Top positive review
31 people found this helpful
on 4 September 2004
We first encounter Zarek in "Night Embrace", a sociopathic (his own words) Darkhunter with a chip on his shoulder large enough to break his back. This seems understandable when we learn of his upbringing; growing up a roman slave he is the whipping boy of a powerful family until he is sold into further slavery and degradation and later stoned to death for a crime he didn't commit. Enter the goddess Artemis answering his call for vengeance, however his conversion of man into immortal is not that of a standard DH which makes for some interesting results.
Zarek is an outcast even amongst the Darkhunter clan, an immortal warrior who possesses no social skills and an obvious deathwish. Scrape the surface though and we meet a lonely man deeply scarred by vague memories of a horrendous crime he committed following his rebirth as an immortal. At the end of her tether with him following his actions in New Orleans (see "Night Embrace"), Artemis is determined that Zarek should be executed. Acheron (Ash) is against this idea and negotiates a brief reprieve. He persuades a justice nymph Astrid to judge Zarek's soul, a nymph who in all the history of the world has never found anyone innocent. Jaded by her past experiences Astrid is reluctant to take on this job but agrees to watch over Zarek for a 2 week period and then deliver her verdict.
OK so fans of SK's Darkhunter series will already know the outcome of this book yet the developing relationship between Aastrid and Zarek is beautifully written. Add the spiteful interference of Artemis and her unleashed immortal killer Thanatos and we have a splendid and highly entertaining read with a few interesting twists towards the end. Simi again crops up and her innocent bewilderment and pain are heart-rendering following her face off with Thanatos. Ash's response is impressive and we again witness more of his formidable powers.
Zarek is one of my favourite characters in this series, close behind Ash and Simi of course. He is a reclusive man with his own code of honour, warped by his upbringing and unable to trust anyone until he meets Astrid. Yet again SK has vividly drawn a hero we can fall in love with. I am a huge fan of the DH series and highly recommend each and every one of these books. Fans of truly memorable characters, sizzling hot passion, fun, romance and fantasy will be delighted by "Dance Withe The Devil".