Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Eternal Guardians #5
ISBN: # 978-1402262159
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
GRYPHON—Honorable, loyal, dependable…tainted. He was the ultimate warrior before imprisonment in the Underworld changed him in ways he can’t ignore.
She calls to him. Come to me. You can’t resist. But Gryphon will not allow himself to be ruled by the insidious whispers in his head. And there’s only one way to stop them: kill Atalanta, the goddess who enslaved him. But with so much darkness inside, he can’t be sure what’s real anymore. Even the Eternal Guardians, those who protect the human realm from threats of the Underworld, want to exile him. They’re not sure he can be trusted.
Finding Malea is like a miracle. Somehow he doesn’t feel the pull of the dark when she’s near. And he’s determined to keep her as near as possible, whether she wants him close or not. But proximity spurs temptation. A temptation that will test every last bit of control he has left. One that may ultimately have the power to send him back to the Underworld or free him from his chains for good.
Once a proud warrior serving alongside his fellow Guardians, Gryphon has returned from Tartarus a slave to the madness Atalanta infected him with. Even the safe haven of the Misos colony, a hidden, protected place for him to heal, has become little better than another prison. Though they are determined to save him, even his fellow Argonauts have begun to fear that he’s beyond redemption. And he doesn’t really blame them.
Melea, who is also filled with the darkness of the Underworld, just wants to finally have the chance to live on Olympus with her father, Zeus. Unwanted and ageless, she’s used to being alone; staying alive for three thousand years by avoiding Hades, who happens to be her mother’s husband as well as the god who wants her dead. But, when she meets the tortured, fallen hero of the Argonauts, the journey she’s finally ready to begin will lead her to something unexpected, and something she’ll give up everything to keep.
Enslaved is a tale of the perfect warrior who has been truly broken. Stripped of his sanity and pride, Gryphon is seen as something dangerous and uncontrollable, and doesn’t do much to dispel anyone’s worst fears about himself. Melea, on the other hand, proves to be clever, strong, and resourceful in ways I didn’t think she could be, which was a nice surprise. By being willing to sacrifice herself, she stands to gain, not only the family she’s always wanted, but a love beyond anything she’d ever hoped for.
Not to portray Enslaved as an overly weighty tale, there is plenty of action and romance along the way, despite a very shaky beginning for Gryphon and Melea. They have a lot in common as outcasts who are trying to break free of their circumstances, and their growing inability to resist one another goes a long way in making this story a very tender one. They are starved for an affection that neither initially wanted; but once they get a taste of the happiness within their grasp, they’ll do anything to hold on to it.
At its most basic level, Enslaved is a road trip story of self-discovery and finding true love, despite the odds. Underneath that, however, it’s a story of loss and redemption, and of determination and fate. Gryphon and Melea are both beautifully damaged heroes who find a rare kind of intimacy that incorporates the scars they’ve each been hiding behind, rather than attempts to negate them. That acceptance of themselves is probably my favorite part of the journey they take together. I’m enjoying this series more with each novel I have the pleasure to read, and am very much looking forward to the Guardians’ next adventure.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
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