Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Dark Sentinel by Christine Feehan

In an explosive novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a human woman ignites the desire of her Carpathian lifemate—and of an ancient vampire with a score to settle.

After the devastating loss of her entire family, Lorraine Peters heads to the woods searching for peace of mind and anything to quell the anger in her soul. Instead, she stumbles upon a scene of horrific violence, as one man lies helpless in the face of three attackers.

Andor Katona's existence has been a harsh one, living for centuries as a monk in the Carpathian Mountains. Unable to find his lifemate, he almost welcomes his release from a colorless and unfeeling world at the hands of the vampire hunters who have mistaken him for their prey. That is, until a whirling ball of fury bursts onto the scene, determined to save him.

In one glimpse, in one breath, Andor recognizes Lorraine as his lifemate, but it will take more than their telepathic connection to convince her of their immortal bond. Lorraine is a lethal combination of cunning and courage. So much so that she captures the attention of a master vampire, one who has already lost what was once irreplaceable to him. One who will strike with deadly precision at Andor and his ancient Carpathian comrades in a war to end all wars...

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Book 28
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

As the 28th installment of the Dark series, can Dark Sentinel be read as a standalone?


Almost a decade ago, I bought the Anniversary Edition hardcover of Dark Prince and haven't read more in the series since. Thankfully I remembered bits and pieces of the world-building, enough so that I wasn't confused. But to be honest, I don't believe anyone would struggle if they read this as a standalone.

For returning readers, I was pleased there weren't any info-dumps of past books' events regurgitated in the beginning of the novel (this would have spoiled those books I've yet to read but plan to read). This practice is popular in paranormal romance and urban fantasy genre, where if you already read past books, this barrage of information slows the pacing down, and if you're a new reader, it ends up being too much-too soon, causing more confusion. So I applaud Christine Feehan for finding the right amount of information to ease in new readers while keeping past readers' interests.

With all that being said, Dark Sentinel whet my appetite to return to Dark Prince and start the series from the beginning.

A good portion of the novel takes place in the opener's setting. Andor is gravely wounded (pun intended) and telepathic Lorraine comes to his rescue from her campsite nearby, with a soup pot. While lying there dying, Andor is filled with emotion as the world becomes a burst of color (this is world-building that I won't go into great detail)

With a fated-mates premise, I was pleased that it didn't seem overly insta-love. Lorraine is a martial artist, who is dealing with a horrific tragedy that left her alone in this world, filling her with grief and guilt and shame. While on a self-exploratory journey to find her inner calm, Lorraine finds just the opposite.

Nothing was as humorous as an ancient thinking over how his mate will be different than the others, having to handle Lorraine differently since she is a 'modern' woman. We modern women refuse to listen and obey just because he said so. Lorraine did just defend Andor's prone body, clearly he's going to have his hands full.

Throughout the novel, I met other intriguing characters, who most certainly had me eager to start at the very beginning. I found the world-building to be unique, how the Carpathians lose their emotions and ability to see in color as they age, due to half their soul residing in their mate, who may or may not even be walking the earth during that generation. Intriguing.

There's a reason this series is 28 books strong. Feehan writes with maturity, with a mix of fantasy, romance, and violence, to offer one heck of an engrossing read.

I look forward to starting the series from the beginning when I find a large slice of time to fully immerse myself. Definitely recommend to fans of the author and series, as well as to new readers who enjoy paranormal romance.

Christine Feehan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Carpathian series, the GhostWalker series, the Leopard series, the Shadow Riders series, and the Sea Haven novels, including the Drake Sisters series and the Sisters of the Heart series.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dark Sentinel (Dark #28) by Christine Feehan to read and review.

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