Review: Nightbred by Lynn Viehl

Posted December 5, 2012 by Vampbard in 5 stars, Rating A Tags: , , ,

Author: Lynn Viehl 
Release Date: Dec. 4, 2012
Publisher: Signet
Lords of the Darkyn #2
ISBN: 978-0451238795
Genre: here
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
About the book:
Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart.
No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind…and will stop at nothing to have Chris.
What VampBards talking about:
Nightbred, the second book of Lynn Viehl’s Lords of the Darkyn series, was an action-packed, well-crafted tale that further developed the world of the Darkyn, leaving the readers wanting more (in a good way!).  I can’t wait for the next Darkyn title, expected May 2013.  
I think Nightbred could be read without reading Nightborn, the first title in the series.  Launched into the story with John Keats’ poem, “Ode to Psyche,” the reader receives much foreshadowing, as well as beautiful poetry to set the stage for this work.  With brilliant description of both persons and places, Ms. Viehl reveals her characters and plot via a masterful interweaving of interpersonal interactions and broad-reaching events.  Add in a dash of magic, and a pirate long-thought dead, and you’ve got a fabulous story, destined to entertain.
I simply adored the settings and atmosphere.  Strongholds.  Goth nightclubs touting specialty drinks including: 

 “…Tanya Huff Highballs, Anne Rice Raspberry Smashes, and the latest dark fantasy authorial cocktail craze, Larissa Ione Imperials, classic martinis sporting two black cherries skewered by a miniature silver caduceus.” 

Not only were favorite authors mentioned, but there were Amy Lee, Evanescence, and Linkin Park references.  Way to hook me for the long-haul, Ms. Viehl!  
We were even treated to some light-hearted commentary and snarkiness, on occasion.  One of the funniest lines I found was said by a ruler from another area:

“Aedan wishes to open another theme park, and does not believe me when I say modern mortals have no desire to attend Medieval Torture World.” 

We also had a ‘moment’ where Chris was commiserating and finding positives for the Kyn with a peer about the demands they’re trained to meet: “They don’t sparkle or get you pregnant with a life-sucking fetus.” 
Lucan and Samantha, as well as Burke, seem to be important characters, besides our leading lady and gent.  Lucan, naturally the leader of this geographic region, has a bit of a problem during the course of the novel.  He was described by Burke’s grandfather as being, “…’the deadliest son of a bitch ever to walk the night.’” Samantha realizes something is up, and altogether too late realizes her mistake.  She’s captured.  Burke has come from a long line of tresori, and is as reliable as the day is long.  Without all of these people and more believing in Jamys and Chris’ ability to control the situation, the beautiful world in which these characters reside would surely be a smidge less interesting!  
We were introduced to Jamys, our hero, early on, and in his home territory.  While Jamys maintains a youthful, older adolescent facade, he has survived over seven centuries.  Described through Christian’s eyes, Jamys appears with “…big dark eyes, or black hair as fine as silk fringe, or hands that moved like water flowed.” 
His father, Thierry Durand and stepmother, Jemma, seem to have tried to keep him a child.  He’s not been ‘allowed’ to grow up.  He’s been kept from training with his father’s garrison, and left to train his body, as well as his mind, on his own.  Over the course of the story, Jamys asserts his independence from his father, proves himself amongst others of his kind, and proves to the woman he loves that he’s worth every ounce of effort.  No small feat, considering they’re Kyn, and each Kyn has special gifts and talents.  Jamys is able to mentally communicate with others.  
Christian, our heroine, has a discriminating eye for detail.  After all, who else could have ascertained the importance of using rare documents – poetry – on the walls of a room?  And… how could anyone else connect the poetry to not only Samantha, Lucan’s (the leader of the local Kyn in the area) mate, but to Jamys?  The logic for the connection was flawless, in my opinion.  Chris strives to become tresora in order to pledge herself to Jamys, as (basically) a servant.  Her love for him had grown since their initial meeting, three years ago.  She thought this was the only way to be with him for her lifetime.
As Chris and Jamys realized that they needed to communicate with one another, O. Henry’s class short story, Gift of the Magi, was referenced because Chris trained to be a tresora (one who serves a Kyn), and Jamys trained so he could win a territory, and become a Lord:

“You are not laughing,” he murmured, drawing her closer.

“How can I?  You sold your watch to buy combs for my hair, and I cut off my hair and sold it to buy a chain for your watch.”  She sighed.  “Don’t take that literally, it’s an analogy.  

Something two other misguided lovers did in an O. Henry story.”

“’Gift of the Magi.’”  He nodded.  “I know it well.”

“So do I, and yet we both made the same mistake anyway.”  

Upon figuring out the whole deal with the human and the Kyn thing, they pledged their love to one another, and begin their life together.
Alas, things aren’t all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns throughout the entire story.  A legendary bad guy sails into the picture, causing quite a ruckus with our characters.  Conflict IS a necessity in a plot arc, after all!  I did enjoy the way in which Ms. Viehl revealed the conflict and all the major players.  Giving more detail, however, is not something I can do. Everyone should have the pleasure of yelling at their book, ‘Oh, HECK no!’
Dear Ms. Viehl, thank you for having the last book in the Lords of the Darkyn trilogy release on my anniversary.  I’m pretty sure we can celebrate a couple days late, as I simply won’t be able to keep my hands off the story.  Kudos, Ms. Viehl!
VampBards Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend

Purchase Info:

Nightbred: Lords of the Darkyn #2

Reviews in the Series:

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