The fourth book in the Nightwalkers series, published June 2008.
They are the Nightwalkers, mysterious beings who dwell in the shadows of our world, and Damien, the Vampire Prince, is among the most powerful of them all. But one woman wil tempt him with a desire unlike anything he has known, and together they will face a terrifying and relentless foe…
He’d never loved. But she was irresistible.
As reigning Vampire Prince, Damien has tasted every pleasure the world has to offer – consorting with kings and queens and delighting in sensual adventure. Now, tired of such pursuits, he devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between human necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when the enemy makes a daring move, kidnapping Syreena, a Lycanthrope Princess, Damien boldly follows. He succeeds in rescuing her, but is unprepared for the erotic longing her lush sensuality awakens in him.
Gifted with rare abilities, Syreena grew up in a cloistered setting and was forbidden to form attachments to others, yet the connection Damien feels with her is immediate, intoxicating, and impossible for either to resist. But claiming Syreena as his mate could have shattering repercussions for every Nightwalker – and leave their enemies more dangerous than ever before …
It’s been a few years since I read the first three books in the series, but I had no trouble at all picking the main storyline up again.
The different Nightwalkers, demons, lycanthropes, vampires and even a few mistrals, are still fighting their common enemy, Ruth, a Mind Demon who has discovered and is using, black magic. In the last book, they discovered a hidden library, containing long forgotten books from all their races. So they have not always been at war with each other. Just like they are coming slowly to peace now themselves.
When vampire Prince Damien, and his long time friend Jasmine enter the library, they meet the lycanthrope Princess Syreena, and Damien is attracted to her. Syreena is acting uncommonly hostile to him, and she has no idea why. So she exits the library, to seek some solitude, even though her sister, Queen Sienna, has asked her to supervise the goings on at the library. Soon after, she discovers why she was feeling so strange, as Ruth appears, capturing her by surprise. She blames Elijah for the death of her only daughter, and by taking Syreena, she will be taking revenge on him. As this will hurt Sienna, his mate, it will hurt him.
But Damien soon happens upon the spot of the violence, and when he finally sees through the illusions and discover the amount of blood in the snow, and worse, the strands of Syreena’s hair, het sets out in pursuit. Hours later, he finds Syreena, tortured and cowering in a corner of the room she is being held prisoner. There is no time to go in search of help, as she is dying. He will have to safe her now. With blunt force, because of all the wards on the house, and the human guards Ruth has downstairs.
And so Damien sets out with a dying Syreena in his arms, he knows he cannot go too far before Ruth catches up with them. And blasting through those wards have wounded him and sapped his powers as well. So he touches down on Mistral land. But first, he has to close Syreena’s wounds, before she bleeds to death. Her cut hair is still bleeding. The only way he knows how, is to drink from her, so the agents in his saliva can begin closing her wounds. Even though it is forbidden to drink from other Nightwalkers, as this is like poison to a vampire. He is willing to take that risk. But as soon as he takes the bite, and drinks from Syreena, he cannot stop drinking, even though he knows she has lost too much blood already. And then the agony attacks him, twisting his body.
And so the mistrals find them, both in pain and dying. Luckily, their race is one of healers, and they nurse both the vampire and the lycanthrope back to health. There is a new bond between Damien and Syreena, and Damien knows she is to be his mate. But he is more than a thousand years old, and Syreena only a hundred, and has lived most of her life in seclusion in a monastery. Only in the past 15 years has she been free, a valuable advisor to her sister, and heir to the throne.
Can there really be a relationship between a vampire and a lycanthrope? Will their people allow it? Especially the lycanthropes, as their Queen is already mated to a demon? Damien is convinced the answers to that question are hidden in the newly discovered library, and asks Jasmine to look into it, even though she loathes Syreena for taking him from her.
But their enemies won’t stay hidden for long, and they will attack again.
A difficult book to review. I liked it, and I did not like it. The overall story is intriguing, the beginning of the book was fast paced and filled with action, and I was quickly grabbed by the story, but after that, I felt it dragging along for a while, wanting for more action, more revelations. The ending did make up for that again. I will be reading the next books in the series, as I want to know how it will all come together.
I did like Syreena, she did not have an easy life. And she also does not take the easy way out, by saying yes to Damien when he asks her to. She considers every possible difficulty, not only to her own people, but to his as well. It is Damien who is so old and still feels immature to me, by not understanding that. He gives her time, but he resents that she takes it. And later on, he breaks a promise to her, and doesn’t want to understand how that hurts her. How can she trust them, how can they be equals when he does not treat her like that. Jasmine also plays a big part in this book, and I am curious to learn more about her. Especially after that prophecy in the end. But I do wonder, is she still loyal or did she listen to Ruth?
Also, there are a lot of lovescenes in this book, I could have done with a little less and some more action. Some more exploration of the new powers they got. So if you like a romance focused series, this is definitely for you. But if, like me, you prefer a story driven book, with the romance important but not the most, you could be a little impatient with it as well. Still, the book is very well written, Jacqueline Frank has an easy way with words and descriptions. I would not mind being part of it.
And this book also qualifies for my personal reading challenge, of reading one book a month that has been on my shelves for over a year.