Courting Darkness: An Otherworld Novel (Anglais) Poche – 1 novembre 2011
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Not once in this entire series has the danger been as real and horrific as it was in Courting Darkness. In the author's note at the end she talks about how the story was dark, but that it had to be that way due to Hyto's nature. I completely agree with her, especially since he is by far the sickest thing the sisters have faced. That's really saying something when you look back over everything that has happened. My heart was pounding for the entire book and I literally cringed everytime Hyto came around. However, it isn't all dark as we got to see just how strong Camile is. What she withstands is nothing short of remarkable, but what is even more impressive is her character growth in the end. She learns that she can't always be the rock and that sometimes its okay to lean on others for support. In the past she has always taken on the heaviest burdens, but now I see her sharing some of that with the others, making the group only stronger in the end. The more these sisters grow and mature, the greater a force the become to be reckoned with. I know I wouldn't want to be on their bad side.
Courting Darkness, like all of Camille's books, comes jammed packed with sensuality. (Who can blame her as she has three incredibly sexy men for husbands!) It's always entertaining to watch them all struggle to get along and make things work, as each man is very different. Of course the focus in this book was mostly on Smoky due to the circumstances. I really enjoyed the closer look into his life. As a dragon he is so very territorial and quick to anger, yet his devotion to Camile is incredible. To see such a powerful being practically bow down before her is quite amazing. Despite his extreme reaction to certain events, I found myself falling even more for him, so that he is probably my favorite of her husbands.
With each new installment in this series, my favorite sister always seems to shift to whose ever turn it is to narrate. I think this really shows how talented Yasmine Galenorn is as she is able to make the reader fall for each sister over and over again. They all have their own unique "voice," and the variety really ratchets the enjoyment factor tenfold. As always, the ending left me satisfied yet more than hungry for more. So, make sure you don't miss Courting Darkness as it is yet another great installment in this stellar series.
When I had picked up the book I noticed the spine was stamped "paranormal romance" and thought "that's not right. These were always more urban fantasy. Girls kicking butt with magic and being awesome." But, as I started reading, I quickly remembered why I didn't enjoy Camille as much as a character, and why this really is paranormal romance and not urban fantasy. As I saw someone describe them, her books are "porny." But really, what can you expect from a character who has three husbands?
I had some problems with this book. Big problems. There is a scene of sexual assault in this novel that I really don't think Galenorn needed to go into such graphic detail on. I've read other books where the horror of rape were implied without having to go into implicit detail. In addition to the scene, I found it ludicrous that after, the main character, Camille, would be lacing herself into a corset to "support" her bruised ribs. Really? And sexual activity right after a sexual trauma? Has Galenorn ever researched sexual trauma or PTSD? Looked at a psychology text? I really lost interest at that point.
Along with the disturbing rape/sex combo in the book, there were some inconsistencies that it seemed she tried to pick up at the end unsuccessfully. She kept introducing bad guys with no rhyme or reason as to why they were being introduced, then no mention of them until the very end. It looks like she's going to leave them for another book. Honestly, all I could think of was that her characters are big fat self-important Mary Sues.
This book was impressive and yet so difficult to review. It was action packed from start to finish and had my full attention from the first page. I won't go into detail about things because so much happens and I don't want to ruin it for others so I will be brief.
Getting a glimpse of the Dragon Reaches was awesome, I love Smoky even more after this book and Vishana is bad ass. I never liked Chase before but my feelings for him have changed and it's exciting to see him grow. I'm thrilled that the Vanzir situation is resolved and look forward to seeing what happens with him next. I'm soooooo happy for Iris. The Morio and Menolly storyline is still developing and I'm really curious how their bond is going to affect the dynamics of both Camille's marriage and family. I know that's all rushed and a bit confusing but I'm trying for no spoilers.
On to the sick and twisted... With Hyto being a psychopath I was expecting this book to be dark and twisted but wow. What a sadistic bastard. Much respect to you, Yasmine, for taking your characters in a direction other authors wouldn't dare to tread.
Courting Darkness was an exceptional read and I loved that the first chapter of the next book, Shaded Vision, was included. After reading such a dark book it was good to read something that made me laugh so hard I scared the crap out of my dog. Delilah and her kitty urges always make me laugh but this scene takes the cake. Can't wait to read the rest of it.
