DARK SKYE (Immortals After Dark # 14) By Kresley Cole
Dark Skye is the story of ill-fated childhood best friends, Thronos and Lanthe. Thronos is royalty in his Vrekener clan. A real life prince of a winged warrior. Vrekeners reside in the secluded floating city of Skye Hall. It is far above the clouds, heaven of sorts and the residents live a life of austere moderation to say the least. No impure thoughts, no pre-marital sex, no drinking, no dancing, no flashy clothes, no thinking outside the box. Self control to the most excruciating degree. Lanthe is Queen of Persuasion, royalty of the Sorceri. Sorceri worship gold, live in the moment, and are carousing, wanton sexual beings. Sorceri are the night to Vrekener day but Lanthe is fated to be Thronos’ light. Oh yeah, family feuds, beheadings, 500 year pursuits, and deeply seated opposing positions on perceived differing moralities cause a universe full of hurt and pain for these star crossed destined mates. Thronos and Lanthe meet in their innocent youth. They quickly become best friends and Thronos immediately recognizes he’s found his true soul mate in Lanthe. Sadly, the universe, and every thing else imaginable, conspires against them. Horrible, unforgivable things happen and instead of building a life together, Lanthe finds herself on the run from the broken and murderous man Thronos has become. Thank the gods and other worldly deities for Nix.
So, here is where I spill the beans and tell you I am in the minority. I was not chomping at the bit for this book. I thought Dark Skye was going to be one of those filler books in a series I love. I’d resolved myself to believe Cole was simply giving us this story because so many of her fans were yammering on about it. I knew I’d read it because Immortals After Dark is my favorite paranormal series but I was in no rush. We met Thronos and Lanthe in earlier books and honestly, their stories never touched me the way other characters did. I was indifferent. And here my friends, is where I admit my thinking was wrong. So very, wrong. Big, fat wrong-headedness, table for one, wrong. This book that I’d once considered unnecessary fluff is actually one of the most important books in this series so far. It goes an extremely long way in the progression of the bigger story of the IAD series. The Accession. So much is explained, so much is revealed if you’re paying attention, and so much is left wide open.
Here’s what I learned, without spilling any spoilers. Like I’ve said all along, Nix is crazy like a fox. Every freaking off the wall thing that woman says has meaning so pay attention, always. Nix is a soothsayer, she knows the outcome of this Accession, she’s already seen it. She may not have earned her formal Goddess ranking yet, but you should know that is absolutely going to happen. Here’s my prediction, my beloved Nix is going to have to die. It pains me to say that but my worry is eased a bit when I look a little closer at her name – no, not Nucking Futs Nix – Phoenix the Everknowing…Phoenix…rise from the ashes, Nix. If you’ve not read Dark Skye, go now and do it, I’m pretty sure we will be on the same page. I’m not going to lie: When I pieced all of this together, I had to slap myself for not seeing it sooner and I had to take a day to let all of the pieces settle into place. Oh, I have no idea where this is going; that’s the beauty of Cole’s writing. But I sure know I’m on board for wherever she takes us. We do get a glimpse at a highly sought after treasure that has been unaccounted for a very long time. I think we might be going there next and if so, I say bring it on.
The love story of Lanthe and Thronos plays out beautifully. There is so much character growth, as both have to break down their own misconceptions, find peace with their individual demons (trust me, there’s a pun there) and decide if they have the internal fortitude to allow themselves to truly experience love. The physical battles these two have to wage together only builds the strength they found in each other all those years ago, when they were innocents in a meadow, cocooned in protective wings, telling each other secrets. Hell, there is even a torturous Ground Hog Day feel to one scenario. These two have to keep reliving their worst pain and sorrow until they realize what they are to each other. Freaking hard-headed Loreans. It’s hard to read — it’ll bring a gasp and tear — but it’s like resetting a poorly healed broken bone. Push through the pain, and it’ll be better on the other side. While I wanted more, so much more at the end, the resolution is abrupt but complete, as complete as it can be when the Accession is bearing down on us.
Scandal reads all things romantic, erotic and paranormal…and Highlanders, never forget the Highlanders! Check out her thoughts on books and her weekly podcast on www.scandaliciousbookreviews.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ScandaliciousBookReviews), Twitter (@ScandaliciousBR) and Tumblr (http://scandaliciousbooks.tumblr.com).