When I finished Storm’s Heart, I was surprised that the next book was going to be about Carling and Rune. Rune, I understood. Carling? I didn’t really pay much attention to her in Storm’s Heart. I really didn’t think that she would merit an entire book.What a pleasant surprise. Carling’s story was fascinating. I never expected Carling to have such a scientific mind, or that she was meticulous in her research about her condition. Carling’s impressive library of documents would make museum curators and archeologists drool with jealousy. Her magical abilities were also a surprise, as was her domestic side. I never in my life imagined a Queen of Vampires with a pet dog, much less a pomerian named Rasputin of all things. The image of Carling cooking chicken for that dog made me chuckle.Of course, Thea Harrison’s books are not complete without a strong alpha male character. Rune, the Wyr sentinel and Dragos’ first, nicely fits the bill. Rune is a gryphon and when he is in that form he is the size of an SUV. Half golden eagle, half lion, Rune has a formidable presence. Protective, sexy, and dangerous, Rune also has a great sense of humor. I loved how he kicked back to enjoy his Japanese monster movies starring the flying turtle Gamera and Godzilla. Too cute!The chemistry between Carling and Rune was absolutely off the charts. They constantly butt heads, but Rune is stubborn enough to stick around and force Carling to live. The sexual tension is great – a nice, slow, build up. When they were together, I thought that they would combust. These two characters were meant for each other. The world building was well done. I loved how the author combines mythology, magic, and ancient history together to create her world. I especially liked how Carling’s back story was told through her memories and Rune heading back in time.Of course, the Elder Races books are never complete without some kind of political intrigue and there is some jostling for position and power. We are also introduced to the characters of the next book Khalil and Grace. All in all, an enjoyable read. I recommend it. I can’t wait for the next book Oracle’s Moon coming March 2012.Review posted on Badass Book Reviews.