Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.
When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever Kaderin encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.
And when the prize of a legendary month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when Kaderin is forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can she live without either?
Here’s the book that hooked me on this series. It had depth that the novella, The Warlord Wants Forever necessarily lacked and the characters are FANTASTIC – without any of the ‘coming into her own’ of the heroine like in A Hunger Like No Other. It also included everything I love about the world, and as an added bonus: the Talisman’s Hie – an Amazing Race type event, on supernatural steroids.
Kaderin hasn’t felt a thing, not the sorrow that was tearing her apart, not joy, hate, love, regret…nothing, for nearly a thousand years. After she lost her sisters blood sisters (triplets they were) her emotions were shut off. She never felt the lack, she simply dedicated herself to eradicating vampires. I loved Kaderin. She wasn’t sure about anything when her feelings started coming back, not sure exactly how to deal with the onslaught (and I loved how it was initially shown to return) of emotions racing through her. But her personality shines through. Kaderin kicks ass, first, second, and third. But she’s also got this beautiful understanding and kindness and compassion that shows through. She sees the beauty in, what others would deem, ugly and dangerous things – showing that she knows there’s reason and right for everything to exist and thrive. All of that doesn’t mean that she is willing to sacrifice herself for someone not completely and utterly hers, but she will give everything in her for one she loves.
Bastian, and I just have to say how much I love that name, it’s one of my favorites, is my favorite type of hero. He’s intelligent – a scholar in his human life – and mostly beta. He wants to woo his Katya, winning her heart and having her want him for himself. He’s not terribly experienced in relationships, and is a bit shy – at first. I love, love, love that even though Bastian desperately wants to push further with Kaderin he respects women too much to do so. He won’t go where he’s not wanted, and Kaderin keeps pushing him away. So he continues trying to bargain with her, and coax her to him. His leverage may not always be strictly gentlemanly, but I love that he knows when to push and when to back off. I also really, really love that – despite there being lust and ‘fated mates’ between them – Kaderin and Bastian admit several times throughout the novel that it isn’t love…yet.
Watching them fall in love is an immensely satisfying, joyous thing.
I’ve already talked, probably at length, about the world in which this takes place. I’ll only continue to reiterate that it’s one of the most detailed, complex, in-depth worlds I’ve ever encountered. Kresley Cole continues to blow my mind with the way she weaves in multiple storylines and keep track of a labyrinthine time-line.
The secondary characters are all interesting – I want to know ALL their stories. I won’t even list them all here because there’s too many. Fortunately it seems like Cole is in no hurry to stop writing in this series, and as I continue to love them, and the stakes continue to raise, I can’t be more grateful.
One of the new things in this novel is the Talisman’s Hie. A race for immortals around the world to retrieve difficult objects of different power. All to gain points to be able to go for the final round. I loved this. I can’t even explain how much. The competition, the characters competing against – and sometimes helping – each other, and the different locations it takes us to.
Fortunately it seems like Cole is in no hurry to stop writing in this series, and as I continue to love them, and the stakes continue to raise, I can’t be more grateful. Next up: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. I’m so excited to read about Bowen again!