Dark Skye – Immortals After Dark #15 – Kresley Cole

I don’t know which character I liked more in this book, Melanthe or Thronos. They were so different from each other but each was just as flawed…and I like flawed characters. I get sick of reading about heroic and ethical males and perfect virginal females who always want to do the right thing. Why do authors do that?

Melanthe is carefree hedonist while Thronos is a stickler for rules and order. While Melanthe enjoys wine, micro-minis and gold, Thronos believes in never imbibing, covering all body parts and living humbly. Okay, I think I like the Sorceri ways better than the Vrekener’s because the Vrekeners are way too extreme like Puritans but the Sorceri do get a little carried away with their fun and games.

Sorceri and Vrekeners are natural enemies. Vrekeners hunt and kill Sorceri who they think are evil and break the rules. There are a lot of evil Sorceri. They use their scythe-like weapons to drain the Sorceri of their powers and then kill them and take their children to their hidden Skye Territories to foster them.

Lanthe and Thronos met when Lanthe was nine and Thronos just a few years older in a field near her home. Lanthe’s parents were too busy doing sorcery and adoring their gold to pay attention to Lanthe or her older sister, Sabine, to notice that she had befriended a Vrekener. They were so neglectful that they forgot to provide food or clothing for their children so Lanthe had to go into the field below to eat dandelions and find berries. That is what she was doing when Thronos flew over.

Thronos instantly knew that Lanthe was his fated mate and they became best friends, albeit secret friends. He would take her flying with him and he taught her how to swim. They had a great time for four months…until tragedy struck.

One night, Sabine woke Lanthe and told her Vrekeners were in their home. They went to her parent’s room to warn them but it was too late. They had been beheaded by Throno’s father, the leader of the Vrekeners. Sabine used her sorcery power, weaving an illusion for the Vrekener’s worst nightmare. Sabine could read minds so she knew exactly what they feared. The leader fell to his knees and started scratching at his eyes. Sabine grabbed his scythe and chopped his head off along with a few others. Another Vrekener grabbed Sabine from behind and slit her throat. Thronos was in the room too and because Lanthe thought he had betrayed her by telling his father about them, she told him to jump from the window and not use his wings to save himself. Lanthe’s power was the power of persuasion. She could command anyone to do anything and they had to do it. She commanded her sister to live and she did even though she had lost too much blood. Lanthe and Sabine ran and never looked back.

Thronos had not been locked into his immortality yet so he was crippled for life. They said he wouldn’t walk or fly again but he did.

For 500 years, he pursued Lanthe to make her his mate but she always got away. She went on with her life, living it to the fullest which made him bitter…especially when she slept with other men. He couldn’t understand why she ran from him but accepted other lovers.

What Thronos didn’t know was that Lanthe and Sabine were being pursued by a wayward faction of Vrekeners out to kill them and any other Sorceri. In fact, a few times, they had killed Sabine but Lanthe commanded her to come back to life and she did. Once, one had dropped Sabine from the sky so Lanthe had to scoop up her brains and other time Sabine drowned after being thrown into a raging river. Lanthe believed Thronos had sent them after her.

In this book, Thronos abducts Lanthe while they are both escaping a mortal facility that imprisoned immortals and tortured them. As you can guess, he was a little bitter. He was able to overpower her because she still had the torque around her neck that kept her powers in check while his torque had been unlocked. Immortals are usually unable to hurt their mates without feeling pain themselves, if not physically then mentally. In many species, if one dies, the other follows soon afterwards. But Thronos wanted revenge for all the years he suffered while he thought Lanthe was living it up without him.

We know from previous books that Lanthe’s life was not always so wonderful.What Thronos and others saw was not the exact truth of things although Lanthe and Sabine liked for people to believe it to keep up their kickass reputations. In the Lore, any weakness will be used against you so keeping up appearances of being strong is key to staying alive. Thronos saw Lanthe and Sabine living in her brother Omort’s evil court, doing evil things and enjoying it all. They left and did evil deeds for Omort and returned to him. What was really happening was that Omort had total control of them. He made them drink a poison which would kill them if they didn’t return to get the antidote. But Lanthe did subscribe to the notion about living to the fullest degree and finding happiness where you could while you had the chance instead of wallowing in self-pity so she did find pleasure where she could and did have lovers. After all, Sorceri don’t have fated mates.

Thronos was not kind to Lanthe during their journey. He called her “harlot” and berated her for how he thought she lived her life with all her sins or what he called “offendments”. She just laughed at his stuffy ways and did not feel shame at all. She let him believe what he wanted about her. I laughed so hard at one part in the book where she told him he should have written to her instead of stalking her. He tells her, “What should I have written? Dear Harlot, rumor has it that you are very happy with your new life in Rothkalina with your beloved brother Omort. I hear that you have all the gold you could ever want, and I know how much you always enjoyed a good blood orgy. Well done, Melanthe! By the way, would you like to meet for a rational discussion about our future?”

