Series: World of Nightwalkers #5
on August 25th 2015
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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In this cataclismic ending of the the Nightwalker and World of the Nightwalker series, I came to love the enemy. Kamenati was the second in command to Odjit of the Templer Bodywalkers for centuries. Every reincarnation he studied and learned more magic spells and fought to destroy the Politic and in particular, Menes and Hatshepsut, their leaders. Kamen was responsible for Menes death in his last reincarnation. But when Kamen tried to heal a dying Odjit, he resurrected the imp God, Apep, he knew there was only one person he could turn to to help destroy his mistake — Menes, the Politic and their allies.
Apep/Odjit’s plan to destroy the nightwalkers so that she may be free to control the humans, who will worship her or die, is all on Kamen’s shoulders. Guilt is nothing that Kamen has ever dealt with before and now the weight of what he has done, in this life and in the past, is eating at him and tearing down his centuries of belief of his own self-importance. He searches day and night for the right spell that will destroy Apep.
First, they must get all twelve of the nightwalkers working together. They already have the vampires, druids, demons, shadowdellers, Lycanthropes and Mistrals working with them. They just can’t see them yet. Centuries ago, Apep cursed them so they would not know of each other’s existence and therefore, they could never band together to destroy him. So far the Politic have drawn together the night angels, the bodywalkers, and the Djinn. They just need to convince the mystics, the phoenixes and the deadly wraiths to join forces to save the world. Since none of these groups socialize outside of their own groups, it will not be easy to convince them of the necessity to band together to save the world.
As a self-imposed penance, Kamen has offered to approach these groups and beg for their assistance. None of them welcome outsiders and the wraiths, in particular, can and will kill with only a touch of their hand, and sometimes just for fun. It is more than just luck that Kamen finds, Geneviéve, a half-human, half-wraith who has been ostracized all her life by her own people. She is willing to help Kamen convince the wraiths and the others to join the Politic against Apep.
The more time they spend together, the more Kamen realizes that Viève attracts him like no woman has done in all his reincarnations. Where once Kamen would have believed that this woman would have been his reward for his greatness, a demoralized and repentant Kamen doesn’t believe he is worthy of a woman like Viève. Will he toss away love simply because he no longer feels worthy of such a gift?
Yeah, yeah big epic battle. All major characters risk their lives. Some will die. The battle was important and the big payoff of the series, but I was enthralled here with the budding relationship between Kamen and Viève. Kamen has been brought to his knees and made humble after realizing his mistakes to the Politic Bodywalkers and their allies and to the world in general. In prior stories, he attacked Menes and he even allowed Leo to be tortured and didn’t care. He walked away from Leo’s pain and fear because it meant nothing to him. He knows what is happening is all his fault and has come to realize that he followed Odjit blindly because he liked the power and the privilege and he was allowed to do what he wanted which was to study magic and become even more powerful. So we shouldn’t like Kamen or root for his HEA, or at least not the Kamen we first met in Forbidden.
It is the new, repentant Kamen that we are first learning to like and then to love. Mostly I liked him for his treatment of Viève. As a half-breed, Viéve was unwanted and barely tolerated by the wraiths and this fact was impressed upon her often by all the wraiths, including her own mother. When they meet, Viève has no self-esteem. She believes everything she has ever been told, that she is unwanted, that she causes problems, that she has no value, that she will never have a mate or be wanted by a male. It is Kamen who begins to convince Viève that whatever the wraiths might think of her, she has value and would fit anywhere, whether it would be with the humans or with the Politic bodywalkers and other nightwalkers. He even yells at her when she starts to devalue herself in front of him until she begins to understands that the nightwalkers she is working with appreciate her and value her working with them. We see her start to blossom due to Kamen’s attention to her.
Kamen is amazed by his own desire for Viève since he hasn’t been interested in sex this reincarnation and barely had any interest in his last one. So much so that he first accuses her of bespelling him to desire her. It is particularly interesting to see that as Kamen helps build Viève’s self-esteem, through his words and his desire for her, and the more she becomes confident, the more Kamen feels that he doesn’t deserve her or her love. He has come to despise himself and his past so much so that even when the Politic try to say they forgive him after all he does to right his wrongs, we find it is Kamen who can’t accept forgiveness for his actions.
I have only read one of the Nightwalkers books and the World of Nightwalkers series. For those who have read both series, there is time spent with each of the couples from the original Nightwalker series so there is a little reunion with these favorite characters.
There is an epic battle and death and destruction will occur. It will not be 100 percent win-win for the good guys. But in this story, I found myself amazed to come to like Kamen as much as I did and his relationship with Viève.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“Where are Viève’s rooms?” he asked Jackson once he found him.
“She doesn’t have any,” Jackson said with bemusement.
“What would you not give her rooms? Is she any less worthy than the guests I just brought whom you have situated comfortably?” he asked, his voice sharp with his mounting anger.
