Author: Lynn Viehl
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Lords of the Darkyn (Book 1)
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback, 312 Pages
ISBN-10: 0451413210 (Penguin/Signet)
ISBN-13: 978-0451413215 (Penguin/Signet)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
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 on their trail, Simone hides another terrifying secret: She has been ordered to kill Korvel as soon as they secure the treasure…
Quick & Dirty: Ms. Viehl’s characters live in a strange, strange world.
Opening Sentence: A shout outside the barbican tower jerked Brother Frémis from his contemplation of the inside of his eyelids.
A strange, strange world indeed. For who in their right mind would train a tiny little girl to become an assassin by having her attacked by a crap load of males her own age. Oh, and for kicks let’s video tape it for posterity.
Let us concentrate on the hero and heroine of this particular story. Korvel is Darkyn, a certain breed of vampire. These guys are not deathly allergic to sunlight, but it does weaken them quite a bit. They do drink blood, however, and very often mix it with wine, especially when it is older or bagged. Oh, and these guys, they smell good. So good, that often they can use their scent, or l’attrait to turn any human into one who will do their every bidding. Nifty trick, that. We met Korvel in a previous book in this series, and forgive me for not remembering which one. Back then we were meant to hate him, for he did something seemingly horrible to one of the heroines from that series. Nice to see Korvel get some redemption, because I think we all knew that down deep, Korvel really is a nice guy.
Korvel is the Kyn high lord’s right hand warrior, his seneschal, and is currently on a secret mission for the high lord to recover an ancient Kyn artifact, one that contains the secret to immortality. When he arrives at the last known location of the artifact, he is ambushed by assassins trained to defeat his kind, and finds a nun who is also being attacked. After rescuing her, and suffering some battle wounds, he is taken to a nearby convent to heal before continuing his mission, for which he has now also acquired a partner, that very nun whose life he saved.
But, our little Simone is no nun; in fact she has been trained to be rather deadly since she was a young girl. She is also a trisori sentinel, a member of a group of mortals sworn to aid the Kyn, but also sworn to follow the orders of the tresoran council. The tresoran council has not only sworn allegiance to the Darkyn, but has also taken on the job of protecting the mortals of the world from them as well, if necessary. The council has ordered her to kill Korvel after he helps her find the artifact that has been in the care of her family for generations, because they don’t think his master should get a hold of it. Simone may have been trained as an assassin, but killing for the sake of killing has never been much to her liking, and this particular order becomes even harder to follow when she becomes romantically involved with the subject, or when the subject becomes romantically involved with her.
On their mission to find the artifact, they are met by a few blasts from the past, Nick, Gabriel and Alex. Nick and Gabriel were sent to find Korvel and help him; Alex appears off and on to brandish her infinite doctorial skills and sarcasm. We also bear witness to some of their struggles in life and love. But one question…when did her man Michael start letting Alex wander the countryside without him? If I remember correctly, wasn’t he all master of the caveman tendencies where she was concerned?
Needless to say, the hero and heroine accomplish their mission and live happily ever after (in a fashion). But, I want to know: Do we get to see more of Simone’s “brothers”? Sounds like some of them could be interesting, maybe even quite handsome…
I find this book does a decent job at standing alone, though previous knowledge of the Kyn and tresora, Nick, Gabriel, etc. would seemingly make some parts of the book more meaningful. Especially the parts with Alex, and those focusing on the Nicola/Gabriel relationship, and all of its hardships. Also, I do remember the complexity in Ms. Viehl’s writing from before, and the knowledge of having to read them in order. It’s a sound idea, starting from the first book, but that’s just a suggestion from me to you. Thankfully, I am up on the list to reread the whole series, start to finish, for DFT. So maybe in the future I will revisit this one, and at that point my review will seem to make more sense, at least to me anyway.
Nevertheless, I liked it as much as I remember liking her others, and would recommend it to my friends. That is if I had any friends who would actually read something about vampires, and stuff like that.
The first charged at her from behind as two flanking her ran a cross pattern. As soldiers, they had been trained to fight upright, falling prone only to take cover or to change position, and expected the enemy to do the same. Simone dropped, seizing the blades and diving between the legs of her first attacker, cutting his hamstrings. She rolled over in time to parry the man on her left as he struck down, grabbing his shoulder and using his momentum to throw him into the third soldier, who collapsed in a tangle with him.
Back on her feet, she moved to the scaffolding, using a running jump to pull herself up to the first level and turning to drive her boot into the face of the guildsman who pursued her; she leaped over the one who followed him and swept her arm back, slamming her elbow into the base of his skull.
She regarded the five who were left, and how they rearranged themselves. These were the watchful ones, the martial artists with their black belts and their clever techniques. They would be strong, practiced, and deceptive, but they had been trained to read the body of the enemy to anticipate his or her actions.
Simone remained still, holding her arms to shield her upper body while she shifted her eyes from one chest to another. Two of the men danced back and forth as they approached, feinting strikes at her head before they lashed out with their feet at her legs. She fell before they could touch her, jerking the legs they stood on out from beneath them.
Both fell back, one striking the back of his head and going still, the other managing to partially break his fall with an arm. The snap of his ulna sounded like a brittle branch as Simone wrapped an arm around his neck and dragged him up, heaving his body toward two more guildsmen.
That left one standing only a few feet from her, and he stepped forward, keeping his eyes on her face as he bobbed in a shallow bow. He raised his arms, his hands cupped, his legs slightly bent at the knees, prepared for any move she intended to make.
Except this one, Simone thought, raising the .22 she had taken from one of the soldiers and shooting the last guildsman in the knee.
The Lords of the Darkyn Series:
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Signet provided me with a copy of Nightborn. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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