Dragonsworn – Dark-Hunter Series #21 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dragonsworn

By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunter #21/Hunter Legends (First I’ve heard of this one)/Lords of Avalon #?/Were-Hunter #? I’m kind of lost to where each of these are at but I will try to go over them and number them correctly soon.

———–

Another great adventure by Sherrilyn Kenyon! This time she paired a dragon named Falcyn with a daimon named Medea who, inadvertently, get sucked into another realm along with her sort-of-kind-of brother Urian and his grandson Blaise who thinks he is his brother.

Medea needs Falcyn’s dragonstone to heal her people from a disease her grandfather, Apollo the god, brought down upon them. Morgen Le Fey, the evil leader of Camelot and Apollo also want the stone so they keep sending their minions after them and setting traps to try to steal it.

I’m not sure I like the Lords of Avalon spin on this series because it just complicates an already complex storyline and I get a little lost. I have read all of this author’s series except for the Lords of Avalon series which was her first series she ever wrote under the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor. I did read the first one but really didn’t like it that much so I never read the rest. I’m glad I did read that first one though because it helped me understand some of the references in this book.

I won’t put spoilers in but there was a revelation in this book which will have an impact on Urian but I’m not sure it will be a good thing. You will have to read it to find out.

There are still a lot of characters who need their story told like Jared, Savitar and my favorite Jaden just to name a few.

I can’t wait for the next one but I hope it veers away from this Camelot story and more back to the Dark-Hunter side of it.

 

DRAGONMARK – Dark-Hunter #26 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark Hunter #26, Dragons Rising #1, Lords of Avalon #5

I usually am blown away by almost all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s series except the Lords of Avalon series which I didn’t even know existed for the longest time because she wrote the series under the pseudonym of Kinley MacGregor. I’m not really sure what I didn’t like about it but I just was not that into it. I wasn’t so blown away by this book either. Don’t get me wrong! This was a great book but it just didn’t live up to the usual awesomeness of a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. I guess it is kind of unfair to her to rate this book lower than perfect just because I’ve grown to expect perfection from Sherrilyn.

This story still evoked a lot of emotions from me which is a good thing. It was a story of love and loss where the hero has to choose between having what he wants most in life or saving the world from destruction.

A lot of the story was about Morgen Le Fey, the evil queen of Camelot which ties into Sherrilyn’s Lords of Avalon series.

I would try to give a summary of the book but it was way too long and complicated to explain fully without writing pages and pages and maybe giving out spoilers. I can say that the book might have been a lot shorter if there wasn’t so much of previous book’s story’s included in this book. There were chapters of other books just inserted into this story. I mean, word for word like cut and pasted into this book. Sherrilyn put out a statement that explained that she did this because she felt it was pertinent to this story but I think she could have summarized it and it and we could have got the gist of it just as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Knight of Darkness – Lords of Avalon Series #2 – Kinley MacGregor

This is the second book in the Lords of Avalon series by Kinley MacGregor also known as Sherrilyn Kenyon. I don’t believe there are any more books in the series but the idea and at least one of the characters (Blaise) are continued in the last two books that were released of the Dark-Hunter series, Son of No One and Dragonbane.

Long ago, the realms of Avalon and Camelot were separated from the realm of man. After King Arthur was defeated and killed, the evil Morgen Le Fey took over Camelot while the good guys took over Avalon.

Varian is the son of Lancelot and an evil woman named Narishka who is one of Morgen Le Fey’s minions. Because of his mother’s trickery to get into Lancelot’s bed, Lancelot never treated Varian very well and none of the other knights in Avalon like or trust Varian except for Merlin who uses him as her assassin.

When Merlin learns that one of the six Grail Knights has been killed, Merlin knows she has a spy in her ranks so she sends Varian to find out what happened. The existence of the Grail Knights is only known by a select few and if Morgen learns the identities of the remaining five, she could find the Grail and become the most powerful person in the universe. Each Grail Knight knows a piece of the puzzle to unlock the whereabouts of the Grail.

