I think there’s a part of me that went all ‘meh’ when Dorian was first solidly described as having “surfer-dude looks” in Clay and Tally’s story.
MaybI think there’s a part of me that went all ‘meh’ when Dorian was first solidly described as having “surfer-dude looks” in Clay and Tally’s story.
Maybe because blonde blokes are hard to come by from where I’m located in the world – and the rare Caucasian dudes I see around here are basically pasty (and made to look even more pasty with their fair coloring). Seriously, they’re just… pink.
Or maybe even the slew of golden-haired blue-eyed actors in Hollywood just doesn’t do it for me.
Which – now that I think about it – is misleading. Coz I seriously doubt I can list the names of a couple – let alone a slew – of handsome blonde and blue-eyed surfer-looking dudes in Hollywood who make me go, “dayum”. I can't. Not even at the threat of gunpoint. Just nothing. Nada. Zilch.
(What about Matthew McConaughey, you ask? El-oh-el. Please be serious.) [And yes, I had to Google how the damn name’s spelled].
So, yeah. Dorian being described as good-looking with his blonde surfer features wasn’t really a ringing endorsement. I had a hard time imagining him really as a mature enough guy. I mean, come on. “Surfer dude” just brings to mind (unfairly, I know) a senior on spring break who wants nothing more than to laze around the beach all day surrounded by dude-bros and big breasts in micro-mini bikinis and booze.
Gimme brooding and dark coloring any time of the day, I say. Much more delicious to salivate over.
That said, I suppose Ms Singh mocked the prejudice over Dorian’s poster boy good looks by making him a “Boy Genius” armed with a charming sense of humor. And one whose emotional baggage is a double-dose of heavy.
He feels. Oh, and how.
On the other hand – I had no problem instantly adoring Ashaya in this book. When she finally allowed the dam of love she feels for Keenan to overflow? And overflow into words and expression? Cue the waterworks.
(Although, to be more honest, I adore AND resent her. Resent because I’m racked up with envy wishing I were as strong and resilient as she was. Oh, and it doesn’t help that she’s also damn friggin’ smart. Well that’s just about perfect right there.)
Her sassiness in the face of Dorian’s heavy-handedness at times is also adorable. Very easy, really, to fall in love with her.
Story-wise? At this point of the Psy-Changeling Series, the sudden introduction of too many NEW elements crammed into this one installment was a little jarring. Overwhelming, even.
- A human faction stirring in the depths of Venice? Ooh, how very Illuminati of you.
- A Psy faction called “Pure Psy”? Okay, okay, okay. I can deal.
- The Omega Project? Of course. Of course there’d be something called Omega in here sooner or later. I mean, why not. Doom and gloom, right?
- Henry Scott suddenly growing a pair? Whoddathunk??
- Keenan a carrier of a disease? With antibodies in his body, to boot? What is this – the kid in Ultraviolet? You know, the one who fit in the briefcase?
I mean…next thing you know there might be vampires in the mix.
Sigh. At this point, the barrage of a whole LOTTA new things just to underscore how BIG and forbidding the future looks for Psy, Changeling – and, yeah, Humans – kinda makes me wistful for the seemingly simple days back when Lucas first met Sascha.
And now I’m also missing Hawke.
But of course. Safe is boring. I know. Might as well stop with 2 to 3 installments if it ain’t going anywhere.
Nevertheless, I liked this story because Dorian found peace with the harrowing guilt he feels over the death of his sister. And utter joy FINALLY over being one with his leopard (even though we all saw THAT coming from a mile away).
And the utter fierceness of love Shaya feels for him as revealed in her journal? Woah, mama.
And who can't help but be awed with the power of the Web of Stars? Talk about a literal support system right there.
I will continue on with the next story in the Series because, despite seemingly becoming a little bit more convoluted as it progresses, these Changelings are irresistible. And the power play in the cold circle of the Psy Council is morbidly fascinating.
And damn, I just need an update, too, on the damn wolves.
The most ruthless, treacherous villain meets the sauciest, most irreverent female.
And, gods, how the sparks flew.
I think the last time I honestly,The most ruthless, treacherous villain meets the sauciest, most irreverent female.
