Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Born of Shadows

The latest installment in Sherrilyn Kenyon's The League series is definitely a mixed bag. Let me start with what I liked about it. Caillen's story takes us back to the original cast of characters featured in Born of Night and Born of Fire. We had jumped ahead in time for a while to focus on the next generation of the core families for Born of Ice. But this story is set only 2-3 years after the events in Born of Fire. I'm happy about this. I thought there were plenty of great characters in the original group still waiting to be explored, and now Kenyon is giving me just what I was hoping for.

Caillen is a rouge smuggler who is also a charming rake. He bears no loyalty to any woman but his sisters. And he lives life by the seat of his pants. As our story begins, he is arrested and sentenced to death while taking the blame for something his sister did. Just before he is executed, it's revealed he is actually the long lost son of a foreign king. Caillen isn't really cut out for life as a prince, but he is giving it his best shot, in honor of his new father. It's during a sort-of international summit that he meets Desideria, a princess from a race of warrior women. When the two of them get framed for the murders of their own parents, they go on the run, while trying to solve the mystery of who set the terrible plan in motion.

It's hard not to like Caillen, though he didn't inspire terribly deep feelings. Obviously, he and Desideria fall for each other as they are drawn together by circumstance. But this book is seriously missing the dark and sexy vibe of my favorite Kenyon books. In fact, if memory serves, I think there is only one love scene in the entire book. (Come on! Play to your strengths, Ms Kenyon!) But honestly, this isn't even my biggest complaint. My biggest issue with the book is the plot surrounding the assassinations. The closer we got to the end of the book, the more convoluted it became. Every time I thought we finally understood what was going on, a different twist was revealed. Now, I love a good twist as much as the next person, but I think I've got whiplash. It got confusing.

It was great to see Syn, Sharhara, Nykyrian, Hauk and Darling again. But this brings me to another point.... The epilogue is set up to clearly pave the way for Darling's book, when Desideria asks Caillen, "Are you sure Darling is gay?... Because I caught him ogling a female secretary." Um. No. Way. I am highly disappointed by the idea of revisionist history for Darling, who has always been as gay as the day is long. So gay that he was beaten to a pulp over it, time and time again by his uncle in previous books. And now we're supposed to believe, what? He was faking it? He is bi? But he never told the friends he has trusted with life and death secrets? Again I say: No Way.

So when all was said and done, this book was ok. I would have liked a bit more sex and a less complicated resolution, but I'm glad we've returned to this time period. Now if only I could get that Nero book I've been wishing for. 3 1/2 stars

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

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At Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 12:13:00 PM CDT , Blogger JillyB07 said...

I love sherrilyn Kenyon but I havnt read this series. I remember when the first one came out, I read the back of the book and when I couldn't pronounce half the names I decided not to read it. Sad but true. I still don't know if I will read it or not. Maybe one day.

At Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 1:19:00 AM CDT , Blogger Megan@Riverina Romantics said...

Jen,I've heard about SK turning Darling bi or hetero. Makes no sense to my. Why would she do this? Is she afraid of loosing popularity? We all know that JR Ward hasn't lost any popularity w/ the whole Quay storyline. In fact if she actually writes their novella it will be a smash hit. She has us all wanting more of them!

At Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 8:57:00 AM CDT , Blogger Unknown said...

I read your review on goodreads before I got to my netgalley copy. I couldnt help but thinking this chicks crazy, what did she read, Kenyon is never off. Then I read the book. Totally agree with you on ALL points.The Darling thing is just pissy! She has plenty of hetro men to write about if she wont write a homosexual book. I love this series, I liked Born of Shadows, I'll still continue with the series, I was just not too happy with this one.


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