The third book in the Elder Races series, published October 2011.
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion …
In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissessthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling – without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.
Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent’s kiss – the Vampyric disease that is killing her.
With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss…
In the previous book, the Vampyre Councillor Carling saved Tiago’s life in exchange for a favor owed her by Rune, one of the four living Gryphon, and Dragos’s First Sentinel. Rune has no idea what she will demand from him, and Dragos is certainly not happy that after losing Tiago to Niniane, he is now losing Rune as well, and who knows for how long? But of course there was no time to negotiate, and Rune will honor his word.
And so, after getting his affairs in order, and delegating his workload to the other Sentinels, he heads out to San Francisco, the demesne of the Nightkind. The current King is one of Carling’s progeny, her oldest son. But Carling has removed herself out to a mystical island, sometimes visible from San Francisco, sometimes not. A small spot of Other land, where she lives alone, with her most trusted servant.
Carling is the oldest Vampyre alive, over 4000 years, and born in ancient Egypt. Rune is even older, created when the earth itself was created, a creature of the between places.
Over the years, Rune had heard of her existence, but never really interacted with her, until she became Councillor for the Nightkind in the Elder Council, and delegated her thrown to her son Duncan. But ever since that trip to the Dark Fae with Niniane and Tiago, she has intrigued him. So Rune is not unwilling to go the her, and find out what she wants with him. But when the only thing she wants, is for Rune to kneel for her, and not only in body, but also in spirit, he is relieved, but also insulted. Why would she throw away such a favor? And when her servant tells him, Carling is dying, Rune is shocked. He sensed no illness around her, so what is happening? After some persuading, Carling accepts his help to find out what is happening to her, and to find a cure, if at all possible.
But her servant Rhoswen is not so happy that Rune is staying, she already hates the attention Carling bestows upon her little dog. And as there are no other servants, human or Vampyre, on the island, she is the one taking care of the dog. When Rhoswen is dismissed, as it is high time she got a life for her self, she is furious. Carling needs her! So she turns into a hateful woman, deliberately interrupting a special interlude between Carling and Rune.
Rune is reading about the research Carling has done for the last 200 years, ever since she grew from being a Vampyre and drinking blood, to becoming allergic to blood, and feeding on feelings and emotions from others, like a succubus. Her Power kept growing, and is now out of control, causing her to have “episodes” where she is lost in her own mind, her memories. And Rune, being a Gryphon, is able to follow her. A travel through time, where he can change history if he is not very careful. But how can he resist, from saving her from the horrors of her past?
And just when they have found a clue for a cure, and have to travel to the mainland again, to find the ancient Oracle of Delphi, their enemies strike. Duncan has had Carling removed from her position as Councillor, something he never could have done if he had come to face her about it. And now, he wants her executed, as her Powers have become to dangerous for the living. Rune will defend her to the death, but the army Duncan has brought with him, along with the other Councillors, is overwhelming in numbers. For once, brute force is not enough…
A very intriguing third novel in this very good series of the Elder Races. Again, totally different from the previous two books in storyline. I liked it a lot. Especially the back ground of Carling, the little peeks into ancient Egypt. And Rune, sigh, he is so totally alpha male, he did not take no for an answer, but he also did not force Carling to do things she did not want to do. Their relationship is not an easy one. Carling knows she is dying, so starting a relationship with Rune, something she has always dreamed of, is just the wrong time, the wrong place. But Rune is persistent, if Carling is his mate, he will enjoy every day with her. And he stays optimistic, they will find a cure. At first, his powerful emotions give her new strength and energy, but the episodes take too much from her. They have to find a way to keep them from happening.
This book is more quiet, not really fighting scenes like the first books, and focuses more on Rune and Carling together. A lot of humor, like the scenes with the little doggy, or the fact that Carling hates Runes favourite t-shirt, and Rune hates Carlings clothes. He wants to dress her in more modern clothes, and when she finally lets him, she likes it. Of course there are some love scenes between them, but not too much. Rune is more optimistic then Carling, but of course she has had centuries to get used to the idea of dying, and she has made her peace with that, while Rune just discovered it and cannot fathom such a thing, being immortal himself. So he wants her to fight again, to believe that they will find a cure in time.
Okay, I loved the book, and this series is now seriously autobuy for me.