Kathy's Reviews > Dance with the Devil

Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
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Dec 04, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, enhanced-human, fantasy-other-world, fantasy-romance, sensuous, vampire
Read from December 01 to 04, 2010

What does The Little Prince have to do with Dark-Hunters? author Kenyon uses the theme of taming and how something wild can be owned as she develops the relationship between Astrid and Zarek.

Zarek - a little lost boy - in a Dark Hunter's body... as a human, he was a Roman slave / whipping boy - used by and for his half brothers of a very cruel Roman general/nobleman... Valerius is one half brother, who actually made things worse when he showed any compassion or tenderness to Zarek - getting Zarek beaten worse...

As a Dark Hunter, he was healed of his scars and deformatities, and is quite handsome - and given responsibility of a village... though he kept separate, he found a small measure of acceptance... until Thanatos... Thanatos was created by Artemis as slayer of bad Dark Hunters - her ace to override Acheron... but Thanatos has a unique relationship with the Appolites & Daemons and can call them to do his will, and in the middle ages he tried to take over the world - Artemis had to create a Black Plague cover story to explain the deaths of so many... he went through Zarek's village, and Zarek tracked him down to kill him... in an Appolite village he found him, killed a few Appolites, and though he fought with Thanatos, he could not kill him - and Acheron shows up and with a thought destroys Thanatos... a young woman Appolite was accidently killed when Zarek & Appolite fought - the woman's husband, behind Acheron's back, was made the next Appolite, and hidden away for the next 900 years - but he fostered his hatred of Zarek... And to protect Zarek, Acheron muddled Zarek's memories, and everyone believed that Zarek went crazy and killed all of the villagers - he was sent to Alaska for the next 900 years.

Alaska - for the 1st 800 years, he was very alone - the native Alaskans feared him... he sportingly killed bear for meat, fur, and something to do, he took up carving, his home was quite spare & cold - small, because easier to heat - and he carved a hidden cave/tunnel underneath... and in the last 100 years, a town grew nearby - and though he doesn't make friends, and they are fearful of him, he anonymously donates his carvings to the town's annual festival to raise money for the needy... he carves ice scultures at night, he saved a woman and her child who were lost and in an accident - and in trade for her doing errands for him during the day, he paid for her home and a salary... when he returns to Alaska from New Orleans, a family ohf minks have made ahome in his wood stove - and though his generator is frozen, he doesn't use the stove so that they are not disturbed... ahhhh... the squire who returns him to Alaska - though the squire considered killing him (by opening the windows during the day and exposing him to light) the squire doesn't, saying he'd better enjoy that Zarek die more slowly & painfully at the hands of another - and once they land, Zarek blows up his helicopter & the shed nearby, takes the only snowmobile, leaving the squire to hike 10 miles to the nearest town - ahhh ... mean, yet not lethal... and Zarek has made online friends with Jess - another Dark Hunter - though all others online ignored him...

Astrid - a judge of man & gods alike - sister to the 3 Fates - she has acurately judged everytone whohas come her way as guilty, and is depressed and disillusioned... She is beautiful, a demigod, lonely, loved by her family - Sasha, a Katagodian wolf, is her companion/ protector.

Acheron is serving his 2 weeks of subservience to Artemis - what a complicated relationship... Artemis wants his high regard, and yet her possessive/controllin nature prevents that... Acheron could destroy her - destroy Mt Olympus, but he doesn't... Artemis hides her relationship with Acheron... hmmmm... he doesn't want her, and yet at times he does want her...

After New Orleans, where Acheron attempted to bring Zarek into the fold, so to speak, and wher Zarek's antisocial behavior and Daryus' manipulations caused him to hurt humans; Artemis sends forth Thanatos to kill Zarek as well as putting a price on his head for the killer Squires (the 1st we have seen of them)... when Acheron finds out, he is furious, but he is tied to her for the 2 weeks - bound by his word... Artemis attempts to recall Thanatos, but he ignores it - he wants Zarek, and begins to call the Appolites/Daemons to his side... Acheron requires Artemis to appropriately call Zarek forth to be judged before executed... and they agree to ask Astrid to do so - Astrid has found all to be guilty - and although 'Artemis at first thinks she is perfect, wonders at Acheron's agreement - what does Acheron know that Artemis doesn't... and Acheron tells Astrid to look with the heart for that which others cannot see - a quote from the Little Prince (her favorite book)...

So, Thanatos finds Zarek - and Zarek gets away, though he is hurt - he thinks he will die in the snow, but he wakes up in a bed... Astrid has retrieved him, created a blizzard to keep him inside & others out... she is blind, as the eyes can deceive - though she can see through Sasha's eyes if she holds still and touches his fur... and as Astrid tests and gets to know Zarek - she begins to tame him ... sitting at a distance, and getting closer each day (little prince)... and once you tame something it is yours - altered forever! Zarek's kind and considerate actions are at odds with his rude and callous words... to better understand him, she invades his dreams - for 2000 years his dreams have been of the horrendous things done to him when human, and the loss of the village... and her compassion for him grows.. and then she enters his dreams, and is able to offer him acceptance - and ultimately they make love in the dream - the taming continues... and though Zarek knows something isn't quite right, he finds he can only respond to her touch and her regard... she is taming him...

And when Jess pulls him out of the dream because Thanatos is about to find him, Zarek protects Astrid - and takes her to his home, and learns the truth, and struggles with feelings of unworthiness versus wanting to grasp the hope she offers... and they make love a couple of times for real - and both are set free... and yet Zarek doesn't quite trust it...

and Simi - introduced, to me at least, in the previous book with Sunshine & Tarek, a little demon who hangs with Acheron & played with Kyrian's toddler & dolls... we learn more about her... She is protected by Acheron - loved by Acheron - and she lives as a tattoo on Acheron, released when he calls her... and she's been with him for 4000 years, knowing/feeling all of Acheron's feeling - she is playful, likes to eat anything, powerful, chatters like a magpie, saying whatever is on her mind, obedient only to Acheron, loyal only to Acheron, very literal, charming - and sent to protect Zarek & Astrid... and though Acheron tells her not to speak to Zarek (thinking she will accidently let slip what really happened in the village)... and in fact she does - not be speaking to him, but at Astrid's request, by gazing into his eyes and reconnecting his memories of the events...

and Zarek leaves Astrid to face Thanatos - knowing that one of them would die, and either way would protect Astrid... he is almost defeated when Acheron's power enters him and Acheron instructs him on how to fight him... and when he has the opportunity to kill Thanatos, he does not - knowing it is not his job to dispense justice - but he binds him... and he lets Astrid go, believing that they have no future together, and ths is best for her...

And Acheron calls Zarek to him... and shows him that Astrid is broken up over him, and reminds Zarek that the past is behind, and his only influence is for the choices of his future - and Zarek goes to Astrid - and they fall into each other's arms... and we find that Zarek is not a marked Artemis hunter - he does not have her mark - and he did not lose his soul - she couldn't bear to touch him - so she just 'disguised' him as a hunter (fake fangs, etc.)... so Acheron doesn't have to bargain for his release from Artemis...

and the story ends with Acheron going to Thanatos in his cell, and Thanatos II realizes that Thanatos I is the one who killed his wife... and Acheron shows him a young woman in Iowa - his wife reincarnated ... and offers to send him there, with no memory, and a mortal life or bliss in the Alysian Fields... and he takes his wife...

And Acheron is not taking Zarek's memories again, and hints that Zarek will do much to help Acheron in the future... and after a month on the beach, Zarek & Astrid need to return to her realm...

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