And, gods, how the sparks flew.
I think the last time I honestly, in real life, forrealsies laughed out loud while reading an IAD book was way back in Bowen and Mari's story (Wicked Deeds on a Winter Night) -- and the laughter even then wasn't that often.
[That shouldn't mean, however, that I find these IAD installments dull (HARDLY). But I think I can truly say that it wasn't until Lothaire that I found BOTH hero(erm... villain?) and heroine to be so damn hilarious.
Yes. A female funnier that Regin (whodathunk??).
Frankly (and I really can't believe I'm saying this), the Valkyrie has nothing on Ellie. Which pleased me no end because I wasn't expecting to adore the heroine in Lothaire's story -- I was more or less only hoping to LIKE (read as INTENSELY LIKE -- I WAS DEMANDING IT, MS COLE) Lothaire's story as a whole.]
I adore Ellie because she is so STRONG in the face of the supernatural twist that her life was thrust into. And her amazing sense of humor serves her so well when she's scared out of her wits that Lothaire gets bent out of shape whenever he is once again proven wrong in what he thinks Ellie will say/ do. She literally kept him on his toes. And that was when she was still a mortal.
And I think most of us really anticipated Lothaire's story because there are few things more delicious in life than anticipating how an intensely arrogant, handsome, egoistic, disdainful, handsome (I just said that, right), immortal VILLAIN gets laid LOW.
But what makes Lothaire's "humbling" refreshing, so to speak, is not because it resulted from maliciousness on his mate's part. No sadistic, deliberate, revenge whatsoever. Far from it. He gets laid low because Ellie showed him that no matter the many hurtful words and deeds that Lothaire has directed her way, she will not allow herself to diminish, to be lost. She will fight to keep a measure of her self, because she IS also worthy of respect. And yet, in comparison to the other heroines so far in IAD, she possesses none of that inherently mean streak to be wielded to punish, or humiliate her mate. She's a truly GOOD person.
And that GOODNESS? Perfect foil for Lothaire's wretchedness (adorable sometimes it may be).
(What? I'm still inexplicably FOND of Lothaire, so sue me.)
His high-handedness (and, yikes, racist? tendencies) was really teeth-gnashing. The severity of his disdain for mortals (especially dirt-poor mortals) is practically crippling. I mean, how to marry Ellie's earthiness to the self-righteous loftiness of Lothaire?
Somehow, Ms Cole deftly, wonderfully showed us that there really could be NO ONE else for Lothaire BUT Ellie. Nada.
(Of course, their happily ever after OWES a fucking lot to Nucking Futs Nix. BIG TIME.)
I SO ENJOYED THIS STORY. Read it, folks.
I can't help it (again) -- I have to share some of my favorite scenes from this book:
Dispose of my soul. How easily he said that! And who was Serghei? "Vampire, I hate to tell you this, but those tasks are not an end goal." He swung around to face her. "Hold your tongue, little mortal! Or I'll have it from you." She fell silent, on edge as he paced/traced. Long moments later, he snapped, "What the hell were you talking about?" "An ultimate goal should be the result, not the process of reaching it." "Perhaps I take pleasure in the process itself." Ellie said, "Then the ultimate goal is pleasure. The tasks are still the process." "My ultimate goal is service to a blood vendetta. I work for that alone, have for millennia." In a small voice, she pointed out, "Still a process."
"Where exactly do you want me to go, Lothaire?" "You wanted to see the ocean?" he said in a cryptic tone. "It's just outside. Go. Behold." Excitement thrilled through her. "Truly?" "We're in the Outer Banks." Ellie leapt to her feet, racing to the front door. .... Lothaire murmured, "In five, four, three..." "What are you talking about?" Hag asked. "The mortal's about to run face-first into the---" "Ahhh!" "---boundary." He smirked.
"I've heard--probably just a wacky rumor--that sex makes males happy. You wanna seal this deal, Leo? He drew her tightly into his arms. "You think I don't want to claim you?" She tilted her head up to him. "But you believe you'll hurt me." "When a human male hurts a female during sex, what happens?" "I guess she might walk funny."
