In Christine Feehan’s latest Carpathian novel, the talented author brings a fresh twist on her recurrent theme. She also introduces more of the previously unknown “ancients” who were dispatched by Prince Vladimir to safeguard humanity. By introducing both of these elements, she has given us a glimpse at her vision for the series yet to come.
Nicholae and his brother Vikirnoff have hunted the undead for centuries. Ancient and more powerful than even their Prince, the brothers know that the darkness is only a moment away. They use each other’s strength to endure, saving humanity while each kill heightens their own vulnerability. When Nicholae discovers a psychic bond to young Destiny, he learns that his lifemate exists. That is when his real test begins. He cannot find her among the millions of humans and must bear witness to the tortures and perversions that she endures. Clinging to hope that one day they will be united, Nicholae uses his powers to soothe her, remove some of the pain, and instill strength into the broken young girl. She must survive!
Destiny can barely recall a time when her life was “normal”. Entrapped by a vampire as a young child, she was forced to endure not only the deaths of her parents, but the dark and sinister abuses that only a monster can devise. Broken and near death, only the gentle voice in her head could offer solace. That voice eased her pain and mended her sanity as the months of torture turned into years. The soothing voice also taught her how to hunt those who preyed on the innocent. Now she hunts the same demons, using her afflicted body as a lure. She is convinced that the poisonous blood coursing through her veins has left her soul tainted. She can never be free of the vampire’s curse.
As Destiny realizes that Nicholae is a real being, her heart breaks. She has seen his darkness and knows that she must destroy the one person who has given her peace. He is a vampire, he needs the blood of humans to survive, and he possesses the same dark gifts as the other creatures she has killed. She must be firm in her resolve. This will be the most difficult hunt of all.
Dark Destiny is a complex story of devotion. Nicholae must convince Destiny that the past has only prepared her for a glorious future, not tainted her beyond redemption. He must overcome her abused spirit with the most powerful weapon of all - love.
Readers who follow certain series’ can attest, it is difficult to keep things from becoming stale. Some authors get into a story “rut” and never seem to pull out. I was concerned that Ms. Feehan had taken the Carpathians about as far as they could go, and wanted her to exit the series on a high note. Instead she has infused new life into the ageless quest, and has given readers a future to eagerly anticipate.