Born of Vengeance – The League #10 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

I had a feeling when I read the last book of this series that this book would be about Bastien Cabarro and I was right.

Bastien was the youngest child of three of the emperor of the Kirovarian empire. Since he was not expected ever rule, he had a reputation of being a spoiled womanizer.

Ember had just caught her boyfriend in bed with her youngest sister Alura so she lit her boyfriend’s fighter craft on fire. As punishment, she had to take on Bastien as a wingman. She had never met him but had heard about him and after just breaking up with a player, she was not looking forward to having to work with him.

When she went to go meet him, their station was bombed and her sister Alura was caught underneath a bunch of rubble. Bastien saved Alura and was hurt in the rescue but he managed to ask Ember out on a date anyway. At the hospital, with her other sisters and her parents Alura told her parents that she was going to marry him because she liked that he was a prince. Alura has a nasty habit of sleeping with her sister’s boyfriends and it pisses Ember off so she tells her that she has already accepted a date with Bastien even though she hadn’t.

A year later, Ember and Bastien were still dating. His family hated that she was a pleb and not of royal blood. His father met with her one day and told her that Bastien was planning on asking her to marry him but he would rather see Bastien dead than married to her. Just after the meeting, Bastien had called her in the middle of a battle in his fighter craft. This was not unusual but the timing seemed odd since she had just left his father who had threatened to have him killed if he married her. She decided to break it off with him rather than see him die. She had him moved out of her unit and into his sister’s unit.

Bastien had no idea what had happened. Not only had Ember turned down his proposal, leaving him on bended knee in a restaurant, she also had moved him to his sister’s unit where she knew he hated it. His sister treated him like a moron and was always berating him. Ember had told him she needed time to figure things out yet she wouldn’t even return his calls.

A month or so later, Alura asked him out to dinner so he called Ember to ask permission. He thought she would yell at him and tell him he couldn’t which would prove to him that she still cared about him but instead she told him she didn’t care who he went out with or slept with. He went out with Alura but ended up taking her home and dropping her off at her apartment before the date ended because she annoyed him so much that he couldn’t stand being around her. When Ember found out that he had actually gone on the date, she walked up to him and kneed him in the crotch.

That night, he went out to a bar and got drunk. He woke up in bed naked next to Alura. He couldn’t remember anything though. Five weeks later, Alura announced she was pregnant in front of a dinner party where his parents and other important people of society were attending. The only thing he could do to prevent a giant scandal was tell everyone that he was going to marry her.

Alura, of course, was not pregnant. She was just a scheming bitch. She was actually scheming with Bastien’s uncle Barnabas who wanted the throne for himself.

Bastien married Alura which broke my heart because there are slight hints about Ember thinking that she will never tell him her secret now and her getting sick which makes me believe she is pregnant. Alura faked a miscarriage later.

Bastien and Alura’s marriage was not a happy one. He tried to avoid her as much as possible so he stayed with his parents at the castle a lot. One night, he was in the shower and heard a noise. When he went to check it out, he found his entire family slaughtered. The League, the police force for the whole galaxy, showed up and he was arrested and convicted for murdering his family. Alura went around to media outlets and lied about how horrible Bastien was and she testified against him at the trial.

Bastien was sentenced to death but a letter arrived just in time from the Emperor of the Triosan, his Uncle Aro, asking for leniency. The Overseer or magistrate said she wouldn’t sentence him to death but would make him a Ravin and if he survived fifteen years, she would set him free. Ravins rarely live past six weeks. They are implanted with a tracking device and used as practice prey for The League. They hunt them down and assassinate them. So, the Overseer basically handed him a death sentence anyway. He promised her that he would survive and come back for the real killer’s head.

Barnabas took over the throne and declared Ember’s family traitors except for Alura who made statements against them to save her own skin. Ember and her family went into hiding.

Throughout the book, we read about events that we already saw through the eyes of other characters in previous books and since I had read those stories, I knew that Bastien had made it for at least a little while.

My heart ached for both Bastien and Ember for the things they endured.

This series has become very complex so there are a lot of characters and events that I have forgotten some of it so I got a little lost but I enjoyed the cameos from the various characters who we have come to love in the series. I have no clue who the next book will be about but I really want The League and their allies to be destroyed.

 

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.

