One of the things I love most about Kresley Cole books is the way that she weaves her stories together. It’s really quite amazing how she takes all these little pieces over a dozen books and makes them all feel like they are part of this fantastic master plan that she’s had all along. Lothaire has been this mysterious and enigmatic character ever since A Hunger Like No Other. We’ve seen him scheme and manipulate; go on quests and gather debts; and we’ve had little hints: a feud with Nix… a plan to rule the vampires. And now it all makes sense.
Lothaire is the bastard son of the old Horde vampire king. His mother was a princess of the lost Diacan vamps. He should have been royalty. But his father cast him and his mother out. And they were forsaken by her family. As she died, he swore his revenge –to one day rule both the Horde and the Diacans– and it’s all he has lived for ever since.
Now he has finally found his Bride, the woman fated to be his Queen. Elizabeth is a human whose body is being possessed by an evil deity. Lothaire thinks the deity is his destined mate (though obviously it’s Elizabeth) and he makes it his mission to find a way to permanently expel Elizabeth’s soul from her body to give Soroya the reigns. He holds her captive as he tries to track down that powerful wish-granting ring he stole from the mummy back in Pleasure of a Dark Prince. And as much as they outwardly disdain each other, there is an undeniable attraction between Elizabeth and Lothaire… one they can only fight so long, before they give in.
Here’s the thing: Lothaire is sexy and ruthless. But he is also a complete asshole. He imprisons Ellie. He is cruel to her. He inflicts his will on her over and over again –and continues to do so even after he realizes she is really the one for him. He’s completely self-absorbed and I felt like it took too long before he could stop seeing Ellie as beneath him. He did, however, make some powerful sacrifices and the sex was really hot… so there was some good stuff going on the romance department too. I just wish he had treated her better than he did for 90% of the book.
For me, where the book shines, are in the moments Cole lets us see the history and connections among the characters. I loved getting the backstory on Lothaire and Nix. I loved that she worked-in Hag, the Oracle from Kiss of a Demon King, and gave a shout-out to Lanthe. I loved Thaddeus, from Dreams of a Dark Warrior, with a capital-L. And the last sentence of the book really knocked my socks off.
Cole sets up her spinoff Diacan series nicely –and leaves me hoping that we’ll get a Kristoff and Furie book very soon. 4 stars.
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Lothaireby Kresley ColeRelease Date: January 19, 2012Publisher: Gallery Books