I mentioned on the landing page how there are various types of vampire lore, ranging from undead, demons, or just different species. I also mentioned that this series does not just cover vampires, but other paranormal creatures as well. I began this series from the beginning, but I believe it is possible to skip around. There is enough reference in later books when another character enters the scene.
Styx the vampire Anasso (think King) kidnaps Darcy because he is suspicious of why the werewolf leader (Salvatore Giuliani) wants her. Darcy awakens within Styx romantic and possessive feelings that he never knew he could feel. Darcy finds this stoic male compelling and intriguing. Danger comes close to Darcy from several levels and Styx must fight to protect her.
This world is enormous, and vampires are not the only powerful paranormal creatures. Historically, vampires have been savage creatures, rarely working together but fighting for supremacy, but with Styx’s lead he hopes to advance the species. Styx describes their history:
Of course, she had no notion of the endless years of barbaric hostilities they had endured. Or the brutal slaughter of hapless demons caught in the fray.
But how is a human made a vampire? Not every human bitten becomes ones; in fact it is a rare thing. Humans can be converted and then become demons themselves:
“Most die, of course, but on rare occasions a human will share enough of the vampire’s essence to rise again. There is no way to know which human will survive and which will perish.”
This series shares the concept that vampires are more animalistic than humans. Demons, they are no longer humans, no longer recalling their lives as humans. This makes their personalities completely different, their values and morals nothing like what humans would consider essential.
So, understanding how the mindset that the vampire world has, we see Darcy enter, a human who has no experience with anything paranormal. She has no idea that werewolves or vampires exists, so in many ways she represents the reader. As we learn about this world so does she.
I loved Darcy! She is emotional, practical, and funny. I adore her sassy mouth and she would say things that I could utterly relate. Early on we see her spunkiness:
“Look, I’ve tried not to become one of those hysterical women who flap their hands and faint on cue, but if you don’t start telling me who you are and why I’m here, I’m going to scream until I get some answers.”
Her irreverence and gentleness of spirit is what draws Styx to her, and watching him fight that attraction is what makes this book so wonderful to me.
I must admit, that Styx is one of my favorite male vampires, no matter which series. There is something about him, his loneliness, his anti-social behavior, his gentleness with Darcy, and his violent skills just compels me. To me, he is the epitome of the demon vampire, fighting the normal vampire tendencies to be the man who Darcy wants. Darcy describes him:
The beautiful bronzed features took on that aloof expression. It was an expression she was beginning to suspect he used as an unconscious defensive mechanism.
His devotion to Darcy puts him on top of my list of favorite male vampires is illustrated toward the end of the novel. I do not want to give it away, but you will know it when you read it.
The main theme within this book revolves around family. Darcy has always been alone, never knowing whom her family is. She discovers her true family and has to make a decision on if they are worth knowing. Styx on the other hands has no family as he has been reborn as a demon. He creates his family by his surrounding vampires and his Ravens. However, truly, they both discover that together, they can make their own family.
This vampire world is different from many, and I love the concept of the clan markings and the mark of a “true mating”. I love the mystical aspect of the markings, giving Ivy’s world a uniqueness that we do not see in others. I also loved the vampire culture, how principles are different and we see how it contrasts with humanity with the introduction of Darcy. The intricacies of this world draw the reader in and each book adds texture to the tapestry.
What could be better?
There is very little that could be better in this book. There was enough mystery that I turned the pages in eagerness until the end and the relationship development is compelling as they discover each other.
However, when I consider this series as a whole there are highs and lows. I have enjoyed every book, but there are only two books that I have read repeatedly (this one and Jagr’s). I am not sure why the other books were not as compelling, whether it is the lead characters’ personalities or the lore.
If you like paranormal romances, then this series is a must read. If you find that other books (this is Book 3) in this series are not compelling, try this book. I enjoyed the character development of both and the romance was hot and spicy. Well worth the read!