his mind. Their determination renewed to find Rowland, Malcolm and Saba head out but not before Saba attempts to ask Lisa to remove Malcolm's name from her own mind. Before she is able to get out her question Malcolm cuts her off and kicks her out of the room. Later on when Saba asks Malcolm why he didn't let Lisa remove his name from Saba's mind he reveals that he would rather she still held it as long as Roland still did. He figured it was the only thing at this point that may save him.
Malcolm, Caleb and Axel decide to go hunting for Roland and find him in a clearing leaning over the witch Annie's dead body, having recently killed her as well. When accused of his murderous ways Roland defends himself by saying that Annie had been dying already from attempting to create a portal to Dragonspace, and he was merely showing mercy by ending her life before she suffered. Unfortunately, their escapades must have brought attention for they were soon surrounded by several police cars and helicopters. Instead of resisting the three surrender and are taken to jail where Caleb and Malcolm called their other halves to come bail them out. When Saba arrives at the jail she bails outs Caleb and Malcolm, and reveals that Lisa is there as well in the nearby hotel waiting for them. She also transfers the message that Lisa would like to have a conversation with Roland and that he is to be released into Lisa's custody. Once it has been arranged and Lisa meets with Roland she attempts to remove Malcolm's true name from his mind but finds herself unable to do so. Instead of killing him she sends him back to Dragonspace in banishment, since she herself now holds Roland's true name and makes it clear what will happen should he disobey her orders. Feeling as though everything is back to normal Malcolm returns to Dragonspace to return The Book of All Dragons to its rightful place, leaving Saba behind once more with a broken heart.
Once Malcolm returns to his Archives he is greeted by his assistant, Metz, who is in a flurry claiming that more and more of the darkness has escaped from the empty space left by the stolen book. After discussing the occurrences of the past few days with Axel, Caleb, and Lisa, Saba realizes that the darkness may not have been defeated as they had once thought, and that Malcolm may be in trouble back in Dragonspace. She asks Lisa to open a doorway for her and Axel to help Malcolm. They don't expect to enter a war zone once they arrive. Roland, having been freed from Lisa by the darkness that he let escape, shows up at the archives in order to destroy Malcolm and complete his mission. Unfortunately, the darkness is evil and cannot be controlled and is overtaking Roland even as he fights Malcolm. Saba arrives just in time and her and Axel figure out that the only way to defeat the darkness is to shut down the current security system to the Archives so that it will kill Roland, and they can reboot the system. It all goes according to plan, Roland ends up being killed by the darkness once the security system is down, but it becomes impossible without an energy source to restart the system. Saba eventually realizes that she will have to open a portal all on her own to the human realm to contact Lisa to save them. All of them realize this will kill Saba but they will all die if she does not do it. It works and as Saba fades the portal opens to show Lisa, who steps through and immediately powers the crystals and begins fighting the darkness herself once the system is back online. With Lisa's help they are able to restore everything to its proper balance, and using her powerful magic Lisa heals Malcolm. She gives Malcolm the ability to share their newfound power she gave him with Saba to heal her, and also grants them the gift of being able to conceive a baby.
After all is back to normal and several years go by you learn that Saba and Malcolm have become married and now have two beautiful children of their own. They have a five-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. At the end of the book Malcolm wakes to check on the noise he hears from his daughter, and enters the room to find that she has just called upon the Baku to chase away a nightmare. At this point Malcolm realizes that his daughter will be just as special as her mother.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like this story because the author wrote Malcolm's character very well. If you read the first story in the series, you learn that he is considered a calculating, cold-hearted bastard for a number of reasons, but the reality is he is the complete opposite, and it is fun to watch that side of him emerge.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is definitely the scene when the guys are all in jail. It is revealed to their cellmates that Roland tried to kill Caleb's babies, that he has been showing picture of and chatting about non-stop to the officers and inmates, and they turn on Roland in an instant.
Opinion about the main character:
I really like Malcolm's total obliviousness to the joking, humorous personalities around him. He is so stoic and calculating, that he often misses the joke.