InVision – Chronicles of Nick #7 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

I think I should have re-read the series again or, at least, the previous book before I read this book because I was having trouble remembering what happened or who certain characters were. Sherrilyn Kenyon has written such a wonderfully complicated and complex series and has so much action packed into the books that I am having trouble keeping up with everything. Also, although this is a spinoff of the Dark-Hunter series, events have been changed because Nick has been forewarned about them by his future self so I get a little confused sometimes. And because I have read many books in the year since the last book came out, I just can’t remember everything. Besides stopping a few times to look up a few things, I loved this book.

I adore Nick with his Cajun drawl, smartass mouth, tacky Hawaiian shirts that his mom buys him and his loyalty and love for his friends and his mom. He cracks me up most of the time with all of his sarcastic remarks and his thoughts. He has such a heavy and dark load on his shoulders with trying to save the world from himself and all, yet he keeps a good or mostly good attitude towards life. He’s just an all-around great character.

A ton of stuff happened in this book. Let’s see if I can summarize it. Nick was devastated when his friend Zavid died in the last book but at the beginning of this book he discovered that Zavid was still alive in Azmodea, the underworld and, of course, he wants to go rescue him but he just can’t go march off and save his friend when he has to go to school and maintain the illusion of a normal teenage life. His mom has no clue that he is the Malachai demon or that his friends aren’t human or that his cat is really his great-grandfather and an ancient demon. He doesn’t think his mom could handle the truth so he hides it all from her. Plus, he is determined to beat his destiny and have a normal life.

Meanwhile, Noir is abducting all of Nick’s protectors which is making Nick weaker and Noir stronger. Dagon and Nashira went missing without Nick even noticing. He didn’t even realize anything was going on until Aeron disappeared. Nick starts feeling achy and sick which should mean that Noir is getting more powerful but when Jaden and Kaziel go to rescue Aeron and Zavid, they notice Noir is also weak. They are baffled. No being should be able to weaken the Malachai and Noir at the same time. They wonder if another Malachai is in play except there can only be one Malachai at a time.

As I mentioned, the plot and characters are complicated. I get so confused at who is related to whom so I started keeping a chart. I think I have most of it straight but I’m still not sure. I patched most of it together from this book. If you have not read the series, you won’t understand.

Xev is Nick’s great-grandfather on his mom’s side.

Jared is Xev’s son which makes him Cherise’s (Nick’s mom) real father. She was adopted so she has no clue about all of this.

Jaden is Xev and Caleb’s father but they have different mothers.

Azura is Xev’s mother.

Tiamet and Chronus are Jaden’s parents.

Apollymi is Jaden’s sister.

I hope I didn’t get anything wrong. One of greatest loves in genealogy but my ancestors are all dead. They aren’t gods, demons, or immortals who have lived thousands and thousands of years and still look like they are in their teens or 20s.

Sherrilyn Kenyon never disappoints me. She is a literary genius and keeps me wanting for more with all her series and books. She is still my favorite author and will probably always be. It will be hard to wait for the next book in this series.

Born of Legend – The League #9 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Everyone just thought of Jullien eton Anatole as a fat spoiled royal jerk but there is always another story behind what people think they know and see. Anyone who reads this series runs into Jullien throughout the series. He is always high and quite the asshole but in a previous book, we know he saved the families of most of the heroes of the series from being bombed. It was a total shocker and it let us know that there was much more to Jullien than we knew.

This book spans over many years and we see events that coincide with other events in the previous books of the series. The series isn’t always written in chronological order because the events occur over many years and a lot of the events happen concurrently. It gets really confusing and I found myself wishing I had re-read the series before I started this book because I had forgotten so much yet kept remembering events as they transpired but since I saw them from another angle and from another character’s viewpoint from a previous book, it gave me a whole other perspective. Wow! That was a really long run-on sentence and I’m not sure I got my point across exactly as I wanted to but it’ll do.

I absolutely fell in love with Jullien, not because of his tortured childhood and past…or maybe because of it but because of his dark and sarcastic humor, his perseverance and his soft heart towards children. He was shown no love when he was a child yet he was patient and loving toward children. It’s how the book began. He was in a seedy bar on some planet, dying from a poisonous stab wound, when he saw slavers trying to buy a teenage Andarian boy who had spunk and was fighting them all the way. While the other patrons just ignored it, he couldn’t let the slavers take the kid so he decided to use his last strength to free him. The teenager’s mom, Ushara, showed up with her pirate crew and kicked butt and saved Jullien too.

