MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!
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Regin the Radiant the Valkyrie is witty, volatile and impulsive. Leaving her home Valhala at the age of 12 to go after her sister Lucia who was in danger, she meets Aidan the Fierce an honorable warlord, a berserker for aid to find her sister but insisting that she is his destined mate, Aidan intended to guard her to be wed when she comes of age but she escapes him to save Lucia. Nine years later, Regin seeks Aidan to explore her new desires. Her initial plan fails because he intends to win Ohala (Immortality) for he is forbidden to deflower Valkyrie before marriage, so he plans to slake her is other ways and teach her to wield a more compatible weapon as he work on earning his Ohala. For seven months, they lived happily together and Regin was falling for the man she desired but his life was cut short when he was stabbed by a vampire; making his best friends promise to protect her.
"Somehow love.... I will find you"
As vowed, Adrian kept being reborn and came back for her every lifetime in different guises but met the same fate everytime Aidan took over him.
Declan Chase is a mortal that possess abnormal ability and takes drugs to suppress them among his other urges. As a teen he'd been plagued by inner turmoil and He's the sole survivor of a Neoptera attack on his family; they were tortured to death right in front his eyes as he was dealt the same but survived leaving him scarred inside out. He now serves under Webb, the man that had saved and trained him mentally and physically making him a cold and hardened Magister at the Order; a mortal army bent on eradicating the Immortal race off the face of Earth. His latest assignment is to capture Regin the Radiant and learning about her kind and weaknesses. Regin is determined to avoid Aidans reincarnation this time to keep him alive but fate draws them together yet again in the cruelest circumstance.
When Regin wakes up in a secret facility protected from the outside world with the likes of Lothaire as captives and Declan aka Aidan in charge, she knows her life is screwed. And then there's also Brandr here, keeping his promise to Aidan. Declan is strangely attracted to Regin, an abomination he hates and she seems to affect him in incomprehensible ways and somehow makes him feel at ease. After witnessing his cruelty and hatred for their likes, Regin has no other choice than to lead him to his doom. Declan doesn't know what to make of the information he gets from Regin about their relationship in the past life when he was Aidan and of all his other reincarnations and when he begins to have vivid dreams connected with her story, he is certain she put them there but then she seems to patch the puzzles of his life. He struggles between his foreign feelings warring with his hatred toward her kind. When Lothaire, the Enemy of Old who's incapable of lying tells him he's a berserker, he makes one final attempt to find out the truth.
"I want to hear what you'd tell the next reincarnation of Aidan. What you'd tell him .... about me"
"We'd been through too much together to ever hold back from each other"
Finally, Regin was getting the chance to bring down Chase but at the last moment she couldn't do it. Just as Chase was about to kiss Regin, he finds out that she intended it to get him killed to escape this place.
"I want her so much even while she wants me dead"
Declan Chase was so enraged that he almost killed Webb who was a father to him because he had tricked Chase and had Regin vivisected. His anger was interrupted by La Daroda who'd followed Lothaire here for her ring turning the place into hell. In pursuit of escape, Declan is forced to make deals with Lothaire when he began using his feeling for Regin as a weapon. All of Declans emotional training came tumbling down at the sight of Regins suffering as many things became clear to him and Regin vows to seek revenge on Declan for what he had put her and her friends through. Even after they warm up to each other, Regin couldn't overcome everything that has happened and whats fated to happen while Chase believes he has a chance of having more with Regin; he just has to get rid of all their barriers to convince her. As time progresses, Brandr and Chase bond along the journey and Regin is having conflicting thoughts about her situation because she was falling for Declan Chase and he will be gone when Aidan claims his mind, then they both will be lost to her. At the last moment, Lothaire pulls a little stunt and the curse nears...
First off, I think this is the best book by Kresley Cole so far; it had all the important elements executed in near perfection. The plot was solid and spellbinding and the characters were perfectly sculpted as usual. I found them to be better that her previous books; in my opinion more three dimensional. Moreover, the imagery was spectacular.
We got to see deeper into Regins personality and the emotional side of her. As opposed to many reviewers, I actually loved Declan Chases character. He is an anti hero with a complex and deep personality that had internal struggles. I found him very intriguing. It is easy to ridicule him as being evil for his deeds but when followed from his point of view, one has to delve into the details; he battled with an inner turmoil from a young age, he was gruesomely tortured mentally and physically that even Lothaire was shaken by the memories of them, his perspective on the immortals were as good as tattooed into him with his painful experience and the brainwashing training. Where we knew these good immortals up personal, he only saw them as monsters to be annihilated. Even, on a supposedly positive exterior, he always saw deception; the unknown always gives much for the imagination and with the endless possibilities of the lore, that's a sea of them. I liked the slow and steady character development of Declan and the fact that he did not go all "Angelic" in the end was realistic in my opinion. Portraying Declans character is not an easy task but Kresley Cole did an amazing job growing it in subtle ways.
The progress of their relationship was so well played: it was exciting to watch Declan acknowledge his emotions and Regins seduction as well as intense when they fight all the major obstacles and slowly fall in love. It was also effectively paced. It may seem to some that Regin got physically intimate with Declan too easily but the fact remains that she never truly believed that Declan was involved in her vivisection, so once the pain she went through during it ebbed, she could reason past it. Having said the above, I think it's extremely difficult for the ones tortured to forgive Chase for his deeds but Regin and Brandr did because they loved him. Getting to Aidan vs. Declan; Aidan is perfect honorable, protective, arrogant, a little domineering but very caring and Declan on the other hand is brooding, dark, sinister, and psychologically damaged but intriguing. Aidan is perfect and there's nothing not to like whereas Declan is so complicated that there is much you will dislike but love and like are two different things. For me, Aidan felt like a dream and Declan just real. I think Kresley made the right decision of choosing Declan instead of Aidan for Regin.
All the secondary characters were equally captivating including the three new characters, Brandr, Natalya and Thad and especially Lothaire who takes quite a prominent role and also teases us with vague info on his mate. They were all so entertaining and their scenes were full of humor. One of my favorites from Lothaire to Thad the half vampire- "Stealing money from humans is rewarding both financially and spiritually"
The Bathroom scene with Regin and Declan, the one in the old facility when Regins was being treated and where the guys discuss ways for Declan to win Regin are my absolute favorites scenes; it had romance, love and humor respectively. This was one of the rare books that tugged at me emotionally; the scenes of Regins anesthetic-less vivisection and when Declan was holding the unconscious Regin at the old facility got my eyes all misty. This was truly an action packed and a deeply emotional story that crosses stereotype. Praise for Kresley!show more
by Dr Stephen Haines