I have been wanting to re-read this series for quite a while but after reading Blood Red Kiss, a book with stories from three different authors including Kresley Cole’s first book from Immortals After Dark, I decided to procrastinate no longer.
It never ceases to amaze me how much I have forgotten when I re-read a series. Well…Okay, I admit that I have not re-read many books, let alone, entire series. I’ve only re-read one series so far, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, but I was surprised while reading each book about what I forgot and missed.
This series follows the creatures of the Lore. The Lore is just what it sounds like, the hidden world of creatures from folklore and myth. They live hidden amongst humans and in different realms. Every 500 or so years, the Accession happens which is a war between factions of the Lore for ultimate supremacy.
This book was about Emmaline Troy who is part vampire and part Valkyrie. Her mother died of sorrow after she and Emmaline’s father broke up. Emmaline was raised by her aunts who hid her from the vampires for some reason. She has no clue who her father is but she is curious to find out who he is so she sets off for the first time by herself in her 70 years and goes to Paris where she knew her father and mother had lived together before she was born. I probably should point out that Emmaline looks like she is in her early twenties.
She has been sheltered all her life and thought of as meek too nice and unskilled. Her aunts are hardcore Valkyries who love to kill vampires who they think are the scourge of the earth. In fact, most of the Lore thinks of vampires as leeches so they shun them. It hasn’t been very good for Emmaline’s self-image.
Lachlain MacRieve is the leader of the Lykae Clan. He has been chained below the city of Paris in catacombs for one hundred and fifty years being tortured by an eternal flame. He dies just to be revived again over and over. He was imprisoned by the king of the Horde vampires, Demestriu and his right hand man Ivo the Cruel.
Lykae have predestined mates and sometimes, they wait centuries for them. When Lachlain senses his mate is right above him in the city, he fights his chains before the fire starts again and weakens him. He ends up amputating the bottom part of a leg in order to free himself and spends the next week regenerating it enough to be able to search for her. When he finds her, he is horrified to find out she is a vampire.
Lachlain takes Emmaline hostage because he has just come from being tortured by vampires and he has rage issues. Plus, she is his mate and even though she is a vampire, he doesn’t want to lose her. I had a lot of problems with Lachlain’s handling of Emma throughout this book but I had to keep reminding myself that they aren’t human. They have to appear to behave similar to humans to fit into the world but that is where the similarity ends. They, at least the Lykae, are still animalistic by nature. At first, he needed her because he was unfamiliar with the world and its new technology but Lykaes learn and adapt fast. He also needed her credit card to get him back to his castle and clan in Scotland before the full moon. He knows that the vampires are rich so she can afford it.
He has no clue that Emma is part Valkyrie and her aunts will kill him when they get their hands on him.
Meanwhile, vampires are looking for something and have been stalking Valkyrie around the world. Emmaline’s aunts think they could be looking for Emmaline because she may be the last living female vampire. Demestriu had the others killed but no one knows why.
Kresley Cole did an incredible job of developing the romance between Emma and Lachlain. I went from wanting to castrate him to feeling a little sorry for him.
The development of the ongoing story is also incredible. The first time around, I missed a lot of the little nuances and subtle details that seem like they aren’t important to the story but (because I know what happens later) actually are something that will tie into the future story. I have started a list of the weird things that Nix says because she is a soothsayer. She’s nuttier than a Filbert tree at harvest time but she knows a lot more than people think and I believe she has set up a multi-dimensional chessboard and is setting up the game pieces in her favor.
This book was just as enjoyable to read the second time as it was the first time.