I decided to embark upon Kresley Cole’s famed The Immortals After Dark series based on the enthusiastic recommendation of a friend and I essentially inhaled The Warlord Wants Forever, finishing it in less than a day and reading more than half while enjoying an iced coffee in the garden.
Nikolai Wroth, once a formidable human warlord, finds himself weakened after being ‘turned’ by companion, comrade and vampire, Kristoff. There’s only one thing that will grant him the full strength and power he so desperately seeks; his Bride. His Bride comes in the form of the mischievous Valkyrie, Myst the Coveted, and while she happily awakens him, jolting his long silent heart back to life, she’s not one to settle down and play housewife.
The bond created on the night of his awakening plagues him with dreams of Myst and her memories and it is through these that he manages to track her down, an agonizing half decade later. After a brief struggle, the unthinkable happens. The chain encircled around Myst’s waist snaps under Wroth’s hold and it soon becomes apparent that this is no ordinary embellishment. It gives Wroth absolute control over Myst and he takes full advantage, subjecting her to just a small portion of the agony and humiliation he has endured for five long years. Guilt soon begins to eat away at him, though and when he decides to free her, he can do little more than hope that she will come to (and for) him under her own free will.
The Warlord Wants Forever gets Kresley’s series on the road quite successfully. It does an excellent job of establishing the world in which the series is set, almost giving its readers a tour of the Lore and the creatures within it. In fact, the first chapter of the novel is preceded by a fairly detailed prologue that gives us the origins of the Valkyrie and as Valkyrie is a species I’ve yet to find in another series, I found this incredibly helpful…but at the same time, I feel that this is all The Warlord Wants Forever does. It just establishes The Immortals After Dark’s universe. It simply lays the foundations for the events of the following book (which I’m currently reading). I feel nothing particularly monumental happens,; it strikes me more as a game of cat and mouse between Myst and Wroth, which culminates in a brief albeit tense standoff with Ivo the Cruel.
Plot aside, Wroth and Myst struck me as interesting characters. They’re both flawed in one way or the other and neither one of them is an innocent. I find there’s a common trope within paranormal romance where the female lead is innocent and virginal but Myst is neither of these. And I like it. She’s older than Wroth by approximately a millennia and a half and as a result, she’s experienced in most walks of life, including sex.. Kresley doesn’t shame her for this, though. Instead, she portrays Myst as an intelligent woman who can more than hold her own and successfully uses her sexual confidence to assist her Valkyrie sisters in their various campaigns.
As for Wroth, I initially had mixed feelings about him. I felt he was a dick to Myst when he realized the power of her chain, forcing her into a variety of situations that she didn’t seem initially comfortable with. However, he’s very careful. Once Wroth is in possession of Myst’s chain, she finds herself incapable of lying to him and when he realizes this, he asks her “If I weren’t a vampire and we had no history, would your body be aroused by mine?” and she answers truthfully; yes. He then goes on to tell her that he’s not going to make her do anything (“I will never force you to touch me or force myself upon you.”), but simply gives her leave to do so should she wish it. So, basically, anything she fantasizes about doing with him she’s permitted to do…because he’s commanded her to. So there’s still an element of free will there. I think. Wow, that was confusing. Also, I find the idea of him having a hard on for five years hilarious. I’m such an awful person.
Not the most exciting read but relatively good nonetheless. I’m giving The Warlord Wants Forever a 3 out of 5!
This book is available on Amazon in e-book and audio format…I kinda want to hear one of the steamier scenes being narrated, to be fair.