After my issues with Lachlain and his misogynistic, abusive behavior in A Hunger Like No Other, I really didn’t hold high hopes for No Rest For The Wicked. Would Sebastian insist on sexually assaulting Kaderin at any given opportunity? Would he forbid her from seeing her family? Would he threaten to kill her unless she kissed him? Would he buy himself designer clothes using her credit card? These are all questions I found ricocheting off the walls of my brain before I delved back into Kresley’s intricate universe of vampires, Valkyrie and lykae. Speaking of lykae, Lachlain makes a brief cameo in this book…actually ‘cameo’ is a bit rich, it’s just his voice on the phone while Kaderin is attempting to have an important conversation with Emma. Apparently having a phone pressed against your ear doesn’t universally signal “I’m kinda busy right now” and he literally begins undressing Emma while she’s speaking to her Valkyrie aunt. Like, dude, what the fuck? Sure, you were imprisoned in the catacombs beneath Paris for 150 years but are you honestly that socially clueless that you can’t see when someone’s having a serious conversation? Eugh. Anyway, this isn’t about Lachlain and his ability to piss me off when he doesn’t even appear in the book. This is about Kaderin…and Sebastian. Oh sweet Sebastian.
Having witnessed the brutal murder of his parents and beloved sisters, Sebastian Wroth yearns for death. Death doesn’t come easily – or painlessly – when you’re an immortal, though. For the past three hundred years Sebastian, a warrior turned reluctant vampire, has sat in his castle pining for those he has loved and lost and awaiting redemption in the form of death.
The instrument of his death arrives in the form of Kaderin the Cold Hearted, a fearsome, famed Valkyrie who has been ‘blessed’ with the ability to live an emotionless existence following the loss of her sisters. However, once she is stood before the lonely, mournful vampire, she feels the stirrings of emotions not felt in a millennia. For the first time since her ‘blessing’, Kaderin is unable to go through with her kill. The feelings are more than mutual. Sebastian finds himself in awe of the petite and seemingly delicate woman sent to dispatch of him. However, Sebastian soon realizes that he’s underestimated Kaderin and her ability as he competes against her in the Hie.
As the sparks of passion burn ever brighter, Kaderin has to make a decision. Win the Hie, thereby winning the key to seeing her sisters alive and well again, or embark on a lifelong immortal ‘marriage’ with Sebastian. What, and who, will she choose?
Oh. My. GOD. I adored this book! I loved the typical gender role reversal within it. In many paranormal romance novels, the male lead outranks the female in terms of power and ability, but this is not the case with No Rest For The Wicked. Kaderin has no qualms about showing Sebastian she’s a force to be reckoned with, as is demonstrated by the way she so nonchalantly slashes the throat of a fellow competitor before pushing him over a ledge with a drop of thousands of feet. This is followed by the dislodging of an anchor that is holding the rope attached to another competitor, before stepping off the edge of the ledge herself and landing on the icy, rocky ground completely unscathed. Kaderin is just so badass and powerful and damn, she sure as hell knows it. She simply basks in the fear of her enemies. Kresley Cole doesn’t just simply make her a female character strengthened by the shit the plot throws at her (as is the case with poor wee Emma in AHLNO). Kaderin the Cold Hearted is strong in her own right. Forget Sebastian (well, not entirely. Simply momentarily), it’s Kaderin’s arms I want to find myself swept into should I ever find myself at the mercy of a vampire of the Horde or in the midst of battle.
Now, let’s move on to Sebastian. Sweet, darling, gentle Sebastian (see what I mean about the role reversal here?). Sebastian, having shut himself away for the past 300 years, is pretty clueless about the Lore. At the competitor’s meeting in Riora’s temple, the poor guy seems pretty overwhelmed by the myriad of beings he finds himself surrounded by and he tries so, so hard to fit into the vicious world in which his Bride plays a huge part. The Lore is a cut-throat, violent and sometimes murderous community to find oneself a member of and Sebastian attempts to don the hardened, cruel demeanor that so many wear…and fails magnificently. It’s endearing…it’s cute. When he traces to Kaderin (who’s in Antartica with Regin) and finds ‘the tips of his fingers blackening from near instaneous frostbite’, he traces to a clothing store in London and hastily kits himself out in a pair of gloves and a good, thick coat. Naturally, time is of the essence but rather than thinking “Fuck it, I’m a powerful vampire. I don’t need to bow down and pay the mortals *evil cackle*” he notes ‘the name of the store to send payment to’ before leaving. What an absolute darling! How kind is that? How considerate? Sebastian Wroth is the perfect gentleman encased in muscly, six and a half feet of gorgeousness. Additionally, following Kaderin’s harsh treatment, he realizes that what goes around must eventually come around and decides to give her a taste of her own medicine…but he just can’t. He tries and he can’t. He can’t bear the thought of hurting or humiliating her. He’s a big ol’ softie that Estonian boy is. A vampire with a squidgy, marshmallow core.
That’s all you’re getting out of me today, girls and guys. The ending of No Rest For The Wicked borders on epic and I refuse to spoil it!
Rating: 5 out of 5!
Song: Motley Crue’s Kickstart my heart (you’ll understand this song choice if you know the whole vampire/Bride thing)
This book is available in both paperback and e-reader format on Amazon.