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.

 

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.