Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark, book 13) by Kresley Cole
In this highly anticipated fifteenth novel in the Immortals After Dark series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole spins a sultry tale of a mighty warrior scarred inside and out and the beguiling sorceress with the power to heal him—or vanquish him forever.
As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.
Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.
Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance?
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?
To be quiet honest the “Kresley Cole Formula” of IAD series, has been losing it's shine for me. In fact, formulamatic Paranormal Romance does in general. However, each new book had been building and introducing a world that I'm totally in love with. Dreams of a Dark Warrior tuckered me out, especially after how awesome Carrow's story was. Lothaire saved some of it, but then suddenly when I was reading the spinoff—Shadow's Claim—it just hit me how tiring the “formula” is becoming. Especially after the utter exhausting disappointment of MacRieve. Which did very little world building, and took the hate to love part of standard IAD to a point where I couldn't justify the woman ending up with MacRieve. Plus, after binge reading the entire Psy-Changeling books just last year my standards have rocketed up for Paranormal Romance.
That being said I've been waiting for Lanthe and Thronos' love story since book 7 impatiently. Considering the last time I got this excited for a love story—Lucia and Garreth MacRieve—in the IAD it hadn't quite lived up to everything I had hoped for. So I went into Dark Skye simply expecting to enjoy it. It started out slow for me, but then suddenly I was sucked in. Holy Valkyries Nix! Did they actually start to, grudgingly, trust one another. To start moving on, in the beginning of a book before page 100? Yes. They have a ton to get over with, as Lanthe states their love is epic. However, the reason for its epicness is that it is wrought with misunderstandings of the most darkest IAD style. What sets Lanthe and Thronos' story apart is that it starts out with the beauty of innocence and readers already no the basics going in.
Of course the “Kresley Cole Formula” is here, but this formula is spiced up enough that the love story stands out. Even better is that Dark Skye is a bit more tender story compared to others in the genre. Even better is that finally I can wash the bad taste of Will MacRieve out of my mind. Thronos' is so sweet and charming, it's nice to have another fierce male in the IAD universe who owns his innocence, and comes out more dominate and sexy on the other side. He's reasonable and it didn't pain me to watch how badly he treated his mate. Lanthe and Thronos have history, and they have a lot of personal beliefs/misunderstanding/issues to overcome. But this book is about friendship and partnerships being the foundation of not just relationships, but epic great love!
Lanthe worried me a bit going in, I just didn't think we could be friends. However, I immediately liked her and loved that while she might be one of the more “gentler” females in the series she's still completely fierce. Even better is she's not a virgin, nor does she have just a few men who were just bad experiences and mistakes. No, Lanthe has had conquests. She knows what she likes and desires. And. She knows the difference between sex and making love, that sex does not equal love. That perhaps she was trying to feel a void. Lanthe has enough self awareness not to feel the horror of “slut shame”. Thank bookness. As my friends know, I can't diss a woman who owns her sexuality. Even better is a woman sharing some of that sexuality with her monkish type mate.
Thronos is basically zealous religious type, yet sweetly innocent. He knows the basics of things, but is the virgin in the series. A virgin of more then not only having sex. The Vrekener are basically like a cult, one who abhors merriment and joy. They live in a white washed world and they're exceedingly cocky in thinking they are angels and are above everyone. They've become tyrants and villains in the mind of a lot of the IAD races, even though they're supposed to be the good guys. Seeing Thronos' eyes open up to the truth of his people and what some were doing with the excuse of their belief system is very fascinating. Especially since readers already know what they've done to Lanthe and Sabine, as well as Princess Bettina—if you've read Shadow's Claim. They're villains. Cole loves showing both sides of the coin, and it's what I love about the series. Even if Thronos' uptight views on sex, and slut shaming Lanthe got my indignation up.
Now on to the world building. Lothiare really teased reader with hints of Nix's ultimate goals. Again MacRieve dropped the ball on this. So I was excited to not just get hints of Nix greasing the wheels of fate, but taking it by the reins and riding it out! Ah, it's awesome. The scenes where Nix is petitioning to become a Goddess and interacting with other powerful beings and revealing the end goal here. Ah, perfection. Because not everything is given away and there's still plenty of mystery going on for later entries.
After a slow start Dark Skye, starts to bring it. The world building I've been restlessly waiting to actually pan out is finally starting up again—let's be honest not much has been actually happening even with the spinoff. The romance brought enough freshness to the Kresley Cole Formula that I didn't feel that ping of announce as much. (No really. Cole let's mix it up just a bit more please. I know every PNR has a basic frame work they all follow, and in general love stories in general. They can be made unique.) While the real world building didn't happen until way later into the book, it fit in perfectly with getting to know the two love birds. This could have been a full on perfect entry to the series for me, except that despite its tidy ending it didn't feel tidy. I felt like there should have been more. It would surprise me greatly if the next book didn't have more to do with the Vrekener . Cough-Jasen-cough. It was too open ended, and while Cole has jumped around a lot in the series they usually go for runs and match up. So while I am definitely getting exasperated with the formula, I'm still enjoying myself. Here's to hoping the next book keeps building up the world, as well as the romantic/sexual heat.
Sexual Content: Steamy sex scenes, some voyeurism, and plenty of sexual humor.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
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