Now this right here is what I’m talking about!
1) No sign of a clumsy attempt at a Scottish brogue (discounting a brief cameo by Bowen).
2) An alpha male who makes an attempt at respecting his mate. Alright, so to begin with he may have taken blood twice, broken Carrow Graie’s wrist and bruised her sternum but honestly, given that she fully expected to have her head mounted on a spike, relatively speaking that’s all a step up, right?
Following the set-up in the epilogue of Pleasure of a Dark Prince, we find out what has happened to the characters who were taken, including Carrow. Without giving anything away, she has been released on a temporary basis in order to capture Malkom Slaine from the plane of Oblivion. Things get really interesting when it turns out that she is his fated bride.
It’s been said that Malkom is akin to Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and it is an apt comparison. Malkom’s life, aside from a brief period leading a rebellion against the vampire overlords, has been one of suffering and constant betrayal. As such he’s currently a tortured soul, never having known a woman’s touch. But to give him his dues, he does is best in courting Carrow with his limited resources and knowledge. I mean, what woman wouldn’t swoon at been saved from certain death by monster X or presented with the heads of ghouls?
Another interesting point is that to begin with, Malkom only speaks Demonish. And Latin. Carrow speaks neither and the phrases she does know do not mean what she thinks they mean. So the banter between the fated couple is surprisingly still intact when it comes to things like Carrow bargaining with Malkom when they can have sex.
But due to the difficulty in spoken communication this has also seemed to translate in that this is by far the most romantic of all the couplings so far in the series. And for that, Demon from the Dark goes straight to number one as the best of the series that I’ve read to date. Okay, I guess it’s more a water and decapitated heads romance than champagne and flowers but the intent is the same.
The main theme throughout this book is one of betrayal and Malkom’s had it hard his entire life. First sold into slavery by his mother, then abandoned by his owner when he got too old and tall, then by Ronath an armourer in Kallen’s and Malkom’s army and finally by his best friend after they were both captured by the vampire horde. So you can well imagine that he has some serious trust issues which are not helped by the actions Carrow is forced to take in order to save another’s life.
This is perhaps the darkest in the Immortals After Dark series that I have read to date. All of the previous couples have been in certain death situations and indeed, some have actually died. However, not only do we have the harrowing story of Malkom to contend with, his is not the only darkness because there is the situation that Carrow, Regin, Lothaire and many others of the Lore are currently in and it is a bleak place.
Other than the main relationship story which really emphasizes how much people need to communicate, the relationship between Carrow and Lanthe was wonderful. We’ve met Lanthe before because she’s Sabine’s sister. And if there were any doubts on which side of the Accession Lanthe stands, it is declared loud and clear. The scene in Andoin, the home of the witch’s coven was also brilliant.
Like the previous book, whilst Demon From the Dark doesn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, it does leave the question of the fate of some characters wide open. As of now though, we know that at least two are potentially resolved in books already released. That said, this is probably my favourite in the series so far or at least ties with Sabine’s story in Kiss of a Demon King.
As an aside here, I wonder where the inspiration for Malkom came from. His surname; Slaine as well as his nature reminds me of the 2000AD character of the same name and Kresley Cole has already littered this series with pop culture references. Which reminds me; you may need to watch or at least be familiar with Aliens and Ellen Ripley. Just sayin’.