Merewyn used to be the most beautiful woman on Earth, said to be even more beautiful than Helen of Troy. When her father tried to marry her off, Merewyn made a deal with Narishka to become ugly so that the man would not want to marry her and in return she would become Narishka’s servant for one cycle of the moon. But Narishka tricked her because in the land of Glastonbury, a land that was also sucked up when Avalon and Camelot were ripped from the realm of man, the cycle of the moon never completes so Merewyn has been Narishka’s servant for centuries while maintaining her hideous appearance.

Everyone in Glastonbury and Camelot treat Merewyn with disdain and disgust because of her hideous appearance but when Varian goes to Glastonbury to find out what happened to the Grail Knight, he is kind to Merewyn. Narishka sees this and realizes Varian’s one weakness is compassion and decides to use it against him. Narishka slaps a golden bracelet that negates magick onto Varian and imprisons him in Camelot. She makes a deal with Merewyn to give back her beauty and freedom if she agrees to be nice to Varian and take him food and water.

Varian sees through the rouse though and tells Merewyn that he knows she is the same person as the hideous creature and that he knows what his mother is trying to do. Narishka wants him to come to work for the dark side. Merewyn asks Varian if he will take him with her if she frees him and he agrees so Merewyn gets Blaise to help them.

We met Blaise in the first book. I actually liked Blaise better than any of the other characters in the Lords of Avalon series because of his sarcastic wit and his admitted save-his-own-butt attitude. He is a mandrake which is a dragon mixed with some other species but Blaise was abandoned by his family because of his Albinism. In his human form, he is almost blind but that does not make him any less lethal. He lives in Camelot acting as one of the bad guys but he is a spy for Merlin. The reason Merewyn knew that he would help them is because she saw the mark on his shoulder while he was bathing in the river but never knew what it was until the Grail Knight was killed and she saw the same mark on his shoulder. Merewyn knows that Blaise is also a Grail Knight.

Blaise and Merewyn are able to free Varian but unable to take the bracelet off his arm so he cannot use his magick to flash them out of the realm. They end up having to run to the Valley of No Return which is exactly what it sounds like. Morgen banishes all her lovers there once she gets bored of them. No one has ever returned and it is said that the land itself is treacherous with still water that explodes and trees that start on fire. Varian, Merewyn and Blaise may be stuck there forever.

This book was okay but lacked the wow-factor that I associate with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s writing. It is probably because she wrote it a long time ago…at least I think. If anyone has ever followed my reviews, they would know that Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author of all time so to say anything negative makes me feel like I am betraying her. I think if this were any other author, I might have loved the book but because I have set Sherrilyn on my really ornate and beautiful imaginary pedestal, I hold her to a higher standard than other authors. I know it is unfair to her yet I can’t help it. If I could just believe Kinley MacGregor was a separate person from Sherrilyn Kenyon, I could really like this book because I would not have set my expectations so high.

Sword of Darkness – Lords of Avalon – Kinley MacGregor

Sword of Darkness

Lords of Avalon

I thought I had read everything that Sherrilyn Kenyon had ever written besides her Manga and Comic series (I have never liked Comics or Manga but I would like to buy them one day just for the pictures) but I guess I was wrong. I’ve been to her website a thousand times…and that isn’t an exaggeration…and I’ve seen the Lords of Avalon books on her website but I just thought she was promoting another author named Kinley MacGregor so I ignored it. Sherrilyn sometimes mentions in her books that someone is reading a Kinley MacGregor novel so I just thought it was one of her favorite authors that she decided to mention. I did not realize that Kinley MacGregor was a pseudonym for Sherrilyn Kenyon until I read the reviews for this book. Hmmm…I learn something new every day.

