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I think that possibly AI's Guardians of Eternity series is going down that route of so many serial novels: it gets harder to write anything new and refreshing and tales get a bit 'seen that, read that, that's happened before'. I did quite like it, as Santiago, a favourite character, got his tale, but it's not the Keeper that the first 4/5 in the series were.

**********************This is the official blurb: THE SEARCH FOR A TRAITOR. As the demon world celebrates the defeat of the Dark Lord, the vampire Santiago's mood remains bleak. He still yearns for the sensual, raven-haired Nefri, who has inexplicably disappeared. But brooding for Nefri is a luxury that Santiago does not have. His traitorous sire, Gaius, is unleashing a violent scourge upon the mortal world, and Santiago must stop him before it's too late...

LEADS TO A DANGEROUS SEDUCTION. To her dismay, the all-powerful Oracles have sent Nefri on her own mission to find Gaius, and failure is not an option. Nefri's search leads her to the vampire's abandoned lair--and straight into Santiago's path. It's clear Santiago intends to seduce her, but then an ancient, banished evil reappears, threatening to thrust the world into a madness it cannot survive...*********************************

In this, we're pretty much into the action from the start, as Nefri, a Clan Leader vampiress has been tasked by the Oracles with a mission to track down a creature that had been held captive behind The Veil, but which seemingly is now in Gaius, 'father' of Santiago, who we find did not die with the Dark Lord in the previous tale. As Santiago's blood-link to Gaius allows him to track him down, Santiago and Nefri pair up, but she doesn't tell him all she knows - he thinks he's just tracking down a traitor to the vampires.

So, we find out that he's been in love with her for a while, and whilst she does like him, her control over herself, her mission and her true 'purpose', make her cold towards him for a fair bit of the tale, then comes an occasion or two when he presses for more than just a snatched kiss or two, and she succumbs. No wooing, no real dialogue, and as the tale ends, I couldn't quite believe in the 'sacrifice' that he was prepared to make for her, as it kind of sounded as he wouldn't be in any future books. Put it this way: for me, this guy who's been around for ages throughout the previous books, who's hot, dark, sexy, loyal and brooding, deserved the same type of romance that the other leads got, but IMHO, his was lacking. It was a bit, 'I got told it, but I didn't feel it' - apologies for the bad English.

On the other hand, there are two other romances going on on the side: that of Roke, Clan Chief of Nevada, who's being held by Styx as a 'guest', due to some vision that Darcy has had about him, and Sally, the witch from the previous tale, who was in the service of the Dark Lord. I could see that coming a mile off, and in fact, the 'yes/no' aspect of that romance, the passion inspired in Roke, made that romance seem more real. No doubt we'll be seeing more of them, given what we find out about Sally, and what happens at the end of this tale. I nosed at the author's website, and Roke gets a write-up, as do the other male leads in the series, so I do think his tale will continue, and that that could end up being the romance that I wanted this tale to have, but didn't get.

The third romance, if I can loosely call it that, as it didn't come to fruition in this tale, was that of Yanna and Levet, and there was as usual, quite a bit of amusing dialogue/misquotes involving the latter...but it was the same pun over and over again, which made it a bit predictable and tiresome.

The ending came pretty quickly and all was over too easily and too quickly, without ends being tied up, so no doubt, there'll be more of the same to come. Admittedly there was an interesting reason for the ending, but the denouement was a bit anti-climactic.

If you've not yet purchased 'Levet', which the author released as a Kindle short in 03/2013, then don't bother, as that tale didn't really add much to the series, or to Levet and Yanna's romance (there was another couple in it that stole my interest and had me hoping that they'd get a bit more of a tale of their own), and as 'Levet' appears as a free bonus tale at the end of this one.

I don't think that AI took as much pride in this tale as others, as there were typos and a couple of instances of 'spoken US English', which when used as in this tale, were grammatically incorrect. Additionally, on AI's website, Santiago is described as 'tall, raven-haired, with dark seductive eyes', and we know he's the silent, loyal, brooding type, and is of Hispanic origin, and he SO doesn't match the guy on the cover of this book, who has blue eyes and no brooding darkness. And, a few times, he used 'Cara' as an endearment, followed by the more-expected 'Querida', which made me wonder why he was veering between Italian and Spanish, but at the end, there's mention of him serving under Gaius in Rome, so perhaps that explains that. Or at least, I hope it does, and that the author and editor hadn't simply gotten tired and skimmed over the tale.

