Everyone gives Wren Tigarian a wide berth. He’s quiet, aloof and downright anti-social. Most people thinks he is volatile and unstable. Even he doesn’t trust himself given his family history of his parents killing each other violently. He believes himself to be an abomination because he is a Katagaria Were-Hunter mix between tiger and leopard and half-breeds just aren’t acceptable in the Were-Hunter world. He keeps everyone at a distance by being standoffish and unfriendly. He likes fading into the background so no one notices him and his only friend is a tiny spider monkey named Marvin.
He showed up at Sanctuary twenty years ago and the Peltier family took him in but he knows Mama Bear, Nicolette, really doesn’t want him there. She hates him because she believes he is a threat to her family and to Sanctuary. She has been fed lies by Wren’s cousin and uncle who want Wren’s fortune. When Wren starts hanging around a human female, the daughter of a state senator, Nicolette plots to get rid of him permanently. She thinks that he has become unstable and by hanging out with Margarite, it will expose the Were-Hunters to the human world. She calls for the Omegrion to tell them they have a Slayer on their hands.
I have to say that I think Nicolette is a vicious shrew. I wasn’t sure what to think of the brief glimpses of her in the other books, how she seemed a bit caustic, but I chalked that up to being protective of her children yet I still wasn’t sure I like her. Now, I’m sure I don’t like her. I get that she lost two children because of the ongoing hatred between Arcadians and Katagaria and she has issues with anyone who is a threat to her remaining family but to find out she actually hates having to give refuge to others when she is the one who set up Sanctuary just makes me think of her as cold and uncaring. When she slapped Aimee, her only daughter, for disagreeing with her, I instantly put Nicolette in the I-can’t-stand-this-bitch category.
Margarite is the daughter of a state senator. She was good friends with Nick Gautier before he disappeared and misses him. Nick disappeared after his mother was brutally murdered. The police think he had something to do with it but Margarite thinks it is more likely that Nick went after the killer and ended up dead himself. All her other friends are rich and snobby and she doesn’t feel like she fits in with them.
They all went to college with Nick and had a study group at his house a few nights a week. As a farewell salute to Nick, they decide to go to Sanctuary where Nick’s mom worked and he hung out. They believe it is a biker bar and don’t know that it a neutral zone for all things paranormal. As usual, her friends are being snobbish and rude to the employees at the bar but she is determined to have a good time anyway.
Margarite feels someone staring at her and looks around. She sees the busboy with a monkey on his shoulder staring at her…she thinks…but it is hard to tell with his blonde dreadlocks hanging in his face. When he comes over to take her empty glass away, her friend Blaine gets rude and throws his beer in the busboys face. The busboy immediately goes to attack Blaine but four huge men pull him away. Aimee, the waitress, kicks them all out. Margarite stays behind to see how the busboy is doing and to apologize to him.
Wren works as a busboy for Sanctuary but he is far from poor. His father founded Tigarian Technologies, second only to Microsoft in technology and earnings. He owns 52% of the stock in the company but has little to do with the company itself. When he sees Margarite, he immediately has a weird attraction to her. It’s “weird” because he never is attracted to anyone, especially a human. After her friend throws his beer in his face, he is pissed off. He hates having anything splashed in his face. It was nice of the girl to apologize though.
After Margarite leaves, Wren gets a strange feeling that she is in danger so he flashes outside the bar and finds her surrounded by four muggers. He rescues her but gets shot in the shoulder in the process. Margarite knew the gun went off but had no idea he had been shot. He holds human form, a difficult feat for any Katagaria to do when they are in pain, and takes Margarite home.
Wren knows he shouldn’t be around Margarite, not only because she is human and the daughter of a senator but because he has enemies and he can’t even trust himself not to turn violent and hurt her but he can’t help himself. He likes her and she is the only one who keeps him calm. They start getting close. This is when Nicolette Peltier starts plotting against him.
Nicolette calls the Omegrion together and along with the testimony of his cousin, Zack, who tells the council that Wren killed his parents gets the council to vote for a blood hunt of Wren Tigarian. This is a death sentence.
Wren barely makes it out of Sanctuary alive after the Omegrion assassins try to kill him. With nowhere else to go, he ends up at Margarite’s door. She lets him in but is shocked when he falls to the floor and turns into a beautiful white tigard. Before he lost consciousness, he told her he was being hunted and not to call the police or ambulance. She tries to take care of him the best she can. He wakes up four days later and tells her that the people after him will use her to get to him.
Now, they have to figure out a way to prove him innocent or he will die.
There were some clever plot twists in this book and Sherrilyn Kenyon dug deeper into some of the character’s lives and personalities of the series.
There has been an ongoing story of Aimee and Fang since book #5, Night Play. Aimee is a Were-Hunter bear, the only daughter out of twelve of Nicolette and Aubert Peltier who started and own the Sanctuary. After Fang, a Were-Hunter wolf, was almost killed by Daimons and went into a comatose state, Aimee helped him get back on his feet and heal. Wren has caught them kissing but has kept it a secret because he knows Aimee’s family would never allow it and would probably kill Fang if they found out. Matters just got worse in this book because Fang pretended to use Aimee as a hostage so he could save Wren from being killed by Aimee’s family. Does anyone else see a book starring Aimee and Fang in the near future?
