Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (February 3, 2009)
The son of Warcraft and Hate, Cratus spent eternity battling for the ancient gods who birthed him. He was death to any who crossed him. Until the day he laid down his arms and walked into self-imposed exile. Now an ancient enemy has been unleashed and our dreams are his chosen battlefield. The only hope we have is the one god who swears he will never fight again.
As a Dream-Hunter, Delphine has spent eternity protecting mankind from the predators who prey on our unconscious state. But now that her allies have been turned, she knows in order to survive, the Dream-Hunters need a new leader. Someone who can train them to fight their new enemies. Cratus is her only hope. But she is a bitter reminder of why he chose to lay down his arms.
Time is running out and if she can't win him to her cause, mankind will be slaughtered and the world we know will soon cease to exist.
In this new chapter of the Dream-Hunter series we get the inevitable hallmark features of Kenyon with a seriously tortured Titan named Cratus/Jericho and an Oneroi heroine named Delphine who becomes the balm for Cratus/Jercho soul pain. Then we have a “save the world from all evil” plot delivered with the writing style that includes the ironic meets sarcastic and a dash of humor to elevate the darkness.
For one act of kindness Jericho is punished every night for centuries until he is needed again by Zeus to give some serious whoop-ass to some serious evil ascending from the ancient past. Now, Jeroicho was already a mean S.O.B when he was the God of Strength but now he had one thing on his mind: retaliation for what was done to him. So he pledged his powers and loyalty to the other side. However, Azura and Noir want to keep him of their plate for a few days and throw in a captured Oneroi, Delphine, to keep him busy.
Delphine is an Oneroi, she is not without her own powers and she is using them full force for what she believes in, no matter the consequences. She is loyal, kind, and good natured but still a warrior to the core and no woman to push around. When Nike, the sister of Jericho, asks of Delphine to save her brother she agrees but moments later she is whisked away by their enemy, Noir.
Jericho and Delphine create a touching push-pull emotion of opening up and getting to trust someone and yet also retreat behind the thick shell of protection around the heart again. I liked them together, they were heartwarming and nice but their romance is more of the same old, same old in this series to truly give me that emotional impact which makes me rave about a novel. With all those new characters to get to know it took time for me to get me connected with Jericho and Delphine as a love couple. It isn’t like the romance is getting shelved as a byproduct, it is more like Kenyon follows a standard recipe which by now lost its true intensity and effect to grab me in the gut with raw emotions. It merely becomes pleasant, agreeable and yes, in the end it was endearing to follow.
Now what really got me going in Dream Warrior was that it contained more of a structured plot and world building then the previous three novels. It is either that or the transitional story arc is catching up with me as I start to recognize characters like Jared and Jaden and remember what The Source is all about and so on. I never got in sync with the Dream-Hunters as more than saviors of the Dark-Hunters when their dreams wreaked havoc on them but in Dream Warrior they got more interesting for me. Especially M’Adoc perks my interest as this story will reveal a few new details surrounding his persona! As a transition story – something One Silent Night and Dream Warrior have been classified as – it did the job. More background information is given and the introduced characters are getting more substantial. The plot was multi-functional, it linked both the romance story to the ongoing intensifying of the Dark/Dream-Hunter world building and characterization.
Of course there was a plethora of secondary characters, one of the reasons I keep buying the novels is to catch up with previous and beloved characters. It seems Ash isn’t the most powerful God/ Chthonian etc in Kenyon’s world anymore yet he is still the “to-go-guy” whenever someone is in deep trouble. Asmodeus, a demon servant, adds a humorous note to the story, Nick is being firmly set in the upcoming arc with multi-layered aspects surrounding his character. Zeus with his petty intrigues and dalliances is like an annoying fly you like to swat and in the end we get a dessert of another group, named The Dogs of War, brought on to fight new enemies and they rise the f*ck you level to a whole new equation. As I thought the era of Kyrian, Julian, Talon and the rest of the gang was definitely coming to closure it is Zarek who is being reintroduced into the immediate here and now of the series. I liked the deepening of various characters in the supporting cast and a special note for Jaden and Jared, because all I thought with these two was: “Hubba, hubba, come to mama!” One of the strong suits from Sherrilyn Kenyon is how to create some mysterious characters who make me want to unravel every layer and find out what they are made of. Jared and Jaden are such characters!
The end has a cliff hanger that perks up the interest even more. It all feels more connected, both in story as in the overall series arc and this leaves me pleased. I’m not saying it is top-notch - blew my cap off reading experience but still, I’m more positive than I was for the last few novels written by Kenyon’s hand. And as a transitional story it did the trick for me!
The joined rank like a pack of feral lions ready to patrol the jungle. No. not patrol…