“Kamen, she is more than worthy and we tried to give her her own rooms, but she insisted on staying in your rooms with you.” Jackson frowned. “If you do not want here there then I will have her taken to her own rooms immediately. I figured we would sort it all out when you got back. Perhaps you should go and talk to her.”
“Yes,” he said absently. “Perhaps I should.”
He was more than a little stunned as he climbed the stairs toward his rooms. They had not discussed where she would be spending her days, but he found it hard to believe his shy little Wraith had just boldly decided she should sleep in his bed without so much as talking to him about it.
But as he entered the outer room of his suite, he was presented with something that must have made perfect sense in her mind. She was sleeping on the couch, a nice tidy little bed made up of sheets and a blanket on the cushions. She stirred when he entered the room and then was awake an instant later, sitting upright quickly.
“I hope you don’t mind. If you do I’ll just get my own rooms. I just…the thought of being all by myself in this big house was a little overwhelming. Especially knowing that most of the people here don’t like Wraiths. At least I could be sure you like me a little. I thought so anyway. But I can move any time if–“
She broke off when he rounded the couch and came toward her. She braced herself, thinking he was going to kick her out and telling herself this had been a very foolish idea from the beginning. What had she been thinking? Just because they’d had one sexual encounter didn’t mean she had any right to commandeer his couch!
He reached out to grab her hand, then jerked her out of her makeshift bed.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have–“
“Shut up,” he said sharply.
She shut her mouth with a click. Tears welled in her eyes, more emotion from her human half, more weakness. She had known she was going to end up causing trouble somehow. She was famous for it. She never did anything right.
He swung her up into his arms so suddenly it made her dizzy. She was wearing a nightgown she had borrowed from the enormous wardrobe of women’s clothing they had in the house. Was he going to put her outside in nothing but this thin pink silk gown?
He took two strides and she suddenly realized he wasn’t heading for the door leading into the hallway, but was moving towards the one leading to his bedroom. It stood slightly ajar and he kicked the door open. The light flashed on and in four steps he was beside the bed and lowering her down onto the coverlet.
“Oh no! I can’t take your bed!” she cried. “Thank you for the offer, but you don’t have to be polite with me. I’m used to just–“
“I said shut up,” he said sternly.
She did. She fidgeted with the lace of her gown as he pulled the tails of his shirt free of his pants then unbuttoned the cuffs. He stripped it off, revealing a beautifully broad chest shaped with incredible delectable muscles. Her mouth went dry, then began to water as she envisioned herself running her tongue over each and every one of those muscles. Wouldn’t that be nice?
His hands dropped to his belt and her eyes dropped with them. He kicked off his shoes as he worked his belt free. It slid off of his waist, out the belt loops of his pants. He curled it up and put it on the top of a nearby table. Then he unbuttoned and unzipped his pants.
“If you don’t want to sleep with me, now is your chance to say so,” he said quietly.
“You told me to shut up.”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “You may speak for this purpose. Do you want to sleep with me?”
Her throat went dry. “Yes,” she whispered. “But I didn’t think…that is, I’m not expecting you to do this.”
“That much is clear,” he said grimly. “Viève, you and I are going to come to an agreement.”
“What kind of agreement?” she asked as she watched him slide his pants down over his hips and thighs. He did this so slowly it was almost like a tease. But she knew he wasn’t doing it on purpose.
“You and I are going to agree that, until one of us speaks plainly otherwise, we want each other. And with that want will come some certainties.”
“Certainty number one. You can tell me anytime, anywhere and anyhow you want me. I will not become angry, I will not become offended and I will not shut you down.”
“Certainty number two. You are to consider yourself wanted at all times. As such you hold a incredible value. Call it currency, that you can cash in any time you like.”
“Any time,” he stated firmly.
“All right,” she said, something fluttering to life inside of her chest. He wanted her. Until he said otherwise, he wanted her. He sounded so sure of it.
“Certainty number three,” he said, folding his pants neatly and dropping them over a chair back. “If you ever devalue yourself in front of me there will be a swift and severe punishment.”
He stood before her wearing only his boxer-briefs and yet it still felt as if he had on more clothes than she did. His presence was a self-assured and commanding one. One not to be argued with.
“Yes,” he said as he bent down and climbed over her body. She laid back on the pillows, her hands fluttering against his chest. “It will come in the form of a sexual encounter that will put all others to shame.”
“I’ve only had the one,” she said, amusement creeping into her voice.
“For now. I’m about to double your experience.”
“I am,” he said. Then he caught up her mouth in a blistering kiss that left her absolutely breathless. “Now, this doesn’t mean you can denigrate yourself just to get this experience. Remember certainty number one?”
“Yes,” she breathed.
“You can simply ask for it any time you want it.”
She blushed and covered her cheeks with her hands. “I wouldn’t know how.”
He bore his gaze into her. “Learn,” he said.
“All right,” she whispered.