In the previous books, I didn’t like Caillen that much, he came across as bratty, annoying and a bit of an arse. In fact the only member of the Dagan family I liked was Shahara and perhaps only because of her story with Syn in Born of Fire. The other sisters I just wanted to kick out of an airlock as a waste of space.
So picking up Caillen’s book I was interested to see if Kenyon could change my mind about him and show me who he really is. All I can say is… wow did she! I love that she can create and write a character that goes from one of my least favourite to one of the ones I love the most. Her characterisations are nothing short of amazing and the backgrounds she creates really bring her characters to life, in both heart and mind.
The start of the book caused me a bit of concern as he undergoes a radical life change. I can’t really say more than that without spoiling but it boggled me a bit at first and I wondered what on earth was happening. Persevere though because it all takes off from there! I loved Desideria from first meeting her, she is a strong character with a gentle heart in spite of her kill or be killed amazonian upbringing, plus never being able to live up to her mother’s expectations. That her mother is the Queen of the Qillaqs doesn’t mean Desideria gets an easy ride, it just means she has to fight harder to prove herself.
When she and Caillen meet, I absolutely loved their interactions and the comments were so well done, whether snarky, sarcastic, loving or honest. Their banter is some of the best I’ve read in a while and it really cemented their relationship for me.
The plot is quite a twisty one but I actually quite enjoyed this aspect of it, it made a refreshing change from the norm. Just when I thought I had things figured out, something came along and turned it all on its head. It was a nice touch the way we got to see the characters try to work out what was happening, even if it turned out to be wrong.
The book was full of emotion; both character’s pasts pulled at my heart and their romance just hit the right spot for me. Their feelings as they gradually allow themselves to acknowledge them, right through to admitting their love just made me happy.
All in all, due to the twisty plot, I wouldn’t say this is a typical Kenyon story, but I thought it was a brilliant one all the same.