Everyone knows that Sherrilyn Kenyon is my FAVORITE author of all time and I read everything she writes. I’m a huge fan but probably not as gung-ho as some of her other fans. Her Facebook page always has people dressing up as her characters (mainly Simi from the Dark Hunter series) and even getting tattoos…Now that is some sincere idol worship. I’m too fat to dress up as Simi and too poor to get a tattoo but I have drawn a few of the characters before. Maybe I’ll share them one day when I find them in my overstuffed garage.
This book is the 7th book in ‘The League’ series. Well, it is the 8th according to Goodreads but the 7th according to Amazon and the 9th according to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website. Since there are two timelines in the League Series which Sherrilyn describes and Gen 1 and Gen 2, the reading order could vary.
There is some complicated things going on in this book. It’s been just under a year since I’ve read the previous book in the series so I had to remember who some of the characters were and try to figure out when this book happened in the timeline of the story. Sherrilyn has built up a complex world here with many planets, humanoid species and governments. To govern it all, The League was formed when a tyrant tried to rule the solar system. The League became full of corruption though and became a tyrant in itself. It has trained assassins who work with various governments across the planets who go out and kill anyone who opposes them. Because of the corruption, a new alliance was formed to fight against the injustices of The League called the Sentella made up of various species and classes of people, most hide their identities and keep up their own lives outside of the Sentella.
The last book in this series was about Dancer Hauk, an Andarian. It went into the culture, society and politics of the Andarian race which is pretty messed up, mostly because of their corrupt royal family and their twisted rules and beliefs.
This book is about Talyn Batur. Talyn was born a bastard whose father is an outcast and like most societies, bastards get treated poorly but his father was from one of the greatest bloodlines of his people and if just one of his paternal family members would have stepped forward and claimed him, he would have been high up in society. His mother is of a great bloodline, the Winged Blood Clan Batur, but that doesn’t help him much. Talyn has suffered the ridicule and rules of his people all of his life. He had to attend school with another race of people who hated Andarians. He entered the military but because of his low birth, the only way he could advance was to agree to fight in the public arena. He is the champion of that sport now but it doesn’t do him much good now that he has a new commanding officer who hates him. His C.O., Chrisen Anatole, is the great nephew of the queen and enjoys messing with Talyn and making his life hell.
It is illegal for Talyn to ever marry or have children. Most whore houses won’t even allow Talyn to enter because of his low status. Every relationship in Andaria requires a contract whether it be a couple living together or a marriage so when Talyn sees an ad with a beautiful woman on it for a companion agency, he contacts the agency for a contract with her.
Felicia is also a bastard but her father claimed her and she was born while her mother and father were in a legal contract. Her father is an advisor to the queen and has a high standing in society. He was married but contracted with Felicia’s mother as a legal companion. Felicia wants to be a physician and has decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a companion in order to pay for her schooling and since there isn’t many other options open for a person of her caste.
She jumps at the chance to contract with Talyn because her agency is trying to force her to accept another contract with a male who, when interviewing her, treated her awful and refused most of her requests that she was asking for in her contract. Most males seeking a companion are either older married men or men with cruel steaks who can’t get anyone else. Talyn accepted all of her requests and was super nice, not to mention hot.
Talyn and Felicia have an immediate attraction and start to fall for one another but his C.O. starts making trouble for them. His C.O. already hates him. What Talyn doesn’t know is why. Chrisen knows who Talyn’s father is and knows that by right, if anyone from the great family of the War Hauks had claimed him, Talyn would be higher up on the food chain of society than he is and he is threatened by that. He messes with Talyn’s check-in times which makes Talyn late. Whenever he is late, he gets beaten and it goes on his record. He’s making Talyn look like a disciplinary nightmare. Talyn learns that Chrisen is abusing the females at the base. When Talyn sticks up for them, the females, who up until that moment had always sneered and looked down on him, all salute him and one of them even backs him up on a battle against an enemy but it pisses Chrisen off so bad that he shoots Talyn’s ship out of the air. Talyn ends up in the hospital. Everyone knows what happened but no one can do anything about it.
Now, Chrisen is trying to buy out Felicia’s contract with her agency. If he gets ahold of Felicia he will surely kill her or maim her. Chrisen also has had Talyn arrested and deported him to a planet that is practically uninhabitable. Some of the animals and humanoid species who live there are deformed from all the chemical warfare. Chrisen, his brother and the crown prince had Talyn’s legs broken and dropped him off on the planet to die.
I finished this book in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. It sounds so cliché to say, “I couldn’t put it down.” But it the truth.
The next book is about Fain, Talyn’s father, who we have seen in other books but don’t know a lot about him except that he is an outcast from Andarian society. He has always fought for the good guys and he just didn’t seem like the kind of man who would leave his son but that is what he did according to this book. Sherrilyn Kenyon is a master of creating tortured heroes and making someone seem bad from another character’s viewpoint and then when their story is written, they are actually a hero….just look at Acheron and Styxx in the Dark Hunter series.
Anyway, I’m super excited for the next book, Born of Betrayal, which comes out in November.