Category Archives: The League

Review: Born of Fire (The League series #2), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

TLDR recap:

The son of a psychotic murderer, Syn is one of the best filches in the galaxy and, thanks to his damning parentage, he’s been on the run for the last 20 years of his life.  Shahara Dagan is a notoriously feared tracker and a Seax who takes her responsibility to bring criminal scum to their rightful punishment seriously.  When political machinations and her dire financial situation lead Shahara into taking the million-credit contract to bring Syn in, neither could have predicted what their journey has in store.

    • Title: Born of Fire
    • Series: The League series – book #2
    • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Prominent Characters: C.I. Syn, Shahara Dagan
    • Recommended reader age: 16+
    • Sexual content level: Moderate

Thoughts:

This book could be the love child of The Fugitive and Star Wars: A New Hope (that’s Episode 4 for the unenlightened *wink*).  Lots of running and hiding, mixed with smuggling space freighters, crafty deceptions, & risky missions to find evidence to clear their names.  Oh, and let’s toss in a little betrayal as well, since that is the overwhelming theme of the story.

After reading Born of Night and following the nearly epic journey of Nykyrian and Kiara, I had high hopes for this one.  I’m not disappointed in it per se – I actually did enjoy the story, I’m just left feeling a little worn after all the constant near misses.  If you thought Born of Night had too many “run and hide” sort of sequences, you may want to opt out of this journey.  That said, the level of emotional intensity was good and believable, considering both of their pasts.

Syn was one of my favorite characters in Born of Night and his personality in BoF is consistent with the drunken, sarcastic, talented brainiac/thief/assassin we came to know in Nykyrian’s story.  One thing to note about this is that the time lines for BoN and BoF do not match.  If you’ve read my review for Born of Night, you’ll remember that this is due to how these early Sherrilyn Kenyon books were released by different publishing houses, so she had to change the character names and timelines in order to make it look like they weren’t related stories.  Once they were re-released in 2009, Ms. Kenyon was able to go back and correct some of those changes, but to keep from having to significantly alter key outcomes and action sequences, she accepted that some disparity in the timeline was necessary.  Honestly, it’s kind of refreshing.  In BoN, Nykyrian and Kiara get the ending they needed, and in BoF, Syn and Shahara get the ending they needed… and the reader gets to enjoy two versions of the tale!

I won’t spoil the surprise for those who haven’t read BoF yet, but there is one new character addition in this story that is really a standout.  After reading the next chapter in the series (Born of Ice), I was happy to see this character carried over and developed even more.  There were also a few amusing running jokes that kept the tone light in an otherwise extremely tense setup, especially Shahara’s constant guessing of what Syn’s first initials stand for (“C.I.”).

Memorable quotes:

Never tell me the odds. (Han Solo)

She ground her teeth. “I’m going to kill you.  Why are we even bothering?  Do you know what the odds are that it’s still there?”

“I don’t play the odds, love.  Never have.”

On keepsakes…

“Objects are the markers of our humanity.  Everything we hold onto has meaning for us.  Those things are a souvenir that can transport us to that exact moment in time and make us feel that emotion all over again.”

It’s a guy thing…

“Good lord, woman.  Didn’t anyone ever tell you that men have a specified word count set aside each day and if I don’t stop talking, my tongue will explode?”


If you like Born of Fire…

If you enjoyed Born of Night and Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you should check out the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.  Both series are futuristic and emotional, with very strong male leads and independant females.  The much-anticipated 10th novel in the series, Hawke & Sienna’s story “Kiss of Snow”, will hit bookshelves later this month.  If you’re a speedy reader and start now, you can finish books 1-9 in time to get caught up in the hype!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know what I’m going to say next.  *grin*  If what you liked about Born of Night was the emotional ride, then definitely check out the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward.  Ms. Ward is a master of drawing in her audience emotionally and keeping us enthralled.  Her sex scenes are pretty hot too.  *wink*  The BDB is not futuristic, however, so if more of that is what you’re looking for…

