zondag 6 maart 2011

Kresley Cole – Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Book 11 in the Immortals After Dark Series, published February 2011.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals - unaware that he belongs to their world.
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan's torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared - even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

Regin and Nix are heading into town so Regin can take out some enemies. Instead, she gets captured by The Order, led by Declan Chase. She is horrified when she finds out he is her beloved, come back to life again. How could he betray her like this?
Declan has been with the Order since he was seventeen. His parents and little brother were tortured by demons, he barely survived himself. The Order saved him. His sole purpose in life is to hide his superior strength and feelings, and to hunt and kill immortals. The Order has made its life work to capture and study immortals, finding out their weaknesses and defeating, killing them. Now he has been ordered to capture Regin the Radiant, one of the most notorious Valkyries. A feared warrior herself, she has already taken out ten of his men before he takes her down with a sword through her side. It won’t kill her, but it will take her out for a while. Long enough to transport her to the holding facility on his remote and hidden island, where hundreds of other immortals are being imprisoned already.
He doesn’t know why he is drawn to her. With the drugs he is taking daily, he is not supposed to feel anything, let alone desire for an Immortal.
When Regin awakens, she is sharing a holding cell with Natalya, a Dark Fey assassin. She has been captured years ago, and is still waiting her time to be vivisected. But she is in no hurry to meet that faith. There is also a young male of unknown species sharing their cell, appearing to be in shock. All the prisoners are wearing a strange collar, which suppresses their magical powers and making them only human strong. Otherwise, they would never be able to keep that many Immortal beings prisoner. Immortal enemies locked up next to each other.
Regin and Natalya know each other, but are not exactly friends. They find out soon enough they better make a truce if they are ever having a chance of escaping this prison.

Declan wants to find out why he is so drawn to Regin. And he has to find out everything he can about Valkyries. Regin knows she has only one chance to get out of here alive, and that is to make Declan remember his past lives, remember her, and fall in love with her again. The only drawback to that is, every time he has done that in the past, he died within a day. And she doesn’t know if she can go through that agony again herself: to find her one love again, only to watch him die in her arms.

Declan doesn’t want to believe that he is a berserker, one of the Lore himself. Even though it would explain his strength, and other abilities. The fact that he cannot have sex with another woman without feeling dreadful afterwards. He promised to be faithful to Regin forever, as she has been to him. So when he finds out he can touch and desire Regin without those repercussions, he is almost willing to give up everything for her. But then he gets caught with Regin in his quarters by his boss, a man he considered almost his father, and he is ashamed. How could he almost betray his beliefs that easily? So he shoots himself up with his new upgraded drugs, and is out for a long time. And in that time, Regin gets vivisected without his knowledge, being told Declan ordered it done. And that does destroy her faith in him, her almost love, and she swears her revenge. But when Declan finds out about it, something breaks in him, and he finally knows what he is, and what he is born to do: defend her. His mate. But that is not so easy.
This book is placed at the same time as the previous one with Carrow and Malkom, and the prison is breached. The two factions of the Lore are pitted against each other, and as the good ones remain their collars, they are weaker than the evil ones. There are battles everywhere and a severely damaged Regin and Natalya and the young boy are trying to escape without being killed themselves. And to their surprise they end up with Lothaire, the Enemy of Old, and the most dangerous vampire alive. But need makes strange allies, and together they are trying to escape the island before it is bombed by the Order.

A really great story again. I liked Regin a lot, and how she stayed faithful to her Aidan throughout the centuries. Only to lose him again, time and again. Brandr is trying to protect her though the ages, but that is too much to ask a lone Viking when the Valkyrie in question doesn’t want to be protected or followed where ever she goes. And every time she finds Aidan, Brandr is too late to save him from death. But an oath is an oath. This time, he is released form his oath, and I wonder if he will find a woman for his own soon.
The young boy, Thad, happens to be half vampire and half wraith, something really rare in the Lore, so it will be interesting to find out what his powers will be.

Declan is again a really tortured hero, who comes around when his mate is in danger. It is not easy for him to get Regin over her fear for the curse, to make her love him after his betrayal of her. But according to Nix, he needed his past to stay himself in the end.

I liked this book, and the glimpses of other stories. Lothaire is also a strong secondary character and I am wondering what his story will be. Who is this master who is driving him? How does he know Nix so well?
I am a little frustrated that the overall story line doesn’t get much farther, I want to find out more about the Ascension and what will happen. All those love stories have to have a purpose. They are building toward something, and not just the forging of alliances.
The love scenes are smoking hot, the action is great, the building of the love between Declan and Regin is lovely to follow. And the ending was good.

A great paranormal series, but you really should read it in order, especially to know the significance of all the players in it.

9,5 stars

2 opmerkingen:

  1. I actually jumped straight in and read the book before this one, and fell totally in love :D I so need more Kresley Cole

  2. If you start at the beginning, you will know what they are talking about, and know who the previous heroes are. I think you will enjoy it even more then. The storyline does build up a bit, though not as fast as I would like.