Sherrilyn Kenyon hits the rewind button in this latest installment of The League. We’re going back to the time that coincides with the first book of the series. For me, that was cool in some ways, bad in others. I liked it because Nykyrian’s book was my favorite and I enjoyed revisiting some of the events of his story, albeit from a different perspective. It was challenging at times, though, because I read that book many years ago and I was struggling to remember what I should know, not only about Nyk’s history, but Fain Hauk’s. After all, Fain is our hero’s father.
The hero I’m talking about is Talyn Batur. I don’t remember meeting him before, but this was one of those things I was straining my memory over. He is 100% your typical Kenyon hero. He is strong, loyal, courageous, and has been mistreated his entire life. The only person who has ever loved him is his mother. (Which in the Kenyon-verse, is a small miracle. Very few have even that much love.) He is considered one of the lowest castes of Andarion, because he is unclaimed by his father’s family, and lineage is paramount to their people. The irony is that if he were legitimate, he would be of nearly royal status.
Anyway, the only way Talyn can make anything of himself is through the military. He also participates in brutal Ring fights to up his rank. He is undefeated and something of a celebrity, but in person, people treat him like the mongrel they consider him to be, Talyn is so tired of being scorned, he hires a “companion” named Felicia. So basically, our heroine is an escort, and as long as there is a contract, that’s ok in their society. Long story short, these two fall in insta-love, but can’t ever get married or have kids, because of his lineage issues. And despite the light Felicia brings to his life, things continue to suck for Talyn because his C.O. hates him and is determined to make his life a living hell. That commander and his cronies end up tying in with Nykyrian’s evil brother and the corrupt government that is destined to be overthrown.
This book feels just like the ones that came before it. The hero is abused but maintains hope. The heroine is his saving grace. She is gentle with his heart and is like a fierce little pixie, determined to protect him. Some people will love it for that reason, because it’s just like the other ones and we obviously liked those enough to keep reading. Others may be ready for something different. These books don’t stretch or grow. Kenyon has found a formula that she likes and just uses it over and over again.
For me, it was like reminiscing with an old friend. It was pleasant, but I am getting tired of hearing the same old stories. Even the dialogue and endearments felt tired. Not bad, just overly familiar.
Plus, I kept waiting for Fain to show up and make things better for Talyn. I know his book is coming and I guess it will be addressed there, but his absence left me feeling like something was missing.
I don’t know. It was ok. I liked it. I didn’t love it.
*ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
Click to purchase: Amazon
Born of Defiance
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press