This may sound silly, but even with the massive exposure of Star Wars across our culture, I STILL meet people who have not ever read or seen Star Wars!!  I know, craziness!  It’s almost unfathomable to me, who grew up memorizing and re-enacting “Return of the Jedi” weekly in my back yard!  If you are one of the Star Wars deprived, do yourself a favor and watch (not read, not yet – watch it first!!) Episodes 4 (A New Hope), 5 (The Empire Strikes Back), & 6 (The Return of the Jedi) of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Yes, I know it might sound like it makes more sense to start with Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace), but trust me on this… Ep.4 first, THEN Ep.1!  Star Wars is set in a galaxy far far away, is futuristic (ignore the “a long time ago” bit), and has space battles, smugglers, political intrigue, and romance.  So basically Born of Night, with less emphasis on the romance and more emphasis on the overall picture (and with Jedi & lightsabers, woo!!).  =)

Final thoughts:

After Born of Night, I expected a little more oomph to this story, but I’m not disappointed overall.  It was solid and enjoyable, even if it did make me a little weary at times.  I’m a city girl and I like my creature comforts, so maybe there was just a smidge too much slummin’ it and running from the law for my tastes.  I also was frequently annoyed by Shahara’s incredible determination not to stray from her mission, even after seeing Syn for who he really is.  It did turn out quite nicely, but she’s still a wee bit whiny for someone who is supposed to be so feared that hardened criminals wet their pants at the sight of her.  I probably won’t read this again, but I enjoyed it, so…

Rating:
4.0 fangs: BITE IT!

Related links:

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/ (The League)

http://www.nalinisingh.com/ (Psy-Changeling)

http://www.jrward.com/bdb/ (Black Dagger Brotherhood)

http://www.starwars.com/ (Star Wars)

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Review: Born of Night (The League series #1), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

TLDR recap:

An ex-League assassin with multiple contracts out on his life, Nykyrian Quiakides fears neither danger nor pain.  A reknowned dancer and daughter of a prominent political leader, Kiara Zamir is sheltered but strong after the torture and murder of her mother as a child.  When political schemes put Kiara in the sights of  some of the Ichidian universe’s most vicious hunters, Nykyrian and his crew are hired to protect her, and he gets way more than he bargained for in the process.

    • Title: Born of Night
    • Series: The League series – book #1
    • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Prominent Characters: Kiara Zamir, Nykyrian Quiakides, C.I. Syn & crew
    • Recommended reader age: 16+
    • Sexual content level: Moderate

Thoughts:

One of the pioneers of the futuristic and paranormal genres in the ’90s, Ms. Kenyon is well-published and -celebrated with over 40 novels across 6 different series.  It’s daunting, choosing a place to start, and I couldn’t be happier with The League series as my introduction to Ms. Kenyon’s style.  Born of Night was one of the first novels she wrote and was originally released through a different publishing house than she uses today.  If you’ve read BoN or #2 in the series, Born of Fire, you know that the timelines for these two stories are concurrent.  Because they were originally published by different houses, she had to change some of the names and timelines so that the two works appeared unrelated.  In 2009, Ms. Kenyon was able to re-release these two novels and begin telling the rest of the story, and she adjusted the timeline and character names to fit her original plan.  SO, if you read BoN (or BoF!) when it was first released in the ’90s, give it another go and get caught up on the current state of The Sentella’s affairs!

I haven’t previously read a futuristic romance before (no wizards, vampires, or demons!), so the first few chapters of this novel were somewhat difficult to immerse myself in.  It reminded me a lot of the Star Wars universe, with multiple habitable planetary systems, alien races (more than a few humanoid – does “Andarian” make anyone else think of annoying blue-skinned guys with antennae?  Yes yes, I know, Andorians are Star Trek not Star Wars!), and advanced tech (spaceships, blasters, etc).  The story also reminded me a little of Star Wars, with the disreputable (but skilled & crafty!) hero taking on a paid mission to protect a beautiful (yet strong & independant) heiress, then falling in love against their better judgement and running from any and all authorities in the galaxy as they both become hunted.

