In a society that seems to be loosely based on the habits of black widow spiders, the strong females have eliminated all but the weakest males and females, leaving only a few strong males to strengthen their bloodlines. This has been going on for centuries. But the coming of a female with power that has never even been imagined has been foretold. Daemon and his brother, Lucivar, have endured slavery and unimaginable cruelty by holding onto the hope that they would one day get to serve this Witch. Saetan has endured centuries of a half-life ruling over Hell, holding onto the hope that this Witch, the daughter of his soul, will come to him. She finally appears, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.
I loved this. It took me a little while to get into it because I have a very low tolerance for learning a whole new culture just to read a fantasy book. My limits were pushed at the beginning, but I got through it, and I'm so glad I did. Little Jaenelle, Daemon, Surreal, Tersa, Lucivar, and even Saetan were complex, likable characters. Yes, you read that right--Saetan was likable. Think of him as being more like Hades, god of a shadowy underworld, than like Satan, Prince of Darkness and ruler of the fire-and-brimstone-eternal-damnation Hell. And, oh my goodnes, Daemon. What can I say about Daemon? He's hot as hell, and I think I have the beginnings of a full-fledged book crush. *Fanning myself*
Okay, moving on. Once I got into the story, I truly could not stop reading, and once I finished, I was exhausted. The plot just kept building and building, and I got more and more tense, waiting to see what was going to happen next. I would recommend having the next book handy so you can keep reading. The ending of this one was a cliffhanger, so you will probably want to keep going. I would have been pretty disappointed if I had read this when it first came out, knowing that I would have to wait years to find out what happens.
What bothered me a little bit, and kept me from giving this a full five stars, is that, other than the main characters, everyone else was very flat. They were evil *itches, whose sole reason for existence seemed to be to have sex with the hot males they kept around as toys. I know it's hard to flesh out secondary characters without bogging down the story, but it would have been nice to have a little more depth to them.
Overall, I highly recommend this to fantasy fans who aren't going to be bothered by reading about Saetan and Hell. Girls--you will love the men. I promise you.
Reviewed early 2009
Read an excerpt.
Find author Anne Bishop on her website.
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Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.