"He never said he'd returned for me." Unless he's said it in Russian. She recalled the emotion in those words, what had felt like promise... "You better hope he did," Mama muttered angrily. "I'm just telling you that he's known to be evil. I have no idea what he's plotting." "We ain't exactly saints around here, Miss Glass House. Sakes, Ellie, when did you get to be so judgmental?" My mother is disappointed in me for not making my vampiric marriage work.
Okay, before I go into why I love Regin and Declan's story, I think we should all acknowledge fWhy.Are.Ye.Makin'.Lothaire.Irresistible.Damnitarnation.
Okay, before I go into why I love Regin and Declan's story, I think we should all acknowledge first the vampire who very nearly stole the show in this one.
- Lothaire not succumbing to the Order's tortures and betraying the Lore? 10 points.
- Lothaire displaying rueful exasperation?
Lothaire stood in the pouring rain watching as the plane came screaming back toward the runway.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. He'd ordered the winged Volar demons to bring it to the ground gently. This touchdown would prove anything but.
- Lothaire dispensing advice on love? (nevermind that it's for purely treacherous self-serving reasons?) Dammit....50 points.
- Lothaire just being an all around incorrigible...charming...jackass?
"Take cover!" Declan tackled Regin back under the trees, shielding her with this body. Everyone hit the ground, except for Lothaire, who yawned.
A hundred puntos. Because unintentionally dryly humorous, unmanageable males are my weakness.
With this much build-up on him, I AM EXPECTING GREAT THINGS. GREAT THINGS, MIND YOU. I DEMAND TO BE BLOWN AWAY BY HIS STORY, MS COLE.
--- Okay, so... now onto the lovebirds.
I love these two. And I love how they were gradually inextricably led towards each other first by hate and then, of course, by redeeming love (is that phrase a copyright? sorry, Ms. Rivers). Not hurried, not harried.
Because you will marvel at the development of their story: despairing over how Declan the Magister has been treating Lorekind; wondering how the hell anything can change his mind when he's so entrenched in his torturous past; feeling hopelessness over how the Valkyrie can ever be with someone who has committed such vile, unforgivable acts toward her friends; marvelling at the emotional strength that Regin is showing...
And then, later, practically rooting for Declan as he begins to revile the abomination that the Order has been spreading. Fist pumping the air whenever he displays possessiveness over the care of Regin. Almost melting over his absolute contrition and eagerness for Regin to mete out her anger on him just so that he can be everything that his woman would ever need and want.
And completely loving the fact that Declan eventually succeeded where the apparently-perfect Aidan did not: capturing Regin's heart and Regin herself as she hurtles herself into his arms.
Because who would've thought that the brash, effervescent, fearless, loud Reginleit has actually been re-living again and again the pain of losing the only man who has ever come close to claiming her heart. That this proud Valkyrie has been hiding hundreds of years of pain because fate is both a predictable bitch and an elusive pain-in-the-ass.
And for her to finally...FINALLY... have her man for keeps in perhaps the most complicated male she has ever come across? She really doesn't do anything in halves.
These two... I am YEARNING to hear more from them in the next installments. I gotta....more
I feel bad for Murdoch because it seems like, among the Wroth brothers, he got the short end of the stick, and that his and Daniela's story was createI feel bad for Murdoch because it seems like, among the Wroth brothers, he got the short end of the stick, and that his and Daniela's story was created just to "conveniently" tie-up what had happened so far among brothers... without really bothering much with the development of their OWN story. (Tie things up is even misleading, because there was nothing new to show for the preceding Wroth brothers' stories. They were just "revisited".)
I can't even see how the two of them fell in love with each other by the end. It was all just, "huh?" at the point. Precisely because Ms Cole seemed more concerned about giving the reader another angle by which to see how Nikolai and Myst, and Sebastian and Kad, and even how Conrad and Neomi were doing at the time of their OWN respective stories.
And even those were annoying, to be honest.
Murdoch knew that Nikolai and Myst saw each other again after 5 years. A few pages on, Murdoch saw Nikolai and Myst slumbering next to each other. A quick forward turn of pages, Nikolai confessed to drinking from Myst. Murdoch is confounded by these of events.