Jullien had a rough life….no that is too soft of a word for it but I can’t think of a word that encompasses the horror that was his life that made me want to cry, vomit and commit murder. His grandmother was an evil power-hungry bitch who made his life miserable but she wasn’t the only one. His own mother wouldn’t even suckle him because she thought he was some reincarnation of her brother come back to haunt her yet she doted on his fraternal twin. A maid found him almost dead in his crib from starvation. After all, he was just the second born twin…a spare part to be ignored or used however anyone wanted for political gain.

After his brother was killed when they were just five or six, he became a target for his grandmother’s rage, ignored by his mother, and used by his cousins. He was teased and berated relentlessly because he was half human and half Andarian. His father’s family despised him because he was Andarian and had fangs while his Andarian family criticized him because of his human side. His grandmother, the ruler of Andaria, told him she killed his brother and she’d kill him if he said anything or angered her in any way. I mean, who tells a child that? Well, I guess someone who would kill a child would say that. Because his Aunt Parisa was involved in the murder of his twin, she and her sons became paranoid that Jullien would say something so they started drugging him. He turned to food for comfort and became overweight which just made him more of a target for everyone’s cruelty, including the media.

Those are some of the milder things that happened to him. His grandmother had a secret prison under the prison where she liked to toss him when she thought he embarrassed her or was becoming unruly. The other prisoners did not take too kindly to a noble being there and you can just guess at the other horrors that happen to a young boy in prison.

It’s a wonder he turned out sane at all or not become a psycho. Jullien did do some awful things himself because of his drugged out state and because he was treated so horribly but he felt guilty from those actions believed he was not worthy of anyone’s love. When he met Ushara, he learned he could be loved but that brought along its own troubles. Now, he had a million enemies and something to lose.

This was an extremely long book and, at times, I thought it was getting tedious with too much emphasis on things that I thought weren’t really relevant to the storyline but I know I should trust Sherrilyn Kenyon because she always has a reason for what she includes in her writing. It may not be significant in this book but it will definitely be relevant to a future book. There was a lot in this book about Trajen Thaumarturgus, Thraix Sparda, Bastien Cabarro, Jupiter Hinto and Chayden Aniwaya so any of these hotties might get their own book. I can’t wait to find out.

Born of Betrayal – The League #10 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Born of Betrayal

The League #10

Finally, it is Fain’s story! Fans of The League series know Fain from previous books but have only had glimpses into his life which just made us more curious about his story and background. He is the brother of Dancer Hauk whose story was in book # 8, Born of Fury.

Over 20 years ago, Fain Hauk gave up his one true love, Galene of the Winged Blood Clan of Batur, in order to protect her and his family. He had no idea that Galene was pregnant with his child when he left Andaria so his son, Talyn, was raised as a bastard and Outcast in accordance with the strict Andarian law and Caste system. Talyn’s story was in book #9, Born of Defiance.

Fain has led a pretty tough life since he has left Andaria but even before he left, things weren’t easy on him. His parents were too concerned with their place in society to dole out any love. They were cruel, petty and hate-filled and caused Fain and his brothers nothing but pain and misery. When he left, Fain was enslaved by Venik, one of the most vicious and feared of the Tavali (a coalition of freighters and pilots who are independent of any tyrannical nation, basically pirates who protect their own) but even though Venik was basically his owner, he viewed Fain as a son or friend. The relationship is complicated to say the least and I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of Venik in future books. The Tavali under Venik secretly fight for the Sentella, a group that opposes The League. The League is an organization of politicians and assassins who were originally meant to keep the peace but it has become corrupt and now rules the Universe by killing anyone who dares to go against them.

Galene and Fain are thrown together for a military assignment where they have to work together against a common enemy. They have a lot to overcome and learn about each other but can they truly ever forgive each other?

I found this book to be just okay. While I liked the overall story, I found the romance didn’t do much for me. I don’t know why. It just didn’t pull at my heartstrings. I found myself more interested in what was happening with all the other characters and the background story than with Fain and Galene. I do look forward to future books though because I need to know what happens with certain characters and what happens with Andaria.

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.