The Lore – Immortal creatures from folklore such as vampires, Lykae, Valkyrie, ghouls, demons, Centaurs and so on. The more human looking creatures live right alongside humans without ever revealing themselves.
The Accession – A war that occurs every 500 to 600 years where factions pick sides and alliances. It is a sort of population control for the Lore since a lot of creatures will die but also it is when a lot of creatures find their mates.
Pravus – an army of evil creatures all over the Lore made up of Horde Vampires, evil sorcerers, snakelike creatures called Cerunnos and more
Vertas – an army of not evil but not so innocent immortals made up of Valkyrie, Lykae, Witches, Fae and some vampires.
This is the book that I have waited for since Lothaire’s first appearance in this series which I believe was in book #2, A Hunger Like No Other. At first, we just had brief glimpses of him doing odd things like tracing in during a fight and just watching instead of helping his fellow evil vampires but we got to know him better as the series progressed. Lothaire often helped out his enemies out of an impossible situation for an open-ended vow to help him at a later date but then later, we would find out that Lothaire often had carefully manufactured the entire situation in the first place. Evil yet brilliant!
We got to know him better in the last few books where he followed one couple down the Amazon and swooped in at the last moment to break a finger off La Dorada to get to a golden ring, causing the tomb that she was in to implode and almost kill the couple. Then he was imprisoned along with a lot of other Lore creatures in a facility on a mystically concealed island run by the Order, a human run operation intent on studying, torturing and destroying all immortals. The facility was impossible to escape but Lothaire always seem to know something no one else seemed to know and he was right. La Dorada came for the ring, somehow bypassing all the security measures. She magically unlocked all the torques for the Pravus but not for the Vertas and not for Lothaire who she wanted to kill. Two evil sorceresses broke out and helped others break out and then chaos ensued with Pravus and Vertas killing their human captors and the Vertas trying to escape without dying since they still had the torques around their necks which blocked their powers so they were weak compared to the Pravus who were taking this opportunity to kill any Vertas they could find.
Lothaire managed to knock La Dorada down a huge crevice in the earth and ended up making a temporary truce with a ragtag team made up of a Valkyrie, two Beserkers, a half-vampire half-phantom teenager and a dark fae. But Lothaire no longer had the ring. The commander of the Order took it off the island as La Dorada showed up. We, the readers, learned that Lothaire, The Enemy of Old was not always lucid because he had drunk so much blood from so many victims that he saw their memories and it all got to be too much at times. He always is ten steps ahead of everyone else except for Nix, the soothsaying Valkyrie. Although he betrayed the group at one point, he ended up saving them in the end. Of course, he did this all for his own Endgame not out of the goodness of his heart. Yet, I fell in love with him.
In this book, he has found his Bride. Vampires have one true mate who they call their Bride. Horde Vampires like Lothaire grow up with a beating heart until it stops in their late twenties or early thirties. They also stop being able to have sex. It just won’t work until their Bride comes along and their heart starts beating again. It is called blooding. He had found his Bride before he had been captured or even stole the ring. He needed the ring for a specific reason. You see, his Bride is an ancient evil goddess of death and destruction named Saroya who was cursed by her sister to inhabit the body of mortals. Her godhood was taken away and she has traveled from one body to the next. She possesses the person and most of the time, the human recedes into the background and lets Saroya rule but this new human who she has possessed is too strong and fights Saroya. Saroya can only surface when her host is sleeping or weakened.
Lothaire had been foretold by his seer that a young hillbilly girl was his Bride but she was only fourteen at the time. He kept an eye on her here and there but refused to believe she was his Bride was human, a species he loathed. Since his heart never beat when he spied on her, it made his belief stronger. But then one night, he came upon her at an altar surrounded by blood and gore from her recent killing of humans. He was instantly blooded. Saroya instantly knew she was his Bride and used it to her advantage because she knew that a vampire needs relieve himself sexually when he is blooded or he will go crazy. She made him vow to the Lore that he would expel the human soul from the body and make her immortal before she let him lick the blood from her while he relieved himself. She told him she couldn’t have sex with him because he might hurt her weak human body.
Elizabeth Pierce aka Ellie was possessed by Saroya when she was eighteen years old. Before then she had a poor but happy life. She lived in the Appalachian Mountains in a trailer with her mom and toddler brother. Her father had died in a coal mine collapse. She had big plans to go to college, marry and have two children but Saroya ruined her life. Whenever Ellie went to sleep she would wake up to carnage. Saroya loved to kill people just to kill them. Her family figured out that she was possessed so they called for an exorcism but it went terribly wrong with Saroya killing all the decans trying to help her. Her mama had called the cops because she was so desperate and Elizabeth decided to end the nightmare by blazing out with her daddy’s rifle…suicide by cop. She did but Lothaire showed up and blocked the bullets. She thought he was a demon. He told her that he was going to allow the police to take her to jail where she would be safe and where she couldn’t hurt Saroya while he searched for a way to make her immortal. He told her he would come for her in about two years.
Five years later, Elizabeth lay on a table awaiting execution. She had not fought her fate legally and just wanted to rid the world of Saroya but once again, Lothaire showed up and traced her away to his New York apartment. He had just escaped the island. He was furious that she had tried to get herself killed again. He told her that he would kill her mother and brother if she ever tried to kill herself again.
Lothaire treated Elizabeth poorly by always berating her and telling her how superior he and Saroya were to her. Saroya only surfaced long enough for Lothaire to buy her tons of clothes and jewels and then she told him that if he had needs to use Elizabeth not her. Lothaire hated that he found himself drawn to Elizabeth and Elizabeth was just as frustrated that she was attracted to a vampire who wanted to extinguish her soul. At one point, she asked him how he knows that Saroya and not is his Bride. Lothaire told her that fate would not be so cruel to him.
I got a kick out of Elizabeth’s personality. She did not care that she was a hillbilly and she knew Lothaire could not hurt her so she pushed his buttons constantly. I loved it. Lothaire was not used to anyone challenging him ever.
Lothaire kept trying to locate the ring which would grant him wishes for his Endgame which was to make Saroya into a vampire and to win his two thrones to which he was the heir.
This was one of those books that you read where you only put it down because you have to do something like sleep or go to the bathroom. I wanted to get to the end yet I didn’t want it to end. Luckily, there is more to the series so it really doesn’t end here.