On SK’s website, it says the original release date was in 2005, long after her Dark-Hunter series was under way, so I had to wonder why she would want to write under a pseudonym. Why do already famous authors do that? I could see her using the name Kinley MacGregor if the book was a Historical Romance about Scotland because the name is definitely Scottish and by using a Scottish surname, it could make her seem more authentic but this is a book about Avalon and Camelot so that does not fit here. I wonder if she wrote the Lords of Avalon, which consists of two books and then spills over into the Dark-Hunter series in Son of No One and Dragonbane which were the last two books released, before she ever wrote the Dark-Hunter Series and then decided to release them later. I only wonder this because these books are so different from her current style of writing which is contemporary and humorous and sort of down to earth. The Lords of Avalon has a fairy tale feel which was okay but not what I am used to with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Let’s just say that I am glad I didn’t read the Lords of Avalon before I read her other works or I might not have been such a slobbering fan like I am now. I feel so bad for saying that like I am betraying my loyalty. I’m not saying these books are bad…in fact, they are pretty good…but they just aren’t the style of writing that I prefer. A note from the author at the beginning of the book did say that she started this idea while she was in college but it didn’t say when she wrote it but I’m guessing it was right around that time or shortly afterwards.

This is about Avalon and Camelot. King Arthur has long since fallen and died at the hands of his nephew Mordred, Morgen’s son. I wasn’t sure on the details but Avalon and Camelot are in a different realm. Morgen, Arthur’s evil sister, has taken over Camelot which is a dark and dreary place while the remaining Knights of the Round Table are in Avalon which is a paradise.

It starts out with a woman named Seren standing before the guild masters waiting for them to examine her work, cloth that she had worked on in her spare time for the last year and she knew it was perfection. If the guild masters approve of her work, she could finally become a journeywoman and be part of the guild and actually be paid for her work instead of working as a servant, weaving cloth for others. The guild masters tell her it is not good enough and give her back her cloth. Someone tells her as she is leaving that there are just too many people already in the guild and unless someone dies, she’ll never get into the guild. She leaves with her hopes drowned.

Outside, two knights approach her and tell her their names, Gawain and Agravain. She asks, “As in the tales of King Arthur?” They tell her that that is exactly who they are and that she needs to come with them because she is to be the mother of the next Merlin. Of course, she thinks they are crazy because the tales of King Arthur are just a story not real life. Plus, she cannot be seen walking with two unknown men or she will be thrown out of her home. Master Rufus threw out Gilda, one of the other apprentices, just for walking home from Mass with a young man. Now, she worked in a brothel.

They tell her they need to protect her from the MODs, Minions of Death, who will take her to Morgen. Seren thought they had lost their minds so she ran from them. A gorgeous knight in black on a black horse saved her. He held out his hand and pulled her up on the horse. They race towards the woods with the other two knights chasing behind them.

Seren believes she has been saved until the gorgeous knight whispers something in a strange language and the gargoyle decoration on the bridle comes to life to go after the two knights behind them. The black knight tells her to sleep and she instantly falls asleep.

Kerrigan is the black knight. After she falls asleep, he turns around and yells to Gawain and Agravain and tells them, “She is ours.” And then tells them to have Merlin hand over what he wants or the woman will die.

Kerrigan takes her to Camelot which is in another dimension where he is king and champion. He started out life as a poor child whose mother was a prostitute who berated and abused him. He had to steal to eat and when his mother tried to sell his body to some of her clients, he killed her. When the authorities found out, they chased him into the woods where he found a sword embedded into a boulder. No, not Excalibur but Caliburn, a sword created by the fey to channel the darker powers. Kerrigan was able to pull the sword from the boulder. Morgen appeared to him and promised that he could be king of Camelot blah blah blah and he agreed.

As long as Kerrigan hold Caliburn, he is immortal. If he gets the round table from Merlin like he wants, he could be even more powerful than Morgen which isn’t really a good thing because Kerrigan is just as evil as Morgen, or at least, that is what everyone says. Morgen seems a lot more evil. She plays evil games and loves to be cruel. I didn’t see that in Kerrigan. I just saw a man who wanted to keep his power because he never wanted to be poor or helpless again.

This is a story about a peasant woman taming a dark lord. Seren was just too innocent and good for me to really get into her. I liked the idea of the story but it was just okay for me.

