Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: The Guardian

The Guardian (Dark Hunter - Book 21 or Dream Hunter - Book 5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: St.Martin's Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: Paperback, 345pp
ISBN-13: 978-0312550059
ISBN: 0312550057

(Received for an honest review from St. Martin's)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Sherrilyn Kenyon on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Books in the Dark Hunter Series: Night Pleasures (2002), Night Embrace (2003), Dance with the Devil (2003), Kiss of the Night (2004), Night Play (2004), Seize the Night (2004), Sins of the Night 2005), Unleash the Night (2005), The Dark Side of the Moon (2005), The Dream Hunter (2007), Fear the Darkness (2007), Upon the Midnight Clear (2007), Devil May Cry (2007), Dream Chaser (2008), Acheron (2008), One Silent Night (2008), Dream Warrior (2009), Bad Moon Rising (2009), No Mercy (2010), Retribution (2011), The Guardian (2011), Time Untime (Coming in 2012)

Excerpt from The Guardian


Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: to descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm's most vicious guardian...

Seth's time is running out. If he can't hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn't been able to break the god in his custody. Now there's the Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn't just guarding the gates of Olympus - she's holding back one of the world's darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...


21 books into the Dark Hunter series or 5 books into the Dream Hunter series, whichever you prefer, author Sherrilyn Kenyon reminds readers what they fell in love with in the beginning. Solid, well written books, with strong themes, complex characters and a mythos that is hard to beat. Her grasp of mythology and her ability to weave it into her stories is beyond exceptional. Kenyon is considered one of the ground breaking authors in Paranormal and Urban Fantasy writing and with her latest book, The Guardian it's easy to see why.

The Guardian is tied to both the Dark-Hunter and Dream-Hunter books and it is such a well written book, it really doesn't matter. Once an author gets this far into a series, I always wonder if there are really any more stories to tell or if they are just riding the wave and hoping to cash in on the success of the previous books. That's certainly not the case here, Kenyon proves that there is still a lot to be learned and a lot of characters in this realm that readers will want to read about. She has a knack for developing relationships between her characters that are not what you would expect and that is showcased well, in this novel. she also creates a sense of urgency in this book that is hard to beat.

Kenyon plays on the emotions and the readers sense of adventure in The Guardian. Seth is the epitome of a tortured hero and though this is a theme that Kenyon has used before in her books, she brings new life and originality into the plot this time. Seth will resonate with readers who will be shocked by the amount of torture he has not only received in his life, but that he is willing to dole out. There is a viciousness about him that is evident from the beginning of the book, but once readers begin to see behind the mask, they will find so much about this character to like. He is one of those characters you can't help but root for. You want him to have that happy ending to make up for all that he has suffered. But Seth isn't a pansy by no means, he is tenacious and stubborn and refuses to give into Noir. He is a strong character, with a deep vulnerability. I think he is probably one of my favorite Kenyon characters.

Lydia is part Dream-Hunter, part Were-Hunter, a very heady combination. When she enters the Nether Realm in search of Solin, the dream-hunter who raised her, she doesn't expect to get caught. But Seth is a relentless guardian and uses her against Solin to get him to give up the key to the entrance of Olympus. But Lydia is totally unprepared for Seth. She believes him to be this vicious and evil demigod, but he proves to be a tortured soul who has never known love. I liked the fact that she didn't pity him or treat him like he was less a man because of what had happened to him. She showed him respect and kindness and eventually begins to break down the barriers that exist between them. I liked Lydia a lot. She was a strong woman, with a big heart. 

The mythology surrounding this story was very intriguing to me. I thought Kenyon did a fantastic job of weaving her vast knowledge of the subject directly into the story. I think readers who are interested in mythology will really enjoy this book and the entire series. Kenyon is able to make it so much a part of the novel that it almost takes on the characteristics of a character in the story. World building is extremely important in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal writing and Kenyon has certainly excelled at that in the past and with this book. Her characters and her world are so interesting it is hard not to want to go out and get the entire list of books.

I have read several books in this series. There has been some that I liked a lot and others that weren't as good, as happens with any long running series. The Guardian may have had a few problems, a theme that has been used in the past and a slightly abrupt ending, but I think overall it fits into the series well and shows the reader that there is still a lot more to come from the Dark-Hunters and the Dream-Hunters. If you haven't taken the time to delve into this series or this author... what are you waiting for? She is definitely a favorite of mine and I recommend this book whole-heartedly. Kenyon gives you just enough info and backstory to make it possible to read each book separately, so don't let the the big numbers in the series scare you... this is a must read!

The Guardian is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag! (Would have been a 5, if the ending hadn't been a little too clipped!)

In the past three years, New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon has claimed the #1 spot sixteen times. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre she writes. With more than 25 million copies of her books in print in over 100 countries, her current series include: The Dark-Hunters, The League, Chronicles of Nick, and Belador. Since 2004, she has placed more than 50 novels on the New York Times list in all formats including manga. The preeminent voice in paranormal fiction, with more than twenty years of publishing credits in all genres, Kenyon not only helped to pioneer, but define the current paranormal trend that has captivated the world.


Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

I have it and am afraid to read it. UGH. They just keep going down hill since Ash so I am afraid this one wont be good either. I am glad to see that you liked it so I hope I do..

Great review.