And guess what? Sebastian is alive and competing in the Talisman's Hie. Murdoch is overjoyed. A few pages on (let's not bother bothering on the duration of the tournament), the Hie is finished and Sebastian apparently WON it and is mated with a Valkyrie? Another of Murdoch's brothers finding love. That's really great. Even if things felt abrupt.
(It would have nice if in this Murdoch's story, Ms Cole allotted a chapter on how Nikolai, Murdoch, and Sebastian finally reunited. How did their conversation go? But that's neither here nor there...)
Oh, and while we're at it... Conrad is alive. Riddled with psychopathic tendencies, sure, but alive, nonetheless. Murdoch is grim about meeting his baby brother. A few pages on, there was a fleeting mention about how Conrad is being rehabilitated by his older brothers... he is seeing ghosts, too. The author tells the reader that Murdoch was made busy tending to Conrad. Okay. Fair enough.
(It would have been a nice touch if Ms Cole showed how the elder Wroth brothers fared during their stint at Elancourt while Conrad was tied up in the bedroom above. How did they spend those nights making the mansion habitable? How restless were they really as they missed their mates? Did they not converse with one another? Catch up with each other? But that's neither -- yeah, never mind.)
To top it all off, Nikolai later called Murdoch and told him that they're going to war. Even if you have read Conrad's story, the rapid jump into what's suddenly happening takes a few moments to sink in.
Oh, a war? Okay.
A scant few pages later -- and with no mention whatsoever STILL on how the brothers went to war against Kristoff and how they were subdued -- they are now imprisoned. But, no worries, bub: barely a second later, Conrad will be there to free his brothers.
Meanwhile, in between these bouts, Murdoch traces back and forth to Daniela -- when he finds the time.
And they just fight. All the time.
One hopes that Murdoch will be made to look adorable as he suddenly finds himself without his usual smooth moves with a lady... but he just looks annoyed and grouchy. His pride and ego were still pretty much unbending, however. And there really was no crafty development to show how he gradually changed. One minute he's resentful about what's happening with his Bride. The next -- I'm in love with her.
Danii meanwhile accuses Murdoch of deliberately being careless the two (?) times he accidentally brushed his skin against any naked part of her. Despite Murdoch telling her every. single. motherfudging.time that he doesn't want to touch her for fear of hurting her.
And she made him, a vampire -- scratch that -- a vampire who was finally blooded by his Bride -- to vow NOT to drink from her. She demanded that a vampire male NOT drink from her. But she'll continue to seduce him with her eyes, anyway. Any other creature of the Lore will find the vow fairly easy to keep. But, yes, let's make a vampire male who is OBVIOUSLY GREATLY attracted to you to PROMISE not to EVER be swept by desire and lose control. A Bride withholding the precious blood needed by her vampire male.
I found this tetchy from an IAD heroine because pretty much every woman up to this point -- from Myst down to Sabine -- absolutely reveled in the knowledge that only SHE can drive her male to lose his grip on his formidable control.
Oh, and just to quickly, tidily tackle the issue of the Icere threat: make Jadian suddenly the good guy, after all. Expeditiously kill Sigmund. End of threat. Ta-da.
There was not even a good 'ol down and dirty showdown.
And Murdoch stumbling upon Danii and Jadian kissing? I think everyone in the free world could have predicted that a mile away. Come on, Ms Cole.
All-in-all...I can understand why this was also made as an anthology with Gena Showalter's work.
Nice enough to re-hash on what had ALREADY happened in the past installments -- without really adding new touches (except on the very last chapter, of course) -- but NOT enough as a full-length story to focus primarily on the two lovers.
One would think, that coming on the heels of Dark Desires After Dusk, a reader will find only a small measure of enjoyment in this next installmentOne would think, that coming on the heels of Dark Desires After Dusk, a reader will find only a small measure of enjoyment in this next installment for (supposedly) the following reasons:
1. Sabine is Rydstrom’s mate… what the fuq??
2. I mean, really…? That evil bitch sister of Omort who lured Rydstrom into a dungeon and will (probably!) torture and kill him is gonna be his love interest??? what.the.hee-yelll??
