This is book #23 in the Dark series from Christine Feehan, although I refer to them as the Dark Carpathian series, my Carpathians. ^_^
Hardcover Release Date: October 2, 2012
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Paperback Release Date: August 27, 2013
Number of Pages: 464 pages
A DARK STORM IS ON THE HORIZON…
Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in South America, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries.
But there are some things that never change.
His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Once at the side of the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man — and beast. Even his friends and family weren’t safe from Mitro’s bloodlust. Neither was Mitro’s lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts.
But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun — one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.
I found this a different book from all other Carpathian series. I found it gentle, beautiful and extraordinary and loved that we finally had the flower walk woman Mikhail has mentioned in a few books ago. First of all yay to the flower walking woman descendant book, I was wondering when she would make an appearance after Mikhail was talking about her, I think it was in Dark Celebrations.
Dax is such an ancient hunter but such a gentle lifemate to Riley. Riley even though she is sceptic in the beginning and doesn’t truly understand what she is or what her mother is, she embraces the gifts with no question and embraces the lifemate part just as easy. They both just completely understand eachother in different ways and Christine has really captured that. How their bonding ritual went was beautiful with the wild flowers around them; the key thing that is missing within the Carpathian Mountains due to the microbes from Xavier.
It was nice to see another side from Jubal and Gary and how they are so entwined with the Carpathian ways even though they are human. How they are protective over Riley and her mum and how they are prepared to go through lengths just as the Carpathian hunters would do to protect their women.
The red dragon has a special place in my heart as well, the once lonely long ago buried dragon within the volcano lending his strength to Dax and Riley. It was quite beautiful.
Mitro was quite a cunning vampire, adapting quickly to the new world and gathering people around who would worship him. Although his one weakness was thinking that Riley was his lifemate from many years ago. Mitro was quite a surprise for me, well mostly his last name. It all became clear when I realised that Riley is the descendent from Arabejila, the woman who Mikhail has mentioned a couple of times in previous books. The one that could walk and flowers sprung. I was curious if she or her descendants would make an appearance in one of her books as she holds some precious information on how to save the Carpathian babies and conceive girls.
It was quite a difference comparing to the previous books but all in all a very good book, one that you don’t have to read in order to understand most of the story line. I would, as always, still recommend to start with the beginning from the series.