Sebastian Wroth has spent centuries regretting the choice his brother Nikolai made for him by making him a vampire and he pitied himself for it. He had no reason for living so he welcomed death with his arms wide open. What he didn't expect was the death in a shape of a beautiful valkyrie.
Valkyrie assassin Kaderin the Cold Hearted was called to kill the vampire who frightened the nearby village in Russia. She believed this task will be a routine one for her for she killed "leeches" on a regular basis. But, when she encountered this one he seemed like a normal human which made her stop dead in her tracks. And she had some time to observe his looks. She was enthralled by him.
They were both astonished by each others reaction. Sebastian welcomed death especially in such a perfect fey form while Kaderin couldn't grasp how normal and beautiful he looked like. The shock escalated when the vampire started to hear his heart beating for the first time in centuries. Kaderin who despised his kind just blooded a vampire and became his Bride.
As unlikely pair as they were, their differences only grew bigger when they entered a legendary month-long contest, the Hie, as competitors. Even though Sebastian entered only to aid Kaderin, he couldn't win her over by simply handing her the prize because she was more proud than anything else.
The prize was everything Kaderin worked towards for a millennium. Getting her sisters back when losing them at such an early age was her life goal. The key which would allow her to go back for them or the man she was obviously falling in love with. The dilemma will haunt her even in her dreams...
The author, Kresley Cole certainly has huge potential. Her stories are most definitely amusing. But lacking in much. I wish I could call them all-consuming but they still haven't reached that level. I am certain it will happen and I will stay true to this Series to the end.
Insta-love. Just didn't work (for me).
The valkyrie goes to kill the reclusive vampire who never hurt anyone and haven't even left the castle in centuries and stops just before the finishing blow and is instantly struck by love. The vampire welcomes this woman and the death she brings but is instantly blooded and now he wants her more than life (or death). Perhaps it would have worked if we warmed up to the characters a little bit before the Cupid worked his magic on them.
Sebastian Wroth is the sappiest character ever. He has spent CENTURIES locked away in a castle in Russia, a country that invaded his when he was still alive and stole almost everything from his family. He has locked himself away because he couldn't forgive his brother for turning him even though he pleaded him not to. And for centuries he did nothing but read and exchange scientific ideas with scholars through letters. That's it. No women, no family, no friends, nothing of the modern culture or appliances. He just couldn't kill himself and he had nothing to live for.
And then she comes to his room. A simple gaze and he was bewitched. He suddenly wanted to live for her. Just like that.
Kaderin the Cold Hearted is similar to Sebastian. She didn't lock herself away physically but she was void of all emotions. She felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. She killed and she existed. All she wanted were her sisters who she lost a millennium ago in a war with vampires which is why she hated their species the most. And here she was on a simple task merely days before the contest which could change her whole life and she stops. She becomes mesmerized and falls for her enemy. Just like that.
This was really good. I enjoyed their journeys across the world and multiple tasks they were made to undergo. Retrieving artifacts and daily changes of scenery were perfectly blended. But. Once more I must add that when it comes to the story, there is too little of it. It simply feels rushed as if though the whole book must exclusively revolve around protagonists dialogues / monologues. And the ending was also forced. In a mere few pages.
The goddess sponsor of the Hie.
Simply not good enough. First of all, she should be more ruthless and demanding if she were to fit the outline set for her in the book. Secondly, she would have never taken a champion who will not want to win the challenge for her and thirdly, she would never return the key out of kindness and without anything in return. She shouldn't have been so... kind and forthcoming if we were supposed to see her as relentless, mad and deviant.
All in all, some paragraphs were perfect. The sexual tension, the longing, the need... but everything I just mentioned simply can't be covered with eroticism. The setting must be better for me to fully dive into the stories of this genre for there are a lot of great ones out there.
Big potential though and interesting cross-species I look forward to read more about.