Genre: paranormal romance / urban fantasy
From New York Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl comes the first in a new trilogy of the mysterious Lords of the Darkyn…
As the High Lord’s most trusted warrior, Korvel is resigned to eternal loneliness, because he has sacrificed everything, even love, for his duty. When he is ambushed while retrieving an ancient Templar scroll, he is saved by Simone Derien, an innocent who captivates him.
Only Simone knows the scroll’s terrible power, and her duty is to prevent its curse from being unleashed. Somehow she must recover it while resisting the dangerous passion she feels for the handsome warrior.
As Korvel helps her track the scroll and elude a crazed assassin an on their trial, Simone hides another terrifying secret: she has been ordered to kill Korvel as soon as they secure the treasure…
I know that Lynn Viehl is an author you either love or hate, but I have been a fan of her Darkyn world for a long time now. So I really enjoyed this new addition to her world.
Korvel has served the High Lord of the Darkyn for over 700 years, and now he is used as a messenger boy, to retrieve an ancient scroll from France. He is not happy, he is the officer in charge and now demoted to this? But Korvel has no idea how dangerous this job is, and what secrets the scroll entails. Simone Derien does though, trained by her father to be an assassin from little child on, and charged with its protection, she has no choice but to do her best to retrieve it when it is stolen by her former brother and the criminals he hired.
When Korvel arrives at the chateau that holds the scroll, it is partly on fire, old servants dead all around. Trying to safe some lives, Korvel gets wounded himself and a part of the copper sword sticks in his thigh. Copper is deadly to the Kyn, and he needs to kill his opponents quickly, before it renders him helpless. When Simone finds him, almost unconscious, she saves him, taking him to the convent where she lives. Strangely enough, she knows what he is, and how to take care of him, though Korvel does not really like it. She is a nun!
As Korvel first saw her wearing the clothes of a nun, he tries to keep his distance from her, even though he has not been attracted to a woman since Alexandra came into his life. The one woman he could not have, as she was mated to Michael Cyprien already. And as a man who has no problems getting any woman he wants, that was a blow.
Simone works for the Tresora council, and they also want her to repossess the scroll, and destroy it. Even kill Korvel as he cannot know who or what she really is, or the secrets of the scroll. But Simone doesn’t want to, and makes her own plans. But she will make sure that the scroll is safe, as is the secret it holds. Together they will follow her brother through France, using Simone’s contacts to find out where he went.
Gabriel and Nick (Nicola) also play a big part in this book, and I loved it. When Korvel loses contact with the High Lord, he asks Gabriel and Nick to find Korvel and the scroll, with the scroll being of the most important. Which of course Nick does not like. And so they follow Simone and Korvel, finding out what happened to Korvel.
This is a world filled with vampires, with psychic abilities, finding their mates, and fighting against the Brethren, a secret order in the Vatican, who want to kill them all. The Kyn are or rather were Crusaders, who caught a virus that turned them into vampires. They all shed a different scent, meant to attract humans, called L’Attrait. They use it to control humans to become their food, and forget everything again. The Tresora are their daylight servants, protectors, and are mostly immune to that. Whole families and generations serve in this capacity.
Even though it is the first in a spin off series, I do think you should read the main series first to have a little understanding of the Kyn world and customs. Otherwise, you will miss a lot.
I liked it when Korvel discovered what Simone was, and what she is capable of. That sure is a surprise to the arrogant Kyn Lord. I also liked that he was sick and tired of serving Richard, without much appreciation, and that he wants to cut his ties. I dislike Richard and his autocratic ways. And then Simone, she is one awesome heroine. She can take care of herself, and of her man. I don’t want to spoil anything, if someone wants to read the book, but this book kept surprising me, time and again.
I am very curious where this series is heading, but I also hope she has not stopped writing about the Kyndred and their abilities. (I know this is not my best review, it is a bit rambling, but it is almost two weeks since I read this book).
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian