What a scrumptious read! My favorite so far. Do I say that about each one of these books in this series? I guess they just keep getting better as the story gets deeper and more complex. What is crazy is that I have already read this series once before and although I remember the basic story, I have forgotten details and even the endings of some of the books but because I recall enough of the plot, it makes it all the more exciting to me.
A lot of these books run concurrently alongside the other books so we sometimes know a lot more than what the characters know. For example, in this book Regin, the female protagonist, worries about her half-sister Lucia but Lucia’s book was #9 in the series so we know what happened to her already but since this book is happening along the same time period as Lucia’s story, Regin has no idea what is happening.
Regin the Radiant is a Valkyrie whose skin glows. We have gotten to know Regin through previous books. She is the prankster of the group and loves to kill vampires and bad demons. She’s been known to make demons eat strange things like hubcaps just for kicks. Her best friend and half-sister is Lucia. They spend a lot of time looking for ways to kill an evil god who wakes every Accession. He is intent on abducting Lucia for his own and triggering the end of the world. The Accession is a war that happens every 500 to 600 years in the Lore where factions take sides, alliances are made and a lot creatures from the Lore find their mates. It is meant as a sort of population control since many will die.
Over a thousand years ago, Regin met a Beserker named Aidan the Fierce who fell in love with Regin. He vowed to earn Ohalla and marry her. The god Woden bestows Ohalla on a warrior who fights for him after he has won 200 battles but Aidan couldn’t wait so he had sex with Regin before he became immortal. A vampire killed him just afterwards but he promised to return and find Regin. He has returned over and over again but gets killed directly after they make love. Regin is expecting him again soon.
Declan Chase hates immortals, all of them. He and his parents were tortured by a nest of Neoptera, some of the most dangerous and evil immortals of them all, when he was just 17 years old. He found his brother in the kitchen with his throat slit and after days of torture, his parents didn’t make it but Declan was saved by a man named Webb who told him about the Lore which he called miscreations or miscreats who needed exterminated out of this world. Webb ran something called The Order which captures, studies, tortures and kills immortals and inducted Declan into it. Now, Declan runs a facility on an island where he captures and imprisons immortals of all kinds and studies them.
What Declan doesn’t know is that he is a reincarnation of Aidan the Fierce. He has always been stronger and faster than a mere mortal and started using heroin to calm himself when he was about 14 years old. He still has the doctor at the facility make up a blend with an opiate to control his symptoms. The medicine keeps him numb and emotionless.
But when he captures Regin, he starts to feel something for her and he hates it. He doubles up on his meds and starts running twice as far on the island but nothing stops him from thinking about her. He even tortures her with an IV full of poisonous liquid but feels sick as he is doing it. He has never felt anything for an immortal before.
Regin, of course, knows he is Aidan and tries to convince him of this but he thinks she is just messing with him. Regin knows that if she kisses him, he will remember his past lives and then he will die shortly afterwards but can she do it? He did torture her after all.
The tension between these two was palpable. Kresley Cole writes the story so well that I felt it while I was reading and my emotions ran from hating Declan to feeling sorry for him to cheering him on and hoping he could change and maybe get the girl…if he lived.
There was a lot more happening in this book than the romance/hatefest going on between Regin and Declan. There were other prisoners, some who we have met before in previous books like Carrow and Malkum Slaine who were the stars of the last book and some who were just being introduced in this book like Regin’s cellmates, Natalya the dark fey and Thad, a 17-year-old who-knows-what who just looked like a normal kid. Then there is Brandr, a Beserker who earned Ohalla because he promised Aidan while he was dying that he would always watch over Regin. Lothaire, The Enemy of Old and a powerful vampire, is also a prisoner in the facility. We get to know a lot more about him who I am loving more and more even though he is evil.
Speaking of Lothaire, that is the title of the next book so gotta go read. Bye!