Dragon Coast: the sequel to Greg Van Eekhout's California Bones and Pacific Fire, in which Daniel Blackland must pull off the most improbable theft of all.
Daniel's adopted son Sam, made from the magical essence of the tyrannical Hierarch of Southern California whom Daniel overthrew and killed, is lost-consumed by the great Pacific firedrake secretly assembled by Daniel's half-brother, Paul.
But Sam is still alive and aware, in magical form, trapped inside the dragon as it rampages around Los Angeles, periodically torching a neighborhood or two.
Daniel has a plan to rescue Sam. It will involve the rarest of substances, axis mundi, pieces of the bones of the great dragon at the center of the Earth. Daniel will have to go to the kingdom of Northern California, boldly posing as his half-brother, come to claim his place in the competition to be appointed Lord High Osteomancer of the Northern Kingdom. Only when the Northern Hierarch, in her throne room at Golden Gate Park, raises her scepter to confirm Daniel in his position will he have an opportunity to steal the axis mundi-under the gaze of the Hierarch herself.
And that's just the first obstacle.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Van Eekhout concludes the Daniel Blackland series, set in a magical alternate version of our world, with this solid installment. In Pacific Fire (2015), the consciousness of Sam, a golem cloned from the evil Hierarch of Southern California, was absorbed into a deadly Pacific Firedrake. Daniel, a sorcerer who gains his power from consuming magical bones, has to find a way to extricate Sam from the dragon. He gathers his trusted friends, Moth and Cassandra, but will also need the help of past rival Gabriel, a water mage, to complete his mission. Learning that the rare axis mundi bone is in the Northern California realm, Daniel disguises himself as his recently deceased brother, Paul, and infiltrates the kingdom to catch the dragon and use the bone to resurrect Sam. While dodging assassins bent on killing "Paul," Daniel bids to be named High Grand Osteomancer in order to gain access to the axis mundi, but he must outmaneuver others who want the powerful position. This installment features strong writing from van Eekhout, with exciting magical battles and a difficult heist, but there are still occasional questionable plot points and unconvincing character motivations.