Instead of denying it, she said, “Well, I did have a lot of gold.”

Do not strangle her!

This was an excellent book, filled with adventure and sexually frustrated characters. I related to these characters so much and wanted them to end up together even though odds were way against them.

This book didn’t have a lot of background plots going on except showing a little about what was going on with Nix, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating all of the events in this series but I can’t say anything here lest it ruin the book.

After the epilogue of the last book, I thought this book would have been about Munro, a Lykae and twin brother to the protagonist of the previous book but instead, Kresley Cole skipped to Lanthe and Throno’s story. That epilogue indicated that the there is a greater threat coming to the Lore than just the war between the Vertas and the Pravus. Vertas being the good guys and Pravus being the evil guys.

I’m off to read the next book in the series.

Dark Desires After Dusk – Immortals After Dark #6 – Kresley Cole

Cadeon Woede has been keeping tabs on a woman who he knows in his soul to be his fated female but she is forbidden to him because he is a Rage Demon and she is a human. He can’t seem to keep away so he watches her from afar…the rooftops of nearby buildings and such.

Holly Ashwyn teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans. She has her life planned out and everything is on a schedule. She has severe OCD and does not like change at all.

Cadeon has carried the guilt of losing his brother’s crown for nine hundred years. His brother, Rydstrom, never lets him forget it either. Cadeon had been raised away from brother, as royals often are, so when Rydstrom called on him to come to the castle to be there while he went to fight a vampire threat, Cadeon ignored him. Unfortunately, an evil sorcerer, Omort the Deathless, took over the castle while Rydstrom was away. He blamed Cadeon for not being there to protect the castle. Cadeon has been trying to make up for it ever since and has vowed to get Rydstrom’s kingdom back for him no matter what it takes.

When Holly is kidnapped by a demon cult, Cadeon goes after them. Rydstrom calls him while he is driving like hell through town to find Holly and tells him that he has found a way to defeat Omort. Omort’s brother has forged a sword that will kill Omort but he asking for the Vessel, a female from the Lore who will have a child who will either be good or evil but will be powerful beyond belief. Omort was a child from a Vessel. Rydstrom orders Cadeon to find the Vessel and take her to Groot in exchange for the sword. Cadeon gets a bad feeling.

Holly had woken up on a stone slab in some sort of cathedral with what looked like men in robes and costume horns. Her glasses were missing so she couldn’t be sure but one thing she was sure of was that they were chanting and one of them was about to rape her. Lightning started flashing outside above the glass dome above her she shrieked so loud the glass cracked. Lightning hit her in the chest but it didn’t kill her. It invigorated her. She grew claws and fangs and went into a fury.

Cadeon finds Holly crouched naked in a corner with twelve dead demons around her. She had killed them all. Holly had transformed into a Valkyrie. He knows that she must have a human father and a Valkyrie mother since Valkyrie are always female. She’s confused but they don’t have time for explanations because more demons are after them and vampires start shooting at them. He runs with Holly and they barely escape.

Holly is the Vessel.

All factions of the Lore will be after her either to use her for breeding or to kill her. Cadeon explains to her what she is and what is happening to her. When she asks why he is helping her, he tells her he is a mercenary hired to do hard jobs, which is true but he doesn’t tell her why or that he may end up having to betray her. How will he ever give up his fated female to an evil sorcerer?

I had a hard time liking Holly at first because she was so prudish and judgmental. It drove me insane but I also had a hard time with Cadeon who seemed more like a horny teenager than an ancient demon. It bothered me that he kept trying to get in Holly’s pants when he knew he was going to betray her in the end. But as Holly began to open up a little more, I started to like her more. I still called Cadeon, “Cad” though.

As always, Nix the Ever Knowing was manipulating events to help her in the Accession. The Accession is a war between factions of the Lore that happens every 500 years or so. Nix is trying to get allies and she seems to be a romantic at heart.

The only background story that I saw going on was about Rydstrom being kidnapped by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions and Omort and Groot’s sister. She kidnapped him to try to have his offspring who would be the heir to his kingdom but the only way for that to happen would be if she was his fated female. That would such for Rydstrom since she is Omort’s puppet and evil.

I am eager to start the next book which I already have in my e-reader since I have read this series before but I have not been able to sit down and read it yet. I still keep being amazed about how much I have forgotten and it’s like reading it for the first time again.