I've seen mixed reviews on this book, but I want to start by telling you how much I really enjoyed it. The story pulled me in from the beginning and I read the entire thing in one sitting. I didn't want to put it down.
Darian is a Shaede and an assassin. She knows very little about what she is. Her maker, Azriel, abandoned her decades ago. She only knows that she is fast, ageless, and seemingly invincible -- and at night, she can become incorporeal, at one with the shadows. She works under Tyler, the middleman who sets up her jobs. There is something between them, but she refuses to act on it. Azriel told her she was the last of her kind. What hope could she have for a relationship with someone frail and mortal?
Anyway, her latest hit turns out to be more than she bargained for. The job is a ruse to bring her face-to-face with Xander, the king of the Shaedes. He wants to hire her to kill another supernatural. To say meeting Xander changes her life would be an understatement. Suddenly, Darian's eyes are opened to a huge world she never knew existed. And she must figure out where she fits in, now that she knows she is not alone. This, while fighting off the creatures trying to kill her, training for her new gig, and figuring out her feelings for the two men in her life.
The story sets up a sort-of love triangle between Darian, Xander, and Ty, but I never really bought into it. I loved Tyler from the first time I met him and I basically considered Xander little more than a mildly threatening foil throughout. In fact, one of my only complaints about the book is the fact that Xander allegedly falls for Darian and Ty actually takes him seriously as someone Darian could love in return. But there is no basis for it at all in my mind. Infatuation and curiosity, sure. But love, no way.
The world building in this book is fascinating, original, and easy to understand. The plot was fast moving and action packed. The story developments surprised me and kept me on the edge of my seat. And I was very invested in the characters. Much like Darian, I didn't even realize how much I cared, until the rug got ripped out from under me. My heart broke right along with Darian's when the villain's plan finally came to fruition.
I know that not everyone likes Darian, but I had a lot of sympathy for her. She has had a really rough life and I think she has a lot of inner strength. We've already established how I feel about Ty. But there are some really great secondary characters too, like Raif. I find it fascinating that he may have inadvertently set this whole thing in motion. I can't wait to get started on Blood Before Sunrise