The emotional impact of this story is tremendous.  Neither Nykyrian nor Kiara has been spared hardship and suffering throughout their lives, but Nykyrian’s past is the gift that just keeps on giving… in bad ways and good.  I’ve already read through the next three League books and I’ve noticed that torture seems to be a theme for these poor guys.  In all three novels, the hero has suffered extreme torture of some sort, either in his past or during the story, and the heroines get a dose of  pain too.  Ms. Kenyon’s mastery of these characters makes it easy to get into their heads and to let them into your heart so you feel empathy for the ringer they are put through, both physically and emotionally.  That’s the hallmark of a good author, right?  To make you able to feel and understand, but Ms. Kenyon goes above and beyond to make experiencing this novel a real treat for the readers.  Spanning the gamut of emotional and physical developments, the novel Born of Night is very nearly an epic story… aaaalmost (using true epics such as Lord of the Rings as a standard)!  *wink*

Memorable quotes:

An assassin’s take on love…

And he was born of night.  His mother was the darkness, her cold embrace was all he had a right to crave.  Just as the sun destroyed the night, he was sure she would destroy him, provided their enemies didn’t kill her first.


If you like Born of Night…

If you enjoyed Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you should check out the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.  Both series are futuristic and emotional, with very strong male leads and independant females.  The much-anticipated 10th novel in the series, Hawke & Sienna’s story “Kiss of Snow”, will hit bookshelves later this month.  If you’re a speedy reader and start now, you can finish books 1-9 in time to get caught up in the hype!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know what I’m going to say next.  *grin*  If what you liked about Born of Night was the emotional ride, then definitely check out the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward.  Ms. Ward is a master of drawing in her audience emotionally and keeping us enthralled.  Her sex scenes are pretty hot too.  *wink*  The BDB is not futuristic, however, so if more of that is what you’re looking for…

This may sound silly, but even with the massive exposure of Star Wars across our culture, I STILL meet people who have not ever read or seen Star Wars!!  I know, craziness!  It’s almost unfathomable to me, who grew up memorizing and re-enacting “Return of the Jedi” weekly in my back yard!  If you are one of the Star Wars deprived, do yourself a favor and watch (not read, not yet – watch it first!!) Episodes 4 (A New Hope), 5 (The Empire Strikes Back), & 6 (The Return of the Jedi) of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Yes, I know it might sound like it makes more sense to start with Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace), but trust me on this… Ep.4 first, THEN Ep.1!  Star Wars is set in a galaxy far far away, is futuristic (ignore the “a long time ago” bit), and has space battles, smugglers, political intrigue, and romance.  So basically Born of Night, with less emphasis on the romance and more emphasis on the overall picture (and with Jedi & lightsabers, woo!!).  =)

Final thoughts:

If this is an example of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s early work, I am very excited to read some of her more recent series, considering all the time she’s had to hone and master her craft.  The publishing world is vicious to career authors, especially in the romance genres, and the sheer number of novels and series Ms. Kenyon has created speak volumes about her skill.  I would like to give this story a 5 fang rating, based on its nearly epic span of struggles and events and the depth of the emotions it portrays, but I had some trouble assimilating into the story at the start of the book.  4.75 fangs it is!  =)

Rating:
4.75 fangs: BITE IT!

Related links:

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/ (The League)

http://www.nalinisingh.com/ (Psy-Changeling)

http://www.jrward.com/bdb/ (Black Dagger Brotherhood)

http://www.starwars.com/ (Star Wars)

Not yet a subscriber? If you liked this post and want to see more, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS feed below!  Wordpress and Email subscriptions are at the top of the sidebar.
Follow davincikittie on Twitter  Subscribe in a Reader

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