REVIEW: King of the Damned by Juliana StoneTuesday, November 27, 2012 1:00
I discovered Juliana Stone through Amazon in a drought period of great paranormal romance fiction in my life. I followed one of those “If you like this author you might also like” links and found the Jaguar Warrior series. I enjoyed every page of this wonderful series and was disappointed when it ended, but fortunately His Darkest Salvation, (Jaguar Warriors, Book 3), segues right into the League of Guardians with the vampire Ana and the warrior Declan from Jaxon Castille’s team. This story recaptures all the initial magic from the first series and then some with a diverse cast of characters consisting of humans, witches, fae, templars, demons, and angels with shifts and surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. But what really makes the book a keeper is the deeply emotional love story. Azael, the fallen angel, is desperately seeking his one chance at regaining his wings. We’ve heard about kings who give up their thrones, but an angel who will give up his immortality for a woman?
Rowan James is a powerful witch in denial. She has tried her best to run as far as she can from her gifts and her grandmother’s home in Salem, but the past has a way of catching up with her and she’s back. But it might be too late, and who is the stranger prowling in her grandmother’s kitchen? And are those demons attacking the house? The one thing that’s for certain is that her time for running is over and she needs to take her stand and avenge her grandmother or die trying. In order to take her stand, she needs to gather all the James witches so that their collective magic can give her the one chance in a million that might help keep her alive.
Azael is a member of the League of Guardians, an organization composed of some of the most powerful beings in the world, both dark and light, that are pledged together to protect humanity and prevent evil from ruling the world. He has been dispatched to the James residence in Salem to investigate the truth behind Rowan’s grandmother’s death. What he finds is a woman whom he cannot resist. He’s been there before, it was the love for a woman which caused his downfall and now millions of years later he’s still seeking his redemption and paying the price.
As the call goes out, Rowan has to deal with the sorrow of losing additional gifted members of her family, but the James clan continues to gather to protect Salem against the onslaught of demons and other evil creatures that are haunting the town. In order to create her defense, Rowan needs a copy of the James family bible, which her mother had sold to a demon of the highest order, and getting it back is not going to be easy. Staying alive to mount her defense on Halloween is not going to be easy either, thanks to the influx of evil creatures who are infesting her city and continuing to test her mettle.
The plot has some interesting twists and some kick-ass action, as the story moves forward to a final stand against the dark forces that want to capture Rowan and twist her into evil. Will Azael and the rest of the gang, both family and guardians, be able to hold the dark back and perhaps even deliver a devastating blow or will Azael have to kill the one woman he loves above all to keep her from the dark evil that wants her innocence and power?
Startling truths, surprises galore as the story develops with some great battles, emotional love scenes, this book has all the ingredients that make it such a great story, and the end will really sweep you away. I highly recommend this book. I was fully invested in both the characters, but at times I did get a bit irritated with Rowan. I can’t wait to see where and how the author continues to develop this series.
For millennia the struggle between light and dark, between the upper and lower realms, has been policed by a secret group of warriors culled from every fabric of existence. They are both otherworld and human, male and female. They are light and dark themselves and known to each other as the League of Guardians. Their pledge, to protect the line between dominions and make sure neither side grows too powerful. If they fall, so shall the earth, the heavens and hell. And there will be no more.
With darkness all around him, The League of Guardians is his only means of redemption…
Azaiel, the fallen, has been given a second chance to atone for the sins of his past. With demons gathering and threatening the league, he must find out if their circle has been breached. What he doesn’t foresee is a woman—a fierce warrior—who will turn his world upside down and awaken his tortured soul.
Rowan James is a powerful witch out to avenge the death of her beloved grandmother, but she needs an ally. Will she be able to trust a man with secrets as dark as the sorrow in his eyes? Loving Rowan means risking salvation and yet Azaiel cannot ignore the hunger burning hot between them—his one last chance at happiness. With danger all around them, will these two desperate souls finally find love in each other? Or be forever damned…
Read an excerpt.