At a time where I am feeling very disconnected from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, I am happy to report that I enjoyed this latest League book. I did have some issues, but I liked both main characters and their second chance at love story, especially with their grown son a major player in the story.
This is finally Fain’s book, and Kenyon primed us well with Talyn’s story in the last installment. We’ve seen the fallout from Fain’s decision to leave Galene all those years ago. Her social standing was ruined and their son lived a life beneath even the lowest castes of society, since he had no paternal lineage. Fain went off and married a human woman, despite his betrothal to Galene and, well, everyone ended up suffering for it.
Kenyon loves taking scenarios that seem to be one thing, then showing us that they were really something else. Like with Darling. Or Styxx. Now we see the real circumstances that took Fain away from Galene. It wasn’t that he loved his human, but rather, he was forced to leave Galene to save lives. And when he finds out about Talyn –and the fallout from his absence– it rocks him to the core.
Fain and Galene are thrown together again on a mission where they must work together and they have a lot to work through. Neither ever really knew what the other endured, but the love that was between them has never died. They have to overcome years of heartbreak and hard knocks to make their way back to each other. Throw Talyn in the mix and a constant threat to the lives of Fain’s loved ones –and things don’t slow down for a moment.
I really believed in the emotional connection between Fain and Galene. I also felt the deep hurt he inflicted –as well as the equally deep remorse he felt as a result. Talyn’s loyalty to his mother and anger over his father’s choice to leave gave a great additional layer to the dynamic. I liked that we finally got what felt like a missing part of the story in the last book.
Old favorites like Nyk, Jayne and the Sentella play a big role in the second half, which I loved. But here is where it also started to get hairy. There are so many characters, I found myself starting to get lost… which is what has driven me away from the Dark Hunter books (though not to that extreme just yet.) There are just too many names to keep straight –not the past core couples, but all of their family members and friends, plus connections we never even knew about. It’s even dicier when you think about what you know from the second generation flash forwards from Born of Ice and “Fire and Ice.” Kenyon’s website has a great character guide, but I don’t want to have to consult reference material every time a read one of her books.
My other complaint is really the familiar misery each hero seems to have. He was mistreated and abused. His heroine is the only woman who has ever made him feel worthwhile. Plus now, Kenyon’s new bonus theme of “the untold story you never knew the truth about.” She does all of this well, but the themes and tones are just becoming too familiar.
All that said, there is a reason Kenyon has found success with this formula. Despite the familiarity… despite the overwhelming number of characters… I liked the book. I was happy with the ending. And I was intrigued by where she is going for the next book. Even though it’s a hero whose story we thought we knew but were totally wrong about. And who was never loved and everyone hates him but the woman he loves. But I’ll deal with that when I get to Born of Legend.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Born of Betrayal
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press