Overall, this is readable, and adds to the underlying tale being told across the series, but as a romance between the leads, this didn't deliver, which is very disappointing.
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on 3 June 2013
Darkness Avenged is the tenth storyline in Alexandra Ivy's Guardians of Eternity and oh, what a ride. There are three overlapping storylines that culminate in a final scene where the major players all seek retribution against the one vampire who has betrayed them all. At the end of Fear the Darkness, the Dark Lord had been destroyed and the tortured vampire Gaius had escaped through the Veil in search of someone long thought dead.

The main storyline focuses on vampires Santiago and Nefri. Nefri has been ordered by The Commission to locate Gaius. Gaius for all intents and purposes is lost to this world but he is also Santiago's sire. Santiago is the one person who will be able to locate the missing vampire-presumed taken to the afterlife when the Dark Lord was defeated. Having come through the Veil a mere shadow of his former self, Gaius is lost to a darker power when he is promised the return of his beloved and long dead mate. When Santiago discovers it is Nefri who must hunt down Gaius for The Commission, he decrees himself guardian of the beautiful and enigmatic Clan Chief as she endeavors to locate the missing vampire who is wreaking havoc on the emotions of everyone and everything.

Secondary to Santiago and Nefri's story, Chicago Vampire Clan Chief Roke suddenly finds himself enchanted by the little witch Sally as she is held prisoner at Styx's estate. As the King of the vampires, Styx knows that Sally was once a trusted friend and companion of Gaius, and both, at one time, lived behind the veil. Styx needs to know what has happened to the man he once called a friend and Sally is the ticket to that information. But Sally refuses to reveal the information in fear that the more sinister side of Gaius takes his revenge. The others will soon learn that Sally is much more than a witch when she is able to break through the vampire King's warded estate to discover the truth to her witch heritage and powerful legacy.

Thirdly, part of the storyline focuses on Gaius-a vampire so tortured by the Dark Lord, that he was willing to give up his soul to see his beloved mate one last time. This particular part of the storyline followed Gaius as he struggled with the illusion that all would be right in his world once his mate was brought back from the dead. Gaius is no longer the strong and beautiful vampire, but a mere puppet possessed by something much stronger and much older than anyone thought possible. We have followed Gaius throughout the series-cried when he lost his mate: heartbroken when he pledged himself to the Dark Lord: and defeated when we realized there was no turning back for the once brave and powerful vampire.

All three storylines will cross paths as Gaius brings everyone together for a final showdown in a warehouse where a powerful magic must be contained. When the source of everything evil is finally revealed, one vampire will be dust, another will go in search of his missing mate, and still another will retreat to the other side of the Veil to start a life with his family and new love.

The relationship between Santiago and Nefri is fraught with the usual tug of attraction between two souls meant to be together. Their sexual encounters are both loving and hot, and you know that together they will make a formidable pair. As a powerful Clan Chief, Nefri is held in high esteem and worshipped by many who have heard about her powers. It will take a strong vampire, sure in himself, to become consort and mate to such a powerful Chief.

DARKNESS AVENGED is an exciting storyline that answers many of the questions building in the previous books and novels. Alexandra smoothly blends three parallel stories into one imaginative narration of good vs evil, heartbreak and sorrow, love and lost. With her amazing cast of familiar characters readers will feel at home in Darkness Avenged. If you are a fan of Alexandra's GUARDIANS OF ETERNITY, Darkness Avenged is a must read. There is NO WAY you can skip this installment.

see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
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on 6 September 2013
I love Alexandra ivy's guardianns series, they just get better each time.
the story is good and the characters are all good and very likeable, the only reason i haven't Given this a 5* rating is because i feel there was a lack of romance and steaminess that is the norm in Alexandra ivy's books but even so it didn't detract from the story and of course it was good to read the story interwoven in about roke and the witch who had previously worked with the dark lord in other books and im hoping the next guardians of darkness book will be roke's and sally's story
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on 25 June 2013
Really enjoyed this book which is part of the guardians series, wait for the next instalment and the authors deliveries
every time
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on 22 July 2013
As with all the other books in this series the characters and story line in this book was a great read.
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on 20 September 2014
great read and excellent condition
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on 23 April 2015
Loved it
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