Almost eleven years ago I read my very first Christine Feehan book: Dark Prince. This was right around the time Buffy was slaying vampires, but before Bill Compton was even a thought in Sookie Stackhouse's mind; and way before Bella arrived in the small town of Forks and fell in love with Edward. It was a time when vampires, shape shifters, and the phrase ‘paranormal romance’ were only at the very tip of our consciousness.
When I first read Dark Prince I thought it was genius. It took me to the far off mountains in Eastern Europe and captivated my imagination by introducing me to the Carpathians, a race of people and a mythology that was far beyond anything I was reading at the time. The book was the first in the Dark series and made Ms. Feehan one of the pioneers of this sub-genre. Eleven years later I’m still reading the series and still captivated by the struggles of the Carpathian people as they fight to keep their race alive.
In the 21st book, Dark Peril, we meet the ancient Carpathian, Dominic the Dragonseeker, and Solange Sangria one of the last remaining members of the jaguar people. Dominic, a loyal warrior who would do anything for his people, has agreed to go into the heart of the ‘enemy camp’ on a suicide mission. There he hopes to learn the enemy’s plans and relay this information to his Prince. Solange is also a warrior and has spent her life protecting her people from the reign of terror her father Brodrick has inflicted. It is in the heart of the rain forest that Dominic meets Solange. How ironic to meet his true ‘lifemate’—the other half of his soul—on the eve of his destruction. Together Dominic and Solange must complete their missions knowing that they won’t come out alive; but their fight is not for themselves, rather, it’s for the continuation of their races.
In many of the previous books in the Dark series we have the Carpathian male trying to convince his ‘lifemate’ that they are meant to be together. Not true in this book. What we have in Dark Peril are two people who want to be together but circumstances bigger than either Dominic or Solange may keep them apart. They are both heroic and tragic at the same time; and loving each other takes on both a joyous and melancholy note. As a reader you feel captured by the conflicting emotions of honor and duty versus love and life. These two strong warriors who have had no one to rely on for years finally find each other only to know that they have a few remaining days with each other before one of them dies. It is Dominic’s ability to trust and believe in Solange’s strength and see her as an equal, and Solange’s ability to let down her defenses that brings them together as both ‘lifemates’ and warriors—an exciting combination.
In the first ten books of this series, Ms. Feehan explored the individual couples and concentrated on their stories and HEAs. In the last six books, starting with Dark Demon (Dark Series #16), Feehan has begun to give the series clear overarching ties bringing cohesiveness to the entire series that is exciting and revelatory. Dark Peril takes one more important step in that direction. With each book we have a new reveal about how the Carpathian race finds themselves in the untenable situation of near extinction and the ways and means to solve that. In very clever, intriguing ways, Ms. Feehan gives us, the reader, hope for this fictional race and keeps us on tender hooks waiting for each new discovery. Dark Peril has a surprise ending that made me gasp and if truth be told, clap for joy. I, for one, can’t wait to find out what happens next.
So dear reader, if you’re a fan of Feehan’s Dark series—this one’s for you. If you’ve not yet read this series I suggest you start at the beginning. If you’ve given up on this series, pick up Dark Demon and keep reading until you've finished Dark Peril, you’ll find the mysteries slowly but exquisitely being unveiled and solved.
Until next Monday, remember there’s a book waiting to be read.
Marisa is an avid reader and TV producer.