Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 49 - Dark Curse

Dark Curse
Christine Feehan

Synopsis [from]

Born into a world of ice, and slave to her evil father, Lara Calladine knew only paralyzing fear as a child—and escaping with her mysterious gifts unbroken would be the only way to survive her great Carpathian heritage as a Dragonseeker. Human, yet mage, she was of the blood of three species yet belonged to none. She walked her chosen path alone, guided by the wisdom of her aunts—to blend in and let no one know of her ancestry and powers. And never trust anyone. For beyond the frozen hell of her youth was a world of even greater mysteries and dangers.

Today Lara is the leading expert in the field of ice cave study around the world and the healing microorganisms that thrive in them. She’s also in search of something else: the source of her nightmares—the cold dark corners of her childhood. Only one man has the will and the powers to help her: Nicolas De La Cruz, for whom centuries of hunting and killing have long since taken their toll. Dangerous and arrogant, he still longs to feel sensual love without the hunger for blood. Now, between Lara and Nicolas, a tenuous trust has emerged, and a passion neither has ever known before as a melody of dark promise begins.

But as each scales the treacherous land of the Carpathian in search of their past, they also harbor a secret that could save or destroy them. And as each may be desirous of a new beginning as lifemates, they are also haunted by the unknown dangers of a dark curse.


I have a lot of respect and admiration for Ms. Feehan. I owe my entire love for paranormal/fantasy/romance in general to her. I remember browsing through Barnes & Noble years ago and stumbling into the romance section. I never read romance before because I was just never into sex in books and I suppose the old school covers with the hero and heroine completely turned me off. I must have been mighty bored on that trip because I found myself walking down the romance aisle. I came across a number of books by her and decided to pull at least one out and see what they were about. Dark Guardian was the one I grabbed. There was a really hot guy on the front and a wolf on the back. What more could I ask for? Curiosity made me read the back cover and I said "What the hey, just give it a try." And the rest, my friends, is history.

So with that said, I'm particularly loyal to Ms. Feehan and her Dark Series especially. Even though they aren't my favorite. And sadly they have been a bit disappointing and repetitive over the years. Number 19 (including anthologies) in the Dark Series, Dark Curse, wasn't exactly holding high hopes for me in light of its predecessor, Dark Possession, being a complete let down. But of course I was going to read it.

Lara is first introduced in the ice caves of the Carpathian mountains. She is a very small child at the mercy of her great-grandfather, Xavier. Evil dark mage filled with jealousy and hatred toward the Carpathians, Xavier tortures Lara daily as he feeds off of her. Razvan, Lara's father, is also seen hurting his daughter and siding with Xavier. However, with the help of her two great-aunts, Branislava and Tatijana, Lara manages to escape the ice caves to an outside world that scares her just as much as her imprisonment.

I absolutely love the concept of lifemates. And I'm sure it's hard to come up with fresh new ideas on how to portray the same thing over and over again with different couples. So I won't fault the author for that. Nicolas De La Cruz is a lot like any Carpathian male; dominant, arrogant, possessive, etc. Extremely close to turning into a vampire when we first meet him and after seeing Lara he undoubtedly claims her. Like most of the males he does so without her consent and really without any care of the consequences.

Ms. Feehan is known for her long-winded sex scenes. And I must admit, they can get pretty heavy and pretty irresistible. However, I found myself skimming a lot of the sex scenes in this book because I really wanted to read the story that was building behind the two of them. But I'd be lieing if I said I didn't like some of the scenes.
Lara is part Dragonseeker, part mage, and part human. She has never really fit in anywhere and has never had any family. After meeting Nicolas, her childhood memories that have been locked away for her protection come back to her in small but violent pieces. And her memories and knowledge may be the key to solving the birthing problems that have been plaguing the Carpathian people. I was very excited to see Lara use her amazing mage skills throughout the book. She isn't a warrior like some of the other women in the series (Jaxon, Natalya, Destiny), but she has a serious arsenal of mage magic that she uses. A lot of it seems a little "coincidental" at times. The fact that she just happens to know a spell that can help out at exactly the right time...*raises eyebrow* But that fact that she contributes so much is really nice to see.

One thing that bothered me a little was the excessive use of the Carpathian language. And even the appendices in the back of the book. I admire Ms. Feehan for doing the research and incorporating the beautiful language in the book. I totally skipped over it though. You can go to her website and hear samples of the language but I just didn't really feel the need to have so much of the language spoken in the book. But thank God, for translations (= She graciously included them almost every time. After a while, I did start to recognize words, so maybe I should thank her for the language lesson.

The book was good. It continues the story of the Carpathians and we may finally have a solution that could save the entire race. There were a lot of unexpected twists with the characters and the story itself which made it great to read. I especially liked the ending, and I honestly didn't want it to end. So even though I struggled through the middle of the book, I'm very glad I read it. Anyone who likes the Dark Series should read this just for the continuation of the story. Lara and Nicolas are very like able characters and they weren't really a disappointment.


April said...

Great review! I have never read anything by this author, but this sounds good. Love this cover too! lol

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