We get a closer look at Savitar, the mysterious gorgeous and a lot scary man who mediates the Omegrion. He has mega powers and doesn’t seem to care about the gods or their wrath. He does what he wants which is usually surfing and catching “the big wave”. Everyone is afraid of him and he has openly admits he loves no one and straddles the fence of good and evil. But I think he is more good than evil. He is supposed to be training Nick as a Dark-Hunter but so far just takes him out surfing. Savitar is all-knowing so he probably has a plan for Nick even though it doesn’t seem like it now.
The one person missing from this story was Acheron. So far, he has made an appearance in all of the books so it was odd that he wasn’t in this one.
Overall, I enjoyed this book the second time around probably as much as much as the first time I read it.
Terms and character profiles to help with this summary
Were-Hunter – A long time ago, a king with the help of a god did magickal experiments on animals of prey and Apollites to save his sons from the Apollite curse of dying when they reach the age of 27 which resulted in humans and animals to shift into each form. There are two kinds of Were-Hunters, Arcadian and Katagaria. The gods cursed them to hate each other so they always fight between the two races.
Arcadian – Were-Hunters who are born human but can shift into animal form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. Arcadians believe they are superior to Katagaria because they are more human. When they sleep, they retain the natural form of a human.
Arcadian Sentinel – soldiers, chosen by the Fates, who hunt down Slayers. Only a few are born to each patria. A Sentinel knows he or she has been chosen because when they reach maturity, geometrical shapes appear and cover one side of their face. Many choose to use their magick to hide the markings to blend in with humans and so other Weres don’t know what they are.
Katagaria – are animal hearted Were-Hunters who are born in animal form and able to transform into human form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. When they sleep, they retain their natural form of an animal.
Slayer – Katagaria who are lost to their animal impulses and attack Arcadians. More violent and vicious Slayers are referred to as True Slayers. Slayers and True Slayers are hunted down by Sentinels. Even other Katagaria look down upon Slayers.
Note: When Were-Hunters have mixed parentage, an Arcadian mother and a Katagaria father or vice-versa, they can be born either as Arcadian or Katagaria. It is rare but a Katagaria can be born in human form so they are thought to be Arcadian but when they reach puberty, their true or natural form will turn out to be their animal.
Metriazo Collar – a collar that Were-Hunter, usually Arcadians, use to dampen the magickal powers of a Were-Hunter. Electrical pulses are sent from the collar into the body of the wearer which keep them from shifting shapes and keeps them in a weakened state. The collar can only we taken off by magick or extreme strength.
Mating – Were-Hunters do not get to choose their own mates. The Fates choose them and the Fates often seem to be cruel about it. Were-Hunters have to have sex in order to find their mate and when they are assigned their mate, matching tribal or geometrical designs are burned into their skin (usually on the palms of their hands but not always). Once the mark appears, the couple has three weeks to complete a mating ritual or the male is rendered impotent for as long as the female is alive. The female can have sex with others but will never have children. Even if they complete the ritual, the male can only have sex with his mate.
Bonded Mates – a mated couple can choose to complete a binding ritual which will tie them together forever. If one dies, the other one dies.
Sanctuary – a neutral zone for all things paranormal. Nicolette and Aubert Peltier aka Mama and Papa Bear set up Sanctuary after two of their cubs were killed by Arcadian Sentinels. Anyone is welcome at the bar even Daimons as long as no one gets violent or sheds blood on the premises. It is also imperative that nobody exposes the paranormal world to the humans who frequent the bar. To humans, Sanctuary is a popular biker bar and attraction in New Orleans.
Omegrion – is the ruling council of the Were-Hunters. One representative from each patria of both Katagaria and Arcadian sit on the council and have a vote. The Omegrion is responsible for setting and keeping the laws of the Were-Hunters. The members also are responsible for punishment of Were-Hunters and call for a blood hunt for any who are deemed a threat.
The Omegrion meet on the Savitar’s moving island of Neratiti. Savitar is the mediator to the Omegrion and nobody messes with Savitar. A glaring reminder of that is the empty seat where the Arcadian jaguar representative used to sit. After pissing Savitar off, Savitar destroyed all of the Arcadian jaguars. There are none left so the seat on the council remains empty.
Acheron – main character of the Dark-Hunter series. He has lots of secrets and until you get to the book named Acheron, he is shrouded in mystery. He was the first Dark-Hunter ever and is over 11,000 years old. We know he is the son of Apollymi, the Atlantean goddess and he has unimaginable powers but he hides most of them and erases anyone’s minds of any events that have revealed powers that he doesn’t want anyone to know he has. He oozes sexuality and danger and nobody but a madman would mess with him.