Sherrilyn Kenyon continues her futuristic League series with the next member of the Sentella Kere aka Darling Cruel. For an author who writes the most tortured heroes, Born of Silence and Darling Cruel are one of her most heartbreaking yet. Born into wealth and privilige, Darling has a horrific upbringing. Burning with vengeance, he secretly trains himself into into a lethal warrior with the help of Nykyrian Quikiades, leading league assassin. Portraying himself as a bumbling, gay idiot in public, he joins the local resistance movement as his alter ego Kere, where he teams with Zarya Starling to bring down the Cruel dynasty.
Raised on a diet of hatred against the ruling classes, Zarya lives to avenge her father who was branded as a traitor and cast out of the aristocracy by the Cruels. Two individuals who barely recognize love discover it together. Life is not yet destined to be a bed of roses, there are some nasty thorns waiting to prick them. As Kere disappears from the scene, having been taken prisoner as Darling Cruel by members of the resistance team, Zarya ignores her own backyard frantically looking for her lover. Darling is subjected to the most horrific torture that you can imagine. The men and women whom he fought with and risked his life to protect turn into animals and subject him to unimaginable cruelties. It’s a wonder that anyone could survive intact in body and mind as he does. The author’s descriptions are very hard to read.
I guess what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Physically and mentally damaged, Darling cuts a bloody swathe through all the people who have tortured him during his life and takes over the rule of his planet after he is rescued from his captivity. Maris loves Darling. He is gay and has acted as Darling’s beard in the series, though we all thought that they truly were a gay couple before this book. He rescues Zarya from slavery and brings her back to the palace to reach Darling where no one else has been able to, so that she can help restore his emotional equilibrium and start the healing process.
The loyalty and friendship between Nykyrian, Syn, Caillen, Hauk, Jayne, Maris and Darling is beautiful. We also get to visit and get a quick catch-up on what’s happening with all the married couples and visit some of the characters that we met in the previous League books. They have each other’s backs and despite having found happy ever afters, they are still very much “one for all and all for one.”
I love the futuristic romance genre and find that I cannot get enough of it, and so this author and the League series are on my auto-buy list. I have to admit that while this book has some soft and even some humorous moments amongst the action and adventure, I find the torture and horror parts of the book a bit difficult to read and swallow. This is romantic fiction after all, and while I enjoy a bit of bite in my romance, I feel this is too much bite.
Death stalks the night…
Kere, the Caronese god of death, is the second most infamous member of the shadow organization called Sentella. As an explosives engineer who is known for striking terror into the hearts of all enemies and the League, the bounty on his head is truly staggering. No one outside the Sentella knows his real identity.
Zarya Starska grew up hard on the back streets of hell. Because of his political beliefs, her father was labeled a traitor and her family hunted to the brink of extinction. But Zarya dreams of a different life and a different world. A world where the harsh hand of the Caronese government doesn’t destroy the lives of its citizens. As a resistance leader, her goal is to topple to government that took her…
Read an excerpt. (Click Read Book Excerpt on left side of page)
Other books in this series: