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Book pick: ‘Dreams of a Dark Warrior’ — darkest story in the IAD series February 20, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News, Reviews/summaries.
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I usually shy away from reincarnation romance stories, but I couldn’t pass up DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR, the ninth novel  in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.  But be warned, this is a much darker IAD book than her previous entries.

The story — which is almost a retelling of DEMON FROM THE DARK from a different point of view — follows ill-fated lovers  Aidan the Fierce and Regin the Radiant. Warlord Aidan first meets Regin when she is 12. He is  a berserker, who recognizes her as his mate, and waits for her to grow up before claiming her. But his life — and their love life — is cut short before he can gain immortality.  And that’s their history. Every time the reincarnated Aidan and Regin consummate their love, Aidan  dies shortly after, leaving immortal Valkyrie Regin to mourn his loss and wait for his next reincarnation – where he dies again.

So when the present day story picks up, the cheeky Regin is done repeating history. This time,  she decides not to look for the next version of Aidan — hoping to avoid heartbreak and their cursed history.

Instead, Regin is kidnapped by The Order, a mortal organization that wants to wipe out all immortals. And guess who is a bigwig in The Order and Regin’s captor?  Declan Chase, a bitter, emotionally/physically scarred human who hates all immortals — but who is the latest reincarnation of Aidan the Fierce.

Chase is a real evil dude. He kills and tortures good and evil immortals alike and doesn’t realize that not all supernatural beings are like the evil creatures who  killed his family and tortured him when he was a teen.  As fate would have it (Hint: Nix knows all), Regin ends up as one of his torture victims. This is where the story got a little weird for me. In previous reincarnations, Aidan would recognize Regin as his beloved — just after they kissed — and would do everything in his power to protect her from any harm. But while Chase feels something toward Regin — he refuses to fall for her, fails to protect her and it makes him a very hard Kresley Cole hero to love. This is a guy who has his best friend (Brandr) cut up. (Yuck!) He even guts Regin during the capture and continues to let her come into harm’s way at the compound.

I have to say, Chase is my least favorite hero of the entire series right now. There’s nothing wrong with a few flaws, but he’s beyond just a few. He’s a broken man, at times warring with his personal feelings and brainwashing via The Order. He’s hooked on drugs. And in desperation, he makes deals with other immortals — yes — to help save Regin — but it’s hard to swallow. And the torture stuff. Ugh. Just hard to take that and think this is the guy the spirited and witty Regin will wind up with.  In the end, the author does salvage his character enough that some IAD readers should come around.

He’s not super popular among the Lore either. After he helps Regin and other immortals escape from The Order’s torture camp,  Chase kind of has a price on his head. After all, he captured and tortured so many of the Lore. And even at the end of the story, it’s clear that many in the Lore don’t care if he’s with Regin — he’s not been forgiven for his role in The Order.

DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR does have a great supporting cast:  Natalya with her poisonous claws; Thad, the clueless vampire halfling who has no idea what his “talent’ might be,  and Lothaire (evil vampire) who holds a lot of power and secrets. They offer most of the  humor that’s a trademark of Kresley Cole, and they lighten the dark romance between Chase and Regin.  Their escape gives you the “other view” of the collapse of The Order’s compound that we saw in DEMON FROM THE DARK. And if you’ve read that — you definitely already know some of what happens to Regin and her friends. We also get to see Malkom Slaine and Carrow Graie again. (Since this is a retelling)

As with all IAD books there are a lot of sex scenes. This time around, I thought it was a bit much. (Maybe it’s because I didn’t like Chase for most of the novel?)

Still, if you’re reading the series, you don’t want to miss this story. The reincarnation romance  was interesting and even funny at times — plus it had an interesting twist.  And this story also is setting us up for the next book in the series. Nix is nuttier than ever.  What is her connection to Lothaire? And will Lothaire ever get his ring back and who is the “she” he must get back to? (If it’s who I think it is — it will be a real  talker!)

As the Ascension is clearly in full swing, you have to wonder if the rest of Cole’s stories will become even more dark. I hope not. I don’t expect her to write all sweetness and light when the world of the Lore is falling apart, but I want more of the humor and wit and grit from both heroes and heroines that has come to be a hallmark of her series. (OK — and give me a hero who is worthy of our Valkyries!)

Tip: If you haven’t read the IAD series, don’t start with this book. Most of the other novels can stand on their own but the last few in the series are definitely interconnected. And DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR should be read after DEMON FROM THE DARK.

DID YOU MISS THESE?

Kresley Cole gives readers great excerpt from ‘Dreams of a Dark Warrior’ December 19, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Kresley Cole releases the latest tale in her Immortals After Dark series on Feb. 15. Finally — in DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR we will hear the story of Regin the Radiant! To keep us going until then, Cole gives her readers a very generous excerpt. CLICK HERE to start reading. If you’re like me — and love the IAD series — this will only make you want to read more! But it’s a pretty hefty excerpt, so I was happy to see it! If you want to know how Regin’s story starts out,  here is the product description listed on Amazon.com:

HE VOWED HED COME FOR HER . . .

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.

SHE AWAITS HIS RETURN . . .

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.

TO SATE A DESIRE MORE POWERFUL THAN DEATH . . .

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?

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