3. Surely Sabine broke Rydstrom because when Cade delivered Groot’s sword in his brother’s doorstep, Rydstrom looked like not himself. At all. What the hell did that bitch do to him?
4. Also…uhm… why is she now in Rydstrom’s bedroom?? Why did Rydstrom tell Cade that she’s “mine”? Why this twist? I don’t like this twist. Was Rydstrom ensorcelled? I’m tellin’ yall… I don’t like her.
5. What happened in that damn dungeon??
Aaaand now …looking back after finishing Kiss of a Demon King, I think I can fairly imagine that Ms Kresley Cole probably had her lips twitching in sadistic glee knowing that this reader has got it all wrong from the get-go.
Because Sabine – whether by some deliberate grand design of Cole or otherwise – is actually one of the more complicated (anti-)heroines I’ve ever come across.
Yes, there were (numerous) times when I can empathize with Rydstrom in his confusion as to whether or not he should trust this woman at all. Times when you do question Sabine’s intentions and become quite driven in spite of yourself to KNOW just how far she’ll go with this thing she has begun with the rage demon.
And then, there were also times when, later, you can’t help but shake your head regretfully at how Rydstrom is treating her. Sabine. And that’s when you realize that you’re actually siding now with her. With Sabine.
Talk about a rollercoaster ride.
For two people who obviously cannot deny their attraction to one another, they spend more than half of their time together at cross-purposes. Always suspicious of one another. Trying to one-up each other in being proven right that they were right to suspect the other. Layers upon layers of skirting the truth because they still cannot tell if they can trust one another.
It was maddening.
And it was fun.
It was also fun because:
1. In knowing that Cade was successful in getting the sword that will kill Omort, Rydstrom’s unceasing worry on that matter while being held captive was now unfounded. The reader just basically wants to scream this at Rydstrom. Dude, don’t fash yourself over this! Cadeon pulled through!
2. That bit about “no one escapes the dungeons of Tornin” is moot because, well… we all know that Rydstrom did escape that place.
3. But what we didn’t know was that it actually involved a – and here I am just wildly guessing – panty-dropping, knee-weakening gorgeous – vampire named (of all things) Lothaire. Lothaire.
4. Can you tell I’m sighing? Because you totally should.
5. That deep, dark secret that Rydstrom was keeping?
6. Indeed it was deep. And dark. And oh-so delicious.
7. And that evil bitch Sabine? Truly perfect for Rydstrom. (And since Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter are apparently bosom buddies… Sabine reminds me so much of Keeleycael and Anya from Showalter’s Lord of the Underworld uhm… world.)
And truly, though? These Woede brothers? Man, oh man.
Lorekind should pat itself on the back for a job well done on such fine, fine men. ...more
Okay, at one point I was thinking, "there are too many damn things happening what the frick", and I sometimes felt that there wasn't much attention giOkay, at one point I was thinking, "there are too many damn things happening what the frick", and I sometimes felt that there wasn't much attention given to Paris and Sienna. Too many side stories, man.
But I still enjoyed this installment ?? And -- I think -- it's also precisely because of the secondary characters?? Go figure.
(First off: yes... I think we can all say that thank god Paris and Sienna have reunited. Finally. Cos his downward spiral was too painful to witness. And also... damn... Paris can kick major butt.)
William was so fun. Wish I had a friend like that.
Zach is a walking contradiction. Hot and cold.
Viola is a pain in the ass that you still kinda find somewhat adorable.
Legion pulled through. Thus I forgive her for what she inadvertently made Amun suffer previously. So that's nice.
I missed Anya so much.
Chronus? Finally. All is right in the world again and he returned as being the complete ass-wipe he was all along. (I'm telling ya -- that scene in Gideon's story of him enjoying popcorn is truly a fluke.)
Galen. I... don't know what to think anymore. dammit
To recap: I really really adored the fact that Showalter touched back a bit more with the other Lords by relocating their home.
-- I dare anyone to not be charmed with Olivia and Wrath's reunion. And Wrath's reaction to seeing Aeron again. Come on. I.DARE.YA.
-- ALSO: MADDOX'S BABIES!!!!
--- ALSO: THESE WOMEN ARE SO BADASS LIKE DAMN ...more