I was fascinated by the Dragon Realms and the images conjured in my mind by Yasmine's descriptions. If only I could find a portal nearby I could get lost in the Dragon Realms quite easily. The introduction of Smoky's mother offered new insight into his character and made me appreciate him more than previous books allowed. This book was a great exploration and education of Smoky and his true devotion to Camille. It is pleasing to read the transition and growth these characters are taking, I would never have imagined Camille from Witchling give pause to consider having dragon babies or any babies for that matter.
This is a good read and will keep series fans happy and ready for more!
Galenorn rotates the telling of the stories from sister to sister. In this one, it's Camille's point of view and is a short blip of tidying up.
I'm being generous in giving this a "3". The story is good; the execution is bad. I don't know if Galenorn got distracted, was in a bad mood, or something was going bad in her life, but chunks of this read like her first couple of books. Just bad.
I did enjoy Camille turning the demon into a poodle. With an ornate cut. I did NOT enjoy Camille being such a wuss. Gimme a break. This just felt out of character to me. Yes, she is in a really bad spot. But this is not her first time at the rodeo. The first threat Hyto makes and she breaks. WTF?? I could see Delilah break and transform into her kitty cat self, but not Camille. The strength of the family who has held everyone and everything together all their lives. She broke faster than a fine crystal glass dropped from a 20-story building. She took forever before she made a stab at defiance. Gag.
All the writing Galenorn did on this aspect was terrible. Didn't she remember the "supposed" strength of Camille's character? Galenorn keeps doing this too. Several times Delilah's character has veered from the baseline. So Hyto threatens her family. Is this a surprise?? Does she really think that kowtowing will keep him from killing them anyway? Then there's her self-encounter. With herself. How high school can ya get?
My eyes got really tired reading through just about the whole of Camille's imprisonment. They kept rolling and rolling and...rolling. I was tempted to just skip ahead to save on the wear and tear.
I did like the Moon Mother's interventions. No real help in a physical sense, but definitely a morale booster. And very much in line with the typical god/goddess-type of help.
Oh...gimme another break. Hyto's threatened to kill the family and burn down the house. So, they move Camille and her husbands to Smoky's barrow, leaving everyone else in the house. Uh-huh, that makes sense. Another WTF moment brought to us by Yasmine Galenorn. It takes awhile before they figure out that, duh, they should bring the rest of the family to safety. Which happens in dribs and drabs.
Then there's her "determination to fight through the pain". I'd'a believed this before her pathetic performance in Hyto's dreyerie.
One of the positives: we get an inkling on just how it is that Smoky stays so clean all the time! Smokey also provides us with a bit of his family background and how he became the oldest child...and a ninth son of a ninth son.
G-r-r-reat...they finish off the cannon fodder but leave Camille vulnerable. I almost wanted her to get finished off...you know, that whole genetic selection thing.
Everything is going wrong. Hyto's been sighted in Seattle. The Bog Eater might be loose. Chase has been kidnapped. And, somehow, Trillian figured out what happened between Camille and Vanzir. And he's insisting that Camille spill to Morio and Smoky. Eek!
There are three D'Artigo sisters: Camille, Delilah, and Mennolly. They are half-fae and half-human with a lot of individual differences. They live together with their significant otherseseses (you'll find out!) and other friends and allies in an old Victorian in Seattle.
Camille is the oldest and she's also a Moon Maiden, a priestess to the Moon Mother. She's married to three, well, men: Trillian is a dark Charming fae, a Svartan, who works as a mercenary; Morio Kuroyama is a Youkai-kitsune (Japanese fox demon), Grandmother Coyote's grandson, and he works death magic with Camille (poor baby is still recovering from events in Blood Wyne (Sisters of the Moon, #9)); and, Smoky, a.k.a., Lord Iampaatar, is a half-silver, half-white dragon shifter---and a ninth son of a ninth son---with one mean-ass father. She owns the Indigo Crescent bookstore which is run by Giselle, a demon gift from Vanzir. Dierdre is a coyote shifter Camille hired to run the new restaurant attached to the bookstore which the inheritance from Henry Jeffries enabled.
Delilah is the middle sister who also shifts into a housecat and a panther. One of their adventures caused the Autumn Lord, an Elemental, to take an interest in her and now she is also a Death Maiden. The only living one. She's hooked up with Shade, a half-shadow dragon, half-Stradolan (lets him use the shadows), who will stand in for the Autumn Lord. She has a dead twin, Arial, who watches over her from an astral plane and turns into a ghostly leopard.
