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Zarek is the most dangerous of all the Dark-Hunters. He endured a lifetime as a Roman slave and centuries as a Dark-Hunter in exile. Zarek trusts no one. Because of his steadfast denial to follow any orders, he is kept in isolation in Alaska where his activity is seriously limited and closely monitored. There are many who fear he will one day unleash his powers against humans as well as vampires.
Have nine hundred years of exile made Zarek too vicious to be redeemed? The gods want Zarek dead but reluctantly agree to allow justice goddess Astrid to judge him. Astrid has never yet judged a man innocent, and yet there is something about Zarek that tugs at her heart. He views even the smallest act of kindness with shock and suspicion. But while Astrid struggles to maintain her impartiality in the face of her growing attraction to Zarek, an executioner has already been dispatched...
The third entry in Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, which focuses on the sexy vampire-like immortals who defend humans from soul-stealing Daimons, is darker than last year's Night Embrace due to its change in setting (from the French Quarter of New Orleans to the isolated Alaska wilderness) and its focus on Zarek, the baddest of all the Dark-Hunters. Physically gorgeous but scarred psychologically thanks to his former life as a Greco-Roman slave, Zarek is bitter, feared and rejected by everyone, including the Greek goddess who transformed him. It's up to the emotionally detached nymph Astrid, sister to the three Fates, to judge whether 900 years of isolation has made Zarek too vicious to be redeemed. To accomplish this task, she tries to push Zarek "to the heights of his tolerance and beyond." Sasha, a werewolf posing as a mere pet, serves as her protector, and the witty telepathic banter between them is a nice counterpoint to the seriousness of Zarek and Astrid's relationship. Kenyon's slangy dialogue also leavens the story. In the midst of a heated battle, for instance, a disoriented Astrid asks Zarek what's happening, and his blas reply is, "Not much.... Some invincible asshole is trying to kill me." Those who can't get enough of bad boy heroes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns will relish this roguish tale.