My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
How this book came to me: borrowed from my sister in law
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Synopsis from Amazon.com
Even new readers daunted by 40 pages of appendixes and a two-page family tree will love the tender romance in the 20th installment of Feehan's Carpathians series. Benign blood-drinking Carpathians turn into evil vampires if they fail to find their destined life mates. Broken and left for dead after a family betrayal, Ivory Malinov gradually heals, becoming a loner and dedicated vampire slayer. Razvan's evil grandfather, the mage Xavier, forced him to commit unspeakable deeds against fellow Carpathians. Ivory discovers Razvan near death, and after realizing they are life mates, she nurses him back to health and they plot to combine forces and defeat Xavier. The slow-to-trust Ivory fights her growing feelings for Razvan, whose self-hatred juxtaposes brilliantly with his innate gentle nature. Fans looking for a departure from Feehan's usual alpha male heroes will enjoy this lengthy but powerful tale.
I think I have read most if not all of the stories in Feehan's Dark series. I was lucky enough to read the first ones all in order and in a row so at that point it was easy to keep track of the characters. Now I am starting to mix up who is who and what makes each of them special. I appreciate the family tree mapping out the relationships at the beginning of the novel, but the community of Carpathians is so large now that at I stopped referring to it and just went with the flow. At the end of the last novel a few more female characters were introduced and with this one some ancient Carpathian male hunters were brought in so my guess is they will be featured in the next few novels. Each novel usually centers around one male and one female character who become lifemates and goes through not just their relationship but also whatever outside forces are coming against them, either vampires or mage, who want to destroy them.
It took a few starts for me to get into this story. The two main characters were both thought to be either dead or traitors to their people for years, centuries even, so their reappearance was kind of jarring. Ivory Malinov had been cut into pieces by vampires and scattered over the ground but did not die. Wolves put her bones all together and using Mother Earth's help she knit herself back together. I had some trouble with that whole concept, but once I got past it I enjoyed the story. At times I felt it was a bit repetitive how Feehan kept reminding us that Ivory was a loner and didn't trust easily. Razvan had truly seemed evil in the other books he was in so to see him as having been possessed and having had his body used by dark magic at first felt forced but then he started to seem real. As I was reading I was wondering how much further Feehan will be able to go with this series. If she is now resurrecting characters has it already run its course? I used to really look forward to the next book but this time I wasn't as excited about reading it. I felt a bit less excited for the last one too. I wonder if it is hard to let go of a series for an author if there is a large readership? Would if feel like you were letting your readers down? Do publishers pressure authors to keep going? Or does Feehan have an ultimate goal for the series that she is working towards? I know I will keep reading any future books that come out, I just wonder if the series will continue indefinitely and if it should.