Mennolly, the youngest, was an acrobat before she was caught and turned into a vampire. Now she runs the Wayfarer Bar & Grill, a bar and inn for supes. She's promised to Nerissa Shale, a werepuma with the Rainier Puma Pride (she's working as a counselor for FH-CSI now) and seeing a lot of Roman, an extremely powerful vampire who is Blood Wyne's son who wants her for his consort. And has hinted he'd be interested in the same arrangement as Camille has with her men. Derrick Means is a Werebadger who now works as a bartender at the Wayfarer.
Sephreh ob Tanu is the girls' father and he's being a jerk, putting Court over family. Shamas ob Olanda is full Fae and the girls' cousin. He works Earthside for Chase. Rythwar is the girls' aunt and Sephreh's sister. She fully supports the girls and thinks her brother is a fool. Yeah, auntie!!
Lady Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite and Priestess of Undutar as well as the girls' housekeeper, is now free and able to marry Bruce O'Shea (see Hexed: Ice Shards (Sisters of the Moon, #9.5), a leprechaun, if he still wants her. Maggie is their baby calico gargoyle.
Detective Chase Johnson heads up the Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigation (FH-CSI). Events in Bone Magic (Sisters of the Moon, #7) gave the girls the choice of letting him die or giving him the Nectar of Life. It's...not been a fun ride for him. He's now seeing Sharah, Queen Asteria's niece, and an elfin medic with FB-CSI. Yugi is Chase's second-in-command.
Other allies and friends who live at the house include:
Rozurial, a mercenary and incubus as well as one of Mennolly's lovers. Vanzir is a dream-chaser demon who sucks up the life energy of others. After events in Blood Wyne, he's no longer bound to the girls.
The Court of the Three Queens (the girls call them the Triple Threat) is that of the three Earthside Fae queens: Titania is the Queen of Light and Morning of the Seelie; Morgaine is a half-Fae Queen of Dusk and Twilight; and, Aeval is the Queen of Shadow and Night of the Unseelie. Camille is expected to pledge to Aeval's court. An act for which her father will disown her.
Hyto is a white dragon, a ninth son of a ninth son, and Smoky's father. He's now divorced from Smoky's mother, Vishana, and banished from the Dragon Reaches and he blames it all on Camille. Yeah, yeah, yeah, cry me a river... He's teamed up with Asheré, a "snow monkey", a monk who has gone rogue from the Northlands. Hanna is a Northman held captive by Hyto and forced to help him. Kjell is the son Hyto uses to keep Hanna in line.
Carter is a leader of the Demonica Vacana Society; he's half-demon and half-Titan through his father Hyperion. Howl is the Elemental Wolf Lord of the snow (see Hexed: Ice Shards), a Great Winter Wolf Spirit; Kitää is his wife and the Mother of the Katabas Wolf People. Grandmother Coyote is one of the Hags of Fate, who helps the worlds retain balance. Trytian is a demon who can't make up his mind which side he will support. All the girls know is that he doesn't want Shadow Wing either. Herne the Hunter makes an appearance and holds back his son, Tra. Yannie Fin Diver is a greedy Finfolk and one of the Elder Fae. Not a good enemy to have. St. George, a.k.a., Georgio, and Estelle Dugan make an appearance as well.
Elaqneve is the Elfin lands in Otherworld (OW), which is a human generic reference for another dimension where many of the elves, gods, Elemental Lords, etc. all live. Access to OW is through portals. The Sidhe and Fae themselves call it Y'Eírialiastar. Y'Elestrial is the city-state in OW where the girls were raised and which is ruled over by Queen Tanaquar. The Ionyc Seas are a current of energy by which some of the supernaturals can travel. Talamh Lonrach Oll, the Land of Brilliant Apples, is what the Triple Threat are calling the land they bought in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. The U.S. government recognizes it as a sovereign nation provided they hold up their end of the deal.
The cover is a soft lavender sky with huge snowflakes softly drifting, the all-white Smoky posing in the background and a demure-looking Camille gazing out at us in her black rubber camisole and silver under-bust corset, her long black hair drifting with the snow. A very romantic looking cover. What a misnomer, that is!
The title sounds better than it is as it's not so much Courting Darkness as surviving it.
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