After enduring over a century of being repeatedly burned to death and then being resurrected Lachlain MacRieve is perhaps not in the best frame of mind when he escapes to search for his destined mate. He is even more upset to learn his destined mate is the (half) vampire Emmaline, especially as it was the vampire Horde who chained him up in front of a column of eternal fire in the first place. So begins the (very) rocky road of their romance. And just when it seems they have sorted their problems out, Emmaline's past finally catches up with them.
I know some people have a problem with Lachlain, taken at face value, his actions don't show him in the best light. To begin your courtship of someone by sexually assaulting them (not just once), is perhaps not the best way to start. But I think this has to be placed in context.
- His attitudes are 150 years out of date. That's how long he's been standing in front of a pillar of eternal fire. Which brings me to...
- He has been tortured in a way that is hard for us to understand, repeatedly being burnt to death with no hope of reprieve - for over a century. (As an aside somewhere Furie is being repeatedly drowned, I'm trying to imagine how hardass she's gonna be when they finally get round to rescuing her).
- So at the beginning of the book he is not in his own mind. He's running on instinct and fury.
Emmaline on the other hand is a little bit wimpy in the beginning. Half vampire/half valkyrie, she seems to have more of the weaknesses of the two races rather than their strengths. It is through her relationship with Lachlain that she finally begins to stand on her own two feet and ultimately takes her destiny into her own hands.
"You're going to drink, Emma!" he bellowed.This was how it had to be, Lachlain had to be with someone who would call him on his behaviour. Initially he sees and refers to her as 'vampire' and not Emma, as long as he does this, she's just a thing to him - one he can do anything to because she's a vampire not a person. So for a lot of the book there is this understandable distrust between them. Not helped by the fact that Lachlain decides what's in Emma's best interests for her to know or not know.
"Get bent, Lachlain!!" she screamed back at him...
"...Now she believes I'm a liar. Probably because I lied to her."And whilst most of their confusions could be sorted out if they'd only talk to each other - it's very difficult for either of them to take that first step.
This book basically sets up the world and mythology of the Lore. Besides Lachlain and Emma we're introduced to numerous characters - Nix, Kaderin, Daniela, Lucia, Bowen - who has some of the best lines during his short appearance in the story
"After tonight, I see you've a verra delicate sparrow on your hands. I'll be sure to loosen up my jaw for her in case she wants to backhand me."- so glad he's got his own book, Gareth, Uilleam, Munro. But Kresley Cole manages to keep all of her balls in the air. At the same time teasing us with frustrating hints about who might be characters in future books.
Even in this first book (not counting the short story) the cutting wit and banter between the characters is already here. Each character is incredibly well drawn and whilst we might not always like the way in which they behave, it's possible to understand why they might choose to behave in that way.
In case you haven't guessed, I love this series. :) Reviews of books 3,4 and 5 coming soon.