11 November 2009

Review: Sherrilyn Kenyon - Born Of Night

~buy a copy here~
Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312942303
ISBN-13: 978-0312942304

Genre: Futuristic Romance
Main Characters: Nykyrian Quikiades and Kiara Zamir
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover summary:
In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . . .

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League—and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.

The last year I had to do some inner debating on why I still religiously keep buying every novel of various series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. What kind of hold does this author have on me? Is it my need to experience that excitement again that I felt upon reading those very first Dark-Hunter novels? Was it the acerbic humor of her characters or the sometimes fabulous dialogues and one-liners I had become addicted to? Whatever Kenyon’s mojo is it keeps me invested in her series, albeit at times by a thin thread. I heard about The League trilogy in my early days of reading Kenyon’s work but with the staggering OOP prices I set my curiosity for them aside. Now, as they are being reissued and were written back to the original stories I was intrigued if I could be swept off my feet by something pre Dark-Hunters.

The League is an institution for the finest, the toughest and most skilled assassins doing the bidding of The League’s council. You didn’t quit The League, The League quit you in just one way, and you would end up 6 ft under. So when their top assassin walked away from all he’d ever known hunting season was open and Nykyrian Quiakides instantly became an outlaw.

Kiara Zamir has been the target of many assassinations but she has survived them all. Still, enemies kept trying and almost succeed if not for the Nemesis a.k.a Nykyrian who saves the day and returns her to her father. In that moment their lives become entangled and new threats darken both their lives now. Two people who do not trust easily are thrown together to defeat their enemies once and for all.

Let me just start by saying that while the blue print of the hero is very hallmark for Sherrilyn Kenyon; tortured in every way possible and then some, Born of Night has more depth of character then anything I have recently read from this author save ACHERON. Though I was annoyed at times by the sameness in all the heroes background and at times it took the moral high ground, I also reveled in the amount of time that was spent on character building. For the first time, in a long time, I really felt I was getting to know the characters in every way possible.

Nykyrian is a lost and tortured soul doing what he does best and makes quite a bundle with it. He and his Sentinel group have no trouble killing people but it has to be justified in their eyes. Nykyrian’s inner turmoil shows a man with a past void of any affection or is allowed to show any emotion. Throughout the five hundred and thirty-four pages his background is intertwined in manageable portions so I didn’t feel overwhelmed but got a good overall picture of what he was like in the days of his past and what he had to endure. I would almost say that he was raised in a very Spartan way.

Kiara is neither a kick-ass heroine nor is she a spineless coward, she’s rather a mix of courage and fear that comes through as genuine and believable. A flawed woman and with compassion and curiosity she challenges Nykyrian which often delivered vibrant interaction. The dialogues are often saturated with acerbic comments, dry sarcasm or a gritty tone among the assassins that matches their personalities. Still, Kiara entwines a femininity to it without becoming overly girlish or na├»ve. In a testosterone rich story she keeps herself standing and demanding a place of her own.

The romance was a slow-burn one, ready to erupt at the right time and at the right place that touches on some powerful emotions between Nykyrian and Kiara. Kenyon took her time to add nuances to the romance which made it a gripping, dark and smoldering story to begin with. Add some enigmatic secondary characters to it and I was excited to meet each new character. Syn whom I got to know the best is a charmer but just as ruthless and feral as Nykyrian. Darling Cruel is an explosive expert, Dancer Hauk nurtures a savage strength and is a brilliant tech expert and along with the more mysterious Jayne they are a threesome who flavor this story with their more than interesting backgrounds. Between them all there is also humor to be found yet the focus remained on the motives that drive each individual.

With the intensity of the story I was surprised at how easily I read this meatier book. Every character, even the archenemies in Born Of Night was compelling in some form or another. The world of The League and its assassins is harsh, brutal, power-driven and has its own code of conduct. This darker, edgier tone is perfectly voiced by Kenyon, sometimes it is even gruesome but never out of proportion or something that I couldn’t read. The ‘defeating of my archenemies’ plot contained great visual fight scenes and barely survived escapes and added another thrill for me to keep reading.

Born Of Night delivers Kenyon’s most familiar issues like trust, betrayal, torture and how two emotionally scarred people find a love to call their own. The greatest asset in this first League novel is the insightful, heart tugging emotional and in-depth characterization of a group of outstanding characters who pull you into the world of Ichidian Universe. A romance that blossoms with endearing moments and grows from a simmering sensual tension to a full blown passion that delivers on a high-stake ending. I am loving the League characters that Kenyon breaths to life, with the familiar issues ranging from their pain from the past and their salt-and-vinegar attitudes. Some become larger-than-life as push comes to shove in admitting their deepest and truest colors.

Though Futuristic Romance is not a genre I read many books in I am glad to have given The League a chance.

