If I had to sum up this book in one word, I would use ‘interesting’.
It starts out in the usual way in that the fated couple meet for the first time and for one reason or another, as is typical with the series, are completely wrong for each other. Regin has just left Valhalla, is only 12 and has not yet gained her immortality. Aidan, on the other hand is a beserker warrior currently progressing through the requisite 200 battles in order to gain his own immortality. However, Aidan does not see any of this as a hindrance and promptly declares that she will be his bride, despite any of Regin’s protestations.
Given that Regin the Radiant is a well established character and is currently without a mate in the present day, I’m not spoiling anything by saying that the wedding didn’t happen. However, Aidan is nothing if not persistent and pursues Regin throughout the ages and in his different lives, not remembering what came before until it’s too late and they are parted once more.
As was established in Carrow Graie’s and Malkom Slaine’s story in the previous book, we know that Regin was also captured by the Order and personally taken by the Order’s Magister; Declan Chase who is none other than the latest reincarnation of Aidan the Fierce. And given that we already know what the Order wants to do with any of the Loreans, this situation is awkward.
Through the use of interwoven back stories, it becomes clear why Declan is the way he is. We’re also shown Regin’s story as she spends more and more time with Aidan when she becomes a young woman and gains her immortality. All of this is shown against Declan’s brutal treatment of the imprisoned Loreans even going as far as torturing Regin herself.
Whilst Nikolai Wroth’s and Lachlain’s stories had uncomfortable parts in that they had threatened to wipe their mate’s memories and kidnapped them respectively, this story captures that uncomfortable feeling and then ratchets it way up with Declan’s use of drugs and the peril that Regin and her fellow inmates are in.
That said, it Dreams of a Dark Warrior still contained all of the elements that make an Immortals After Dark book; snarky dialogue and a sassy heroine and hot, steamy romance. And Nucking Futs Nix. That is one bat shit crazy proto-Valkyrie whose path to godhood seem to be gathering pace. We also get a whole lot more of the Enemy of Old; Lothaire who is shaping up to be a very bad boy in the same way that Angelus and Spike from Buffy were. Evil, but in such a way that makes you root for team evil. And when those two leaders of team good and team evil actually meet? Riveting!
So, what with the torture and drug use combined with a very charged romance makes for a very interesting read. Perhaps not one of my favourites but of all of the heroines so far, I don’t think any have had as much presence throughout the series as Regin and that fact alone makes this a required read for anyone following the series thus far. Also, the ending pretty much makes the suffering worth it. Although, if I had to make a request to authors? No more vivisections on immortals please?