Welcome back to my blog, I hope you have been doing okay during this period.
Who is looking forward to the easing of the lockdown rules? Not me. My reason? Covid-19 is still around and there might be a second wave so, yes I am not looking forward to the easing of the lock down rules. Stay safe everyone.
Today I am reviewing the books mentioned above. These are the first two books of Christine Feehan’s Dark series; there are 34 books in the series so let’s embark on this amazing journey with Christine.
First published in 1999, this is the first book of the Dark series.
His people were a dying race and he failed them. As their leader, he had been committed to finding a way to save those he looked after. Too many of the males were turning, giving up their souls to become the undead in desperation. There were no women to continue their species, to bring them back from the darkness in which they dwelled. They had no hope to continue. The males were essentially predators, the darkness growing and spreading in them until they had no emotion, nothing but the dark in a gray, cold world. For each it was necessary to find his missing half, the life mate that would bring him forever into the light.
Mikhail Dubrinsky is the Prince of his people and as his Carpathian race grows closer to extinction, he is close to giving in to his loneliness and wariness.
Raven Whitney is a woman with extraordinary powers for a human and she has a very kind mind, she feels Mikhail’s despair and wanted to give him a little comfort.
The story begins as Mikhail discovers that Raven has brought his emotions back and he can see in colour again (although she is human and up till now it is only Carpathian woman who are known to do that for Carpathian men). He is eager to claim her for himself but she is yet unaware that he is of a different race entirely.
We see the importance of finding the one who is your life mate in the story of Noelle and Rand and the consequences when you are with someone that is not meant for you (although Noelle paid a huge price for her stubbornness and stupidity).
“Rand became impatient with the waiting. Noelle was obsessed with him, but they were not true life mates. I think they ended up hating each other, trapped in the sickness of their relationship. He will survive her passing.” Mikhail worked to keep the disgust from his voice. True life mates could not survive long without each other. That fact and the high mortality rate of their children, had taken a huge toll on their dwindling race. Mikhail was not certain his people would survive into the next century. No matter how hard he tried, he could not find the hope necessary to keep the males from turning vampire.
The Carpathian race is dwindling and Mikhail has a lot on his shoulders as well as ensuring the survival of his race he also has to exact justice for his people on the human hunters killing them.
Mikhail slammed a fist against the rock fireplace, creating a fine network of lines across the stones. “I nearly killed a woman tonight.” He confessed it harshly, his dark eyes wounded. “You told me God made us for a purpose, that we were created by him. I am more beast than man, Edgar, and I cannot continue to delude myself. I would seek eternal rest, but even that is denied to me. Assassins stalk my people. I have no right to leave them until I know they are protected. Now my woman is in danger, not only from me but from my enemies.”
I loved the faith discussion that was entwined into the story because there are comparisons between vampires and Carpathian, so talking about their place in creation was a stroke of genius and a natural progression to different them from vampires.
I notice that after Raven’s conversion, her speech pattern changes and mirrors the ‘old world’ pattern of Mikhail’s. Trouble is brewing in the world, how many will suffer from the on-coming prejudice?
There are some really intense and interesting characters and I can’t wait to read their stories. The book is giving me twilight and Dracula vibes, although twilight was written after this book. I read this book for the first time when I was sixteen which is more than a decade now and I still love at as much as I did then but I found it hard to get into at first because the things I was able to ignore when I was younger I found hard to tolerate now, for example Mikhail’s overwhelming dominance or Raven’s seeming fragility.
Also published in 1999 this is the second book in the Dark series.
The second book begins with the capture and torture of Jacques delivered by the human hunters, they bury him alive in a coffin while he is chained and staked. For years he remains in this state with pain, hunger and agony, his only relief is finding the woman who shares his tribulations with him but hasn’t come to his rescue. When Jacques finally finds her, she is in the middle of a surgery and he assumes she is part of the people who tortured and betrayed him because he has lost his memories.
He often resented wanting to talk to her, but she had an interesting mind. And she was everything to him. His Savior. His tormentor. Without her presence, without touching her mind, he would have been completely insane, and he knew it. She unwittingly shared her strange life with him, gave him something to concentrate on, a companionship of sorts. In a way it was ironic. She thought him locked underground. She thought herself safe from his vengeance. But she had created the monster, and now she was keeping him going, his strength growing with his every touch to her mind.
Jacques is utterly convinced of her duplicity but she is the only companion he has, his only link to the world amidst his torment so although he hates her and wants vengeance he clings to her because he needs her companionship. Shea O’Halloran is a doctor, hunted by the human society slaughtering people they believe to be vampires.
She was already driving in the general direction of the Carpathian Mountains, her father’s birthplace. The land of superstition and myth. The rare blood disorder she suffered from could very well have originated there. Suddenly she was excited, focusing her mind completely on the data so that she pushed aside fear.
Shea believes she has a blood disorder that requires her to have a blood transfusion often, she has been looking for a cure to her ailment and she is directed to the Carpathian Mountains by Jacques while running away from the hunters after her. Shea has been feeling like she shares her mind with someone for seven years now but she feels it is a dream. She feels his agony and suffering but because she feels he is a dream she hasn’t actively sort him out until she follows the compulsion to explore an area in the Carpathian Mountains.
The moment Shea discovers Jacques and what has been done to him is so heart rending, I cannot imagine such suffering, the pain and agony or the demented mind it takes to inflict such damage on another. Christine’s description is thought provoking. Shea tries to help Jacques with his bondage and torment.
Jacques is mated to his brother-in-law’s daughter and his nephew is her half-brother (that is giving me a headache to think about). If we follow the concept of this book, Noelle was the other woman although she was married to Rand because she wasn’t his true life mate, Shea’s mother was.
This stranger was more beast than man, not the gentle brother-in-law she had known. At one time, Jacques had been filled with lazy amusement, with laughter and boyish pranks. Now he was a being without mercy, dangerous, insane perhaps.
The contrast between Jacques now and in the first book is outstanding; then again anyone will change after going through such gruesome ordeal. The story between the first book and the second is twenty five years apart, this shows the longevity of the characters’ lives.
I could really picture the end of the book like the end scene of a movie.