Sherrilyn Kenyon’s phenomenally popular Dark-Hunter series is actually four series combined into one: Dark-Hunters, Were-Hunters, Hellchasers, and Dream-Hunters.
First and foremost we have the Dark-Hunters, those luscious men and woman who gave up their souls to Artemis and vow to eternally protect humans in exchange for one act of vengeance against the beings whose actions caused their death.
The Were-Hunters, a species considered to be an affront to the gods, was born out of the desperation of a king who wanted to save his queen’s life. He used his magic to mix the essence of his wife’s people with species of animals known for strength, courage, and longevity. Cursed by the Fates for interfering in their domain, his “children” are doomed never to know peace.
The Hellchasers were introduced late into the series, in Bad Moon Rising. Unbelievably powerful, they are the damned souls of shapeshifters, demons, and anyone else who happened to stumble down a path best left undisturbed. When something escapes from Hell, they are the ones sