Soul of Fire
In a Victorian world in which magic exists and shapeshifters are executed, Peter Farewell has fled England to hide the fact that he’s a were-dragon. But in India, a land heavily populated with weres, Peter meets Sofie Warington as she flees a hateful marriage. This chance meeting embroils him in a battle with were-tigers seeking Sofie’s dowry: a magic ruby that gives its possessor ultimate power. It takes all Peter’s abilities as both man and dragon, as well as Sofie’s courage and intelligence, to outwit their enemies and save themselves and the ruby.
Set at some vague time in the late 1800s, the historical part of this historical fantasy lacks conviction; many of the details about India and the Raj are incorrect. (Jaipur is nowhere near Meerut. The language is not “Indian.” A sepoy is not a subaltern.) And some of the characterization is weak: Sofie lived in India until she was ten, when she was sent to school in England. Half the time Sofie knows all about India, and half the time Peter, who’s been there for six months, has to explain something about the country to her. In sum, while the fantasy storyline has much to recommend it, the history is half fantasy.