Hanna’s Last Read: Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Join us all summer long for Last Read posts from a long list of talented writers, librarians and readers.

Guest author Hanna Martine writes sexy, character-driven romance novels in several different sub-genres. Sometimes there’s magic (paranormal); sometimes there isn’t (contemporary). She left a decade of office work in order to show her daughter what it means to go after your dream. She loves bar stools, the imaginary world, travel and her friends. Though she and her family live outside Chicago, her heart resides in Australia.

If you knew your time was almost up, what would be the last book you read?

My first thought when proposed with this wonderful topic was that I am noHiRest a re-reader (Once I’m done with a book, I’m done. There are far too many amazing books out there to go backward.), so how could I possibly choose a book to read again in my last hours? The solution had to be: read a new book. But how in the world could I be forced to pick something from my giant TBR pile knowing it would be my very last book? And how could I leave this earth looking at that TBR pile and seeing all the books I never got to? Talk about going into the afterlife with baggage.

And what if I picked up a new book as my last read and OMIGOD IT SUCKED??

That just might be the definition of hell. So clearly I would have to re-read something as my Last Read. So I pondered (pondered, pondered) all the books I’ve severely loved over the years and weighed whether or not they would qualify for that vaunted Last Read status.

Under consideration:

Warchild, by Karin Lowachee

A science fiction novel that was not labeled YA when it came out over a decade ago but could probably fit well into the genre today. It is dark and difficult to read, and it ripped my guts out. Jos is orphaned, taken by a pedophiliac space pirate, and then re-kidnapped by an alien race. The leader of that race trains Jos to “be human” again, and sends him back to his own kind to spy for the aliens. It’s a brilliant, brilliant book. But it’s also, again, very dark, and so it would not be my last read.

Broken, by Megan Hart

I pretty much cried my way through this erotic novel. It started in the second chapter when she describes her and her husband’s young love affair, and then how he is crippled, becoming a complete quadriplegic within a year of their marriage (no spoiler alert—second chapter, remember). The book chronicles their struggles, but also her “platonic”relationship with a handsome man who relays to her all his erotic exploits with other women. The ending was supremely satisfying, but I won’t feel like crying in my last hours.

Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey

Oh man, this book started me on the path to writing paranormal romance. In a fictional Europe, sex is applauded and pretty much everything is open and welcome. This one woman is born with a special ability to thrive on sexual pain, and she is trained to use it as a spy. Carey has said she wanted to write a book in which the threat of rape was eliminated, but the book is so much more. It makes you think about relationships—sexual or otherwise—in whole new ways. An unforgettable gem, but, hmmmmm, not my last read either.

Lover Awakened, by J.R. Ward

Might be the sexiest and most heart-breaking and most triumphant romance I’ve ever read, but I’m going to guess that I may not be in the mood for smexytimes at that point in my life, so……..

The chosen one:

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

I’d always been a reader as a child, but it wasn’t until I randomly picked up this fantasy paperback, with a gorgeous warrior chick and two bearded bad-ass men on the beautifully rendedragonsautumntwilightred cover, that I was completely and utterly sucked into the imaginary world. I became fiction—particularly fantasy fiction—obsessed. This book was literally everything I craved and loved—high adventure, colorful characters, all sorts of magic, romantic tension, danger, a band of misfits…I could go on. I had never been breathless reading a book before this one, and when it was done I rode my bike to the corner bookstore and bought the next book. And then the next. And then I started the next trilogy, locked in my room.

I will never forget my first glomming, obsessive book relationship.

It was the book that started it all, and how appropriate that’s how I think it should end.


1 Response

  1. “And what if I picked up a new book as my last read and OMIGOD IT SUCKED??

    That just might be the definition of hell.”

    SO TRUE! Talk about a bad send-off.

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