While I am an avid Dark-Hunter fan, I haven’t read anything Dark-Hunter in a while. In fact, I haven’t even read Acheron despite receiving a copy before the US release date, thanks to being in Australia (yes, I know it’s blasphemy). I don’t remember why I read everything in order except for Zarek but that’s what I did, so I only read it now.
Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon features Zarek, a former Roman Slave who was made a Dark-Hunter. Generally deemed insane and irredeemable, he lives in the middle of nowhere in the Alaskan wilderness after being banished for an unspeakable deed he did about a thousand years ago or thereabouts. After fucking with a bunch of gods in the previous novel, Acheron, effectively his boss, and Artemis, the “bitch goddess” who founded the Dark-Hunters, argue about whether or not he should be executed. To maintain impartiality they send the goddess Astrid, baby sister to the Fates, to judge him guilty or innocent.
Astrid has never found anyone innocent in all the years she’s been sent to judge a Dark-Hunter. While she starts off thinking Zarek is most likely going to be guilty, she gives him the benefit of the doubt, as she is supposed to do, and tries to stick it out with him in a cabin in the woods with her “pet” wolf. Through the course of the novel we learn about Zarek’s past and a lot of new and important Dark-Hunter mythology.
What I liked about it
The mythology behind the Dark-Hunters never ceases to interest me. Kenyon always inserts everything in such a way that it fits with the story while at the same time each new tidbit makes you keep coming back for more. I think this is one of her biggest strengths–the way she can always pique your interest.
What I didn’t like about it
If this is the first Dark-Hunter you read you may get confused. Hell, I was confused a bit and I’ve read all the books except for Acheron and Dark Side of the Moon (I got bored). Her books are really not meant to stand alone. Also, too much introduction of the Dark-Hunter mythology in one go may be overwhelming for some. (For instance, I’m so glad I already knew what a Dream Hunter was or else I would be like, What? What? Who is this again? I had enough trouble remembering all the mythology behind the Apollites plus what happened in the last book.)
Yay or nay?
Overall it was quite an interesting read. I’m glad the Dark-Hunters are really like super heroes or else half the action sequences would be too much like a trying hard Die Hard sequel. (Oh, wait, they did that already. :P). I really felt the raw emotion that came with every tiny bit of Zarek’s past that came to light. It seemed like, dude, were you really such an asshole in your past life that this is your karma? It was almost like a telenovela/soap opera–except he wasn’t this poor starving girl that was being abused by her stepmother who knows she’s the real daughter of her father who knows nothing and has a prince charming that her evil stepsister drugs and ends up in a compromising position with and therefore they have to marry and wait I’d better stop this plot line now. In this way, I think Kenyon did well in evoking emotion and empathy from me.
I would recommend this book, but only if you’ve read the other books in the series as it can be confusing. Start with Night Pleasures (or Fantasy Lover–I couldn’t finish that one either but I might try again sometime) and see if you don’t get addicted. I know I did! You can read an excerpt here.
Where you can buy this book
AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Dymocks | Ever After | Fishpond | Galaxy | Intrigue | Rendezvous | Romance Direct | Romantic Reflections | Siren | More
DIGITAL BOOKS: Dymocks | Kindle
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Borders | The Book Depository