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  1. I'd go for some futuristic assassins, sounds cool. And since I have read some Kenyon and liked the little I read then yeah bring them on

  2. I haven't read Kenyon in a while. I have this on my shelf. Perhaps it's time again. Great review Leontine :)

  3. Leontine we are like twins! I was totally vibbing ACHERON in Born of Night, perhaps why I liked the book so much. If you ever figure out Kenyon's secret mojo please pass it along, she is one author that is always on my auto buy list. Great Review!

  4. So is this one of her futuristics from years ago? I've read two of them and while I don't remember them that well, I do know I enjoyed them. I heard a while ago that she was going to be rereleasing them and this must be it. I shall have to get me a copy of this book. I gave up on the Dark Hunter series quite some time ago as they were all way too similar. But I would love her earlier books.

  5. Sherrilyn has some of the most interesting names of any author novels. For me, that can sometimes be a bit distracting. I mean how do you pronounce Nykyrian anyway? Ni-ker-en?? Everytime I see the name I stop and wonder "Am I saying it right? Or do I have it totally wrong?" Takes away from the experience.

    Buuuuut, like you, I'm affected by Kenyon's mojo all the same. I have every dark-hunter book although I'm eight books behind and I also pounced immediately on the League series. It's crazy but I seriously can't help myself!

    Great review, girl. I don't know when I'll get to these novels and same goes for the Dark-hunters. Soon is all I can say.

    ;) VFG

  6. @Blodeuedd - I personally can't wait to dive in to Born of Fire, the story of Syn. He was one of those formidable secondary characters. I just hope he delivers in his own story!

    @Smokinhotbooks - Acheron was one of those books that was really all encompassing and I had that feeling with Born Of Night too.

    @Kristie - There was much recognition for me but still the change of venue did much for this story ;)

    @VFG - We've got time...or at least we can imagine we have the luxury of time LOL

  7. I can't wait to read this (again). My copy is speeding along on the mail truck as I type.

    I did read the earlier series, but I can's say that I remember it all that well. I read it and sold that sucker because it was so expensive. Looking forward to re reading and maybe keeping it this time.

  8. I am sorry I am just making my way here honey! Miss ya!! Hope all is well for you & hubby!

    This book sounds very intriguing. I have not read anything by Ms. Kenyon. **bows head** She has so much out there that I almost feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start. But I do like the sound of this book.
    I hope you have a great weekend and hope to hear from you soon! Love ya!

  9. I found you through an #FF - love the blog BTW. You know I have never read Kenyon? Which is really odd if you know my reading habits. I think its because the amount of books is just sooo intimidating I don't even know where to start. Any recommendations on a starting point?
    - Parajunkee

  10. Great review Leontine I have yet to try these but I've already got this on my to buy list because I love all of Sherrilyn's books! She's just awesome isn't she.
    Big hugs my friend and hope you have a great weekend! :)

  11. Never read anything by Ms. Kenyon either! But futuristic sounds good. Perhaps I should try her.

  12. You have such an eloquent way with words, I can really tell when you have enjoyed a novel. I plan on reading this Trilogy also. I'm also a fan Kenyon's writing. Great Review!

  13. @romancebooktrader - They say this edition if different from the original publication, that it is both hotter and contains more fighting scenes. I'm not complaining ;)

    @cecile - *gasp* I could not read past "have not read anything by Ms.kenyon" Puts on bookpimp hat: Girl you just need...absolutely NEED to get yourself thiose very first Dark-Hunter books...they're sooo good, they have hot vampires, gods and demigods, very good humor and Kenyon's writing is on fire...fire I tell ya. Go forth and gather some DH I'd say!

    @JennJ - Looking forward to the moment you reach these books on your TBR pile LOL

    @SusiSunshine - again *gasp* have NOT read anything by Kenyon??!! How, why...along JR Ward, Kresley Cole and so forth Kenyon is a must read in the PNR genre. Really go try some first releases in the Dark-Hunter series! *hhmmmm, did that sound like an order?*

    @Donna - cheeks blushing a bit...eloquent...AmyC said I was prosey, perhaps it is my upper English that i was taught in school dat shines through. I hope you'll enjoy them too Donna. I have Born In Fire high up my TBR pile.

  14. Yes ma'am... On my way to research the series now... and find debit card... and on my way to online book store now... I will tell hubby Leontine told me I HAD TO GET THESE!!! Hee hee!!!

  15. Though I'd let you know that Chapters had a 25% off weekend and I, not having enough books already *snort* got myself a copy of this one along with Born of Fire (and *cough*4 other books)

  16. I've only read one book of hers, one she wrote with Dianna Love. But I went to a conference and she was there. She was signing books and her line was out the door. It def. made me want to check out more of her books to see what all the buzz is about.

  17. @Kristie - Don't say stuff like that, it makes the bookie-moster growl with hunger ;)

    @Lori - I've met Sherrilyn Kenyon on a convention in Germany and she was such a nice person. I like various series of her; Dark-Hunters / Lords Of Avalon and her Macgregor series.

  18. I can't help it I love her tortured heros even in her historicals. I've really been wanting to try these even more after this review;)


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.