by JILL MONROE
I was very anxious to read the next instalment to this series and read it directly after Lord of the Vampires. I had never read anything by Jill Monroe and was excited to do so for the first time. With a few exceptions, Lord of Rage delivered on all my expectations and I enjoyed this read almost more than I had the first instalment in the series.
As this is a pre-release review the only hints I give in terms of the storyline is from the Goodreads blurp. Here goes: Once upon a time... the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs...and time is running out.... Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage...in a dark bear of a man. The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.
WHAT I LIKED
As the majority of the underlying storyline had been revealed in Lord of the Vampires, this book focuses to a great extent on the characters of Breena and Osbourne, their lives and their development. Osbourne as a character is certainly a favourite of mine, and I love the story of his people and how they become Beserkers. This is a very interesting aspect of this book and could have fit just as comfortably in the ancient tales of many tribes and cultures who exist even today. These touching points with reality made this book real to me and I enjoyed it so much more for it. Quite a few aspects of the fall of Elden is also explored in this book, as Breena comes into her own as a magic user and true princess of Elden. Whilst I must admit that Breena is not an appealing character to me, her growth of a character is succesful in this book.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
Once again, as in my review of Lord of the Vampires, the compulsion of Breena and Osbourne to come together, or at least the "MINE" demand which is a part of their psyche from the get go, is very familiar to me through my reading of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. As I jealously guard everything about that series, I was slightly affronted when this came up again in this series. Be that as it may, it did not detract from my ultimate enjoyment of the book. As I have already explained above, Breena was not a favourite character of mine and I found her quite weak and uninteresting for a large part of the story. She does seem to come into her own eventually though. Once again I expected a bit more steam from a Harlequin Nocturna, but I also appreciate that the entire book is not only heat but also includes an interesting story.
WHAT'S THE VERDICT
I really did enjoy this book, almost more than the first. The story was again new and compelling, even with the underlying storyline being ever present. I can guarantee that I will continue to follow the series and in fact have already hungrily read the next instalment.
Lord of the Wolfyn is the next instalment to this series, which will be released by 25 October 2011. You all will have to wait a little longer for my pre-release review on that book, but I could say even at this stage, that it is my favourite of the series so far!