8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark 11) (Paperback)
Yep that's right I have not only blessed this book and series with five stars but now it has in my estimation reached epicness and I don't see that changing any time soon. This is the longest yet and even though its time-line overlaps with Lucia's and Carrow's book, every page counts. This is one intense book and very addictive. There is a lot of story here and some great new characters, Natalya the dark fey was a highlight and we also saw a little of Uilleam. Unfortunately there was no development on Lanthe and Thronos, considering where we left them I'm in agony to find out what happened.
We've been teased with Regin and Aidan's story since book two and finally we get to see in the substantial prologue how Regin first met her perfect blond Viking Berserker...and how he dies before reaching Ohalla - a Berserker's only hope of immortality - gifted by Woden when they win their 200th battle in his name. Tragically for Regin that's just the beginning of her grief because his death also marks the beginning of a terrible curse which resurrects Aidan's soul only for him to die when he finds and remembers Regin again. This has happened three times when we meet Regin in this book desperately trying to re-unite with Lucia to help her in her quest to kill the terrible Cruach.
Though we know that Regin never meets up with Lucia, instead she finds herself in the same isolated prison for immortals as Carrow. I was insanely excited to read this book when in the previous book a recently vivisected Regin hits us with the bombshell that the newest reincarnation of Aidan is Declan Chase, the Magister responsible for her capture and torture. I really wanted to see how Cole would pull this off...The mentally unhinged soldier of the mysterious Order of humans, which have been kidnapping Lorean's to experiment on, submitting them to heinous tortures before executing them is her Aidan? Riiiiiiiiiiiight. He is seemingly the antithesis of Aidan; a black haired, tormented, drugged-up, messed-up Irishman who Regin has little problem seducing into remembering who he is knowing that this will lead to his death and her freedom.
What I really loved about this book was that it wasn't really about Aidan and Reginleit, it's about Declan and Regin. Declan isn't the evil unredeemable character he is introduced to us as, instead he is a complex character who became soulless and hate filled through decades of suffering, torture, lose, drug abuse and brainwashing. His fight to overcome these things was probably the most captivating aspect of book for me, does he atone for years of monstrous deeds? No but this book isn't about that, it's about both Regin's and Declan's struggle with the past, realising what they want and having the strength to see it through. Though being happy to commit genocide is perhaps not the best quality in a hero but Declan really isn't much of a hero to anyone other than Regin. She's his dark obsession, the only thing that eases his anxiety induced by previous lives clamouring for attention and it's her which makes him want to fight his brain-washing to be a better man. Although it makes sense that before he knew her he would seek to numb his pains by seeking revenge for what was done to him and his family by evil immortals and taking drugs, it bothered me a little that he never really seemed to acknowledge that not all immortals are evil or feel any deep remorse for his actions to anyone other than Regin.
Declan does seem to get more page time than Regin, which makes sense given how much we need to soften towards him. Don't get me wrong Regin is still very much the outrageous, funny, larger than life Valkyrie we've seen previously and Cole does a good job developing her, her turmoil over all she's been through with her berserker is heart-wrenching (there might have been tears) but she says it herself she doesn't do introspection and I felt like there was something missing in her emotional development with Declan towards the end.
All-in-all this is a great read, like all the IAD books its incredibly addictive reading, an intense, sensual and dark romance. I'm already obsessing over the next book which is out Jan 2012 and is Lothaire's and his mysterious bride. I knew who would make sense and who I really wanted it to be but after getting into his head -which we get to do a lot in this book and which proved very intriguing and amusing - it looks like that's not going to happen. I'd like to say that I'm less excited for his story but who am I kidding! Cole you tease!