I am currently reading the second book of Lords of Avalon but I am so bored with it that I haven’t finished it. I read a few pages and then find other things to do. This has never happened before while reading anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon and I feel bad for saying it but it is true.

DRAGONBANE – Dark-Hunter Series #26 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is book #26 in the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The Dark-Hunter Series has different series within the series and the books tie in with other series that the author has written. I believe this one ties into Hellchaser and Were-Hunter which are both part of the Dark-Hunter Series and Lords of Avalon which is a different series altogether. I know! It can be very confusing but oh so worth it to read them. Plus, each book is contained within itself and designed to be read without having to read the rest of the series…BUT once you have read a Sherrilyn Kenyon book, you have to have more. It’s like they’re made of crack or some addictive drug.

Maxis Drago has been a part of the series for quite a while. We don’t know much about him except that he is a dragon in his true form and lives in the attic of the Sanctuary, a huge restaurant and bar in New Orleans that is supposed to be neutral ground for any species, god, demon or whatever. The Peltier family (bears in their other form) own and run it and their residence is attached.

The entire book is packed with information and history about Maxis and how he became known as the Dragonbane. It is long and complicated but I will try to describe it the best I can without spoiling the book. I’m going to do it simply and not go into too much detail but there is way more to it. I just don’t want to write pages and pages.

Thousands of years ago, a king and a god did experiments on animals, trying to join their spirits or souls with Apollites (a race that the god Apollo made in his arrogance, thinking he was better than Zeus) trying to beat the curse on the Apollite race where they die painfully at the age of 27 because the kings sons were Apollites. The king had two sons, Eumon and Linus who he planned on joining with the animals to save them from dying of the curse. Eumon was a good man but Linus was a whiny, spoiled little snot.

Maxis and his brother Illarion were captured and made part of these experiments. The experiments ended up making two different kinds of “Were-Hunters” or animal and human mixes; those that are born in animal form and later can shift to their human form were called Katagaria and those that are born in human form who can later shift into their animal form were called Arcadian. Katagaria can also be born in human form and be thought of as Arcadian but can later become Katagaria…I’m not sure of the science or story behind that bit.

Linus wanted to be joined with a dragon but his brother was joined with a dragon instead while Linus was joined with a wolf. Linus was jealous of this. Long story made short. Maxis ended up being branded as the Dragonbane, physically marked and branded. The story that everyone has been told and handed down for generations was that Maxis killed one of the princes which made an avalanche of problems, the biggest being the gods made a curse on all of the Were-Hunters pitting Katagaria against Arcadian and forever warring against each other. For that, all Were-Hunters hate the Dragonbane but they have no idea it is Maxis.

The book starts off with the bar, Sanctuary, closing at 4am. It closes to the humans at that time but is open to the paranormal clientele for the remainder of the night. A group of female Arcadian Amazon dragon-slayers led by their queen, Nala, comes down the stairs holding a knife to one of the Peltier brother’s necks and demands to have the mate of their tribeswoman handed over to them. Of course, no one knows that Maxis is the one who they are referring to so they tell Nala to basically bite the big one. Then another Amazon woman walks down the stairs and tells them that her mate is not there so all of the other Amazons teleport away.

The Amazon woman ends up being Maxis’ mate, Seraphina, who he has not seen in thousands of years because she betrayed him. One part of the curse against Were-Hunters is that they don’t get to choose their own mates. The Fates choose them instead. When two Were-Hunters meet and if the Fates decide they should be mated, sometimes it seems just to be cruel, both Were-Hunters receive a tattoo on their bodies. Usually, the mark is on their hands and it burns when appears. After the mark appears, the two are forever tied to each other. The male can never have sex with another female again because it renders them impotent for all other women and makes them physically sick and in pain if they attempt to have sex with anyone but their mate. So Max has been abstinent ever since he left Seraphina.

