Caught between two worlds, a powerful warrior must choose between impossible destinies when he meets a woman whose love will either make or break him. . . .
As the daughter of a Regent, Sasha has long known about the secret underworld of the Paladins and their work protecting her kind from the dark forces on the other side of the energy barrier. So when she is sent on her first solo investigation, on the path to becoming the first female Regent, she is determined to get the Seattle Paladins in line. Offering sanctuary to their Kalith enemies is simply unacceptable! But when she meets Larem, she is inexorably drawn to a dark and valiant warrior who is not at all what he appears to be. As the power struggle between Regents and Paladins rages on, someone starts making attacks on her life. Sasha must choose between loyalty to her own kind and the warrior she loves . . . with the very fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
It's safe to say that Alexis Morgan can included one more among her fan base! After reading the latest novel in her Paladins of Darkness series, the seventh installment titled Bound by Darkness, I am undeniably hooked. This action packed paranormal romance has a little bit of everything --especially if you love interesting immortal warriors who are sexy as all get out! --and enough action and suspense to keep you riveted until the last page.
The world building was definitely one of the many things that initially struck me about this novel. In the Paladins, Morgan has created not only a complex structure of warriors and an interesting and somewhat mysterious enemy, she's also created a series of worlds that are intricate and complex in nature. From betrayals to out right prejudices, there is nothing simple about it. Of course, if you've read the previous novels that you have a better understanding of how the world works, but if you come in fresh like me, then it takes a little bit to place all the different layers of control humans have placed over the Paladins and all the different temperments of the Paladins themselves to essentially having a traitor in the midst, again and again.
The characters were likewise intricate and complex, but what I think I loved the most was the dynamic the ensemble of characters as a whole. All of the warriors are so interesting with great personalities and their interactions between one another was just plain refreshing. I loved the bond between them, how they would stand up for Larem, a Kalith and Paladin enemy. But, because he had proved himself, there was such an easy acceptance between him and his friends as if they'd forgotten almost completely about his heritage. When Sasha is sent in to wrest back control of the Paladins for the Regents, a group that oversaw the group of immortals, things become extremely tense as the question lingers what the Regents will demand of the Paladins to do their friend. Naturally, they could care less because they would fight and die again and again to protect him, yet another thing that I dearly loved! However, while the group dynamic is indeed important, it is the individuals that make it so. And the individuals that this novel focuses on, Larem and Sasha, are wonderfully portrayed with great strength, resilience and above all they're just plain likable. Larem, having suffered for a long while about the loss of his life back in Kalithia is struggling to find his place in the Human world. Yet, despite his displeasure at being stranded in a world in which he doesn't belong, he doesn't brood and rage, instead, he is determined to carve out his own niche and not rely on the kindness and whims of others. Sasha is likewise tough and determined and certainly a mirror to Larem in all but species. Occasionally, she can be a little annoying throughout the story, but otherwise, Morgan did a phenomenal job of bringing these 'people' to life.
But, since this is a paranormal romance I suppose I should focus a bit on that, and wow! So much there to explore, but I just can't because I don't want to spoil anyone. Let it be said though that Alexis Morgan knows romance! There's so much wonderful tension and build up between these two great characters with chemistry that was simply smoldering. You can't help but be drawn in to their inner struggle to understand their feelings that complex and wide ranging consequences of giving in to their desires. Naturally, the consequences don't exactly seem to cover all of their bases and I was a little surprised by the results, though I really shouldn't have been. Over all though I really enjoyed the never ending resistance between these two, finding myself hooked no matter how irritated I got by their idiocy.
I think this also had a lot to do with the fast pace of the story. It seemed to fly by with what seemed like minutes turning in to hours only to stare in wonder as I devoured the final page. But, a lot of this also must be attributed to the wonderful writing style that was fluid, utilizing great action, mystery, suspense, and of course romance. While the mystery was a little bit of a dud (I knew the conclusion nearly from the moment that events were set in to play) the over all appeal was what kept me interested. I loved seeing the varying twists and turns that the assassination plots and sabotage caused pushing the characters in to making decisions that were always something of a surprise making them seem all the more organic for them.
In the end, if you haven't read the Paladins of Darkness series, be sure to add it to your wish lists! I can't believe I've been missing out on it for this long! It's a great read, with some truly endearing characters that you will love to visit again and again.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Scars