Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Baby, I will always come for you.“
Seth is one of the most fierce Guardians to the evil Noir. Sold into slavery as a child, Seth, an Egyptian demigod, has spent thousands of years guarding and being tortured by one of the most sadistic primal source gods in existence. When Seth is commanded to find the Key, an artifact that can destroy the Greek Pantheon, he kidnaps the dream god Solin and tortures him for its whereabouts. When a beautiful young woman appears and tries to rescue Solin, Seth is both angered and intrigued. What must it be like to be loved so much that a person would risk their own life to save yours? When Solin promises the key in exchange for sparing the woman’s life, Seth decides he must know who or what this woman is and gives Solin an ultimatum. Find the Key and return in three days or the woman dies.
Lydia doesn’t understand why Solin was kidnapped, only that her orders are to free him at all costs. When she is captured by Seth and her powers drained, she finds herself at the mercy of a most complex man. Deadly and fierce; Lydia expects to be slain at any moment but this man confuses her. The mixture of man and child calls to Lydia and she begins to chip away at his armor until she discovers the man underneath. His inability to understand or accept simple kindness breaks Lydia’s heart and she vows that no matter what; she will free Seth from Noir’s clutches.
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dream-Hunter series is a spin-off of sorts (the worlds very much overlap) of her Dark-Hunter series, which is one of the best selling paranormal romance series to date and for good reason. Speaking to readers of all ages and genres, Ms. Kenyon’s unique twist on vampires, Greek mythology, and religion combines fantasy with paranormal romance to create a genre all it’s own. Ms. Kenyon has enthralled us since her first book, Fantasy Lover. Filled with intriguing suspense, non stop action, smoking hot romance, and biting humor; this intense character driven series continues to enchant this reader. Well written with a fast steady pace that keeps the story entertaining and quite informative. What captivated me with this release is that is reminiscent of her earlier novels where the main story line and conflict all revolved around the hero and heroine. Since Acheron, Ms. Kenyon has spent more time building up the back story and introducing new plots in order to tie her convoluted world together. The Guardian takes us back to the familiar and we are given a tortured hero and a fantastic heroine who’s story of love and sacrifice will hold you hostage till the end.
Seth became an instant favorite for me. He ranks with there with Ash, Zarek, and Jericho. Betrayed and used by everyone he has ever come into contact with, his ability to remain sane and actually develop feelings for Lydia is amazing. It’s telling that when we first meet him he is covered in black impenetrable armor and his face is painted into a scowling face of a demon. Seth keeps his real self hidden and safe against any and all.
Lydia, a dream hunter, has had her own share of pain and betrayal so she empathizes with Seth. She tries hard to hate him but his fragility speaks to her heart and she finds herself drawn to her enemy. Ms. Kenyon’s characterization of Lydia is perfect. Her gentle nature masks a core of unbreakable steel. When she finally understands the true extent of Seth’s past, her heart breaks but she stands strong and does anything and everything she can to protect him. Even at the threat of her own life. Kenyon does the perfect job of allowing his and Lydia’s relationship to move slowly as we become party to both his and her pasts. Going from enemies to lovers takes on a special meaning here as we watch Seth learn and experience the joy of having someone who loves him for him. I actually found myself tearing up at times when we are shown his intense joy to the simply things we take for granted-like seeing the sun. Or receiving a kiss that doesn’t cause pain.
There are some pretty humorous moments as Seth’s misunderstandings of the outside world land him in hot water with Lydia.
“Yea,” she snapped, jerking her head at him, “You heard me. Incest doesn’t run in my family, buddy. Just so you know.”
Okay, now he had the distinct impression that she was insulting him. “What are you insinuating?”
“You’re the one with the family tree that doesn’t branch.” She illustrated said tree with her fingers. “How many Egyptian gods slept with their brothers’ and sisters’ wifes’ mothers’ uncles’ dogs? Hmmm? I ask you?”
“…have you visited your pantheon lately?”
“We’re not talking about my pantheon, here. Are we? No. We’re insulting yours.”
The main plot and subsequent sub plots are pretty intense as we discover more about the traitor in the Greek Pantheon and what exactly Solin’s and Lydia’s connection is. I love that we see some old faces; Daphne, Zarek, Ma’at, Jaden, and others. We even visit the Sanctuary for a brief time. We are given a pretty nice clue to the Egyptian Parthenon and where that storyline may be headed. My advice? Pay close attention to Seth. We have not seen the last of him.
The ending felt a little rushed but undeniably heartbreaking and sweet. We are gifted with a few surprises and given a HEA that rivals her earlier novels. Seth and Lydia are one of my top couples in Ms. Kenyon’s series for me and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.
Overall Rating: B+