Maxis met Seraphina in a tavern just after his brother Hadyn was killed. He was there mourning. Seraphina was there because two times a year her kind go into heat and need to have sex so they go into the nearby towns and search for lovers. She seduced Maxis, thinking it would be a one night stand but then the Fates mated them. In their passion, they didn’t ask anything about each other but then Sera saw the Dragonbane mark on Maxis’ thigh and she knew he was…or she thought…he was a Katagaria dragon, her enemy. She and her tribe hunt and kill Katagaria dragons. When she was a child, a group of Katagaria dragons killed her whole village including her mother. She believes they are unfeeling animals.

They work it out and he agrees to go live with Seraphina and her tribe but the tribe is awful to Maxis. He endures anyway. Sera always sided with her tribe and queen. She was also demanding. Amazon’s believe the female is the boss and expect the male to do as they say and she demanded that Maxis be waiting for her in camp when she returned from battle and for him to have her dinner waiting for her. But while she is gone, the tribeswomen paw him and touch him inappropriately along with treating him poorly.

Once while she is gone, Nala tries to force Maxis to have sex with her and when she got forceful with him, he physically removed her from his tent. When Seraphina returned, Nala lied to her and said Maxis attacked her and demanded that Seraphina put a special magickal collar on him that would prevent him from shifting fully into his dragon form and bring him to her for punishment. And Seraphina did! Nala and her tribe almost killed him, cutting up his wings and beating him. He told Seraphina that he never wanted to see her again. His brother, Illarion, rescued him and took him away.

Now, Seraphina wants Maxis’ help. She tells him that his children need him. What children? Yeah, she was pregnant with his twins when he left and due to a long series of events, including a Zeus turning her tribe into stone, she never got around to finding him to tell him. Their son and daughter were taken by the gallu demon, Kessar, who is demanding the Dragonbane in exchange for the children (young adults, Were-Hunters age more slowly and plus they were entombed in stone for a long time). Kessar has gotten ahold of The Emerald Tablet and with the Dragonbane’s heart can do some sort of spell that will help him kill Stryker and the daimons he leads. Stryker is Kessar’s enemy but once was an ally until Kessar betrayed him. The daemons have learned that if they feed off of gallu souls that they can walk in daylight so Kessar wants to kill them.

What Sera doesn’t know, is that Nala is in league with Kessar. She made an agreement with him to hand over Seraphina’s children if Kessar released her tribe from the stone. And that Kessar has discovered that Maxis is the father of the children and he knows something about Maxis that he could use to destroy the world and even rule it. Kessar begins making plans that could release The Destroyer otherwise known as Apollymi, who would destroy the whole world and only leave darkness behind.

I gobbled up the pages of this book because I am such a fan of this series. I was lost in the drama, politics and history of the story which can get downright confusing and complicated. I found myself having to look up a few things to try to remember certain legends and why a certain law or curse happened or who certain people were. I mean, I know the characters in the books but there have been 26 of them so far and I forget who is related to which god or demon and so forth. Luckily, Sherrilyn’s website is FANTASTIC. It’s not just a page that shows her books and upcoming events or releases but she has a list of characters and their basic backgrounds, a family tree for one of her series and even a playlist to go along with each book. I am not sure she has a list of terms or if she does, how to get to them but I Googled some of the terms which brought me to that particular term on her website but I didn’t see an actual page that had the terms. That is okay though. Her website is better than any other author that I have seen.

I am currently reading a book that I have somehow missed. How the hell did I do that? It has multiple Dark-Hunter short stories or novellas in it. I read the first one, House of the Rising Son and then took a quick break to read this book but will continue reading the rest of the stories. I’m also thinking about re-reading the series, something I have never done with any series before except for Narnia when I was a kid. That should take me a good chunk of time and keep me busy until the her next book comes out…I read her other series too so I know the next book in The League series comes out in about three months.

I recommend this book series or any of her book series to everyone who likes paranormal romances. Even if you aren’t so into the romance part, the plot and storyline with all the myth and creatures is so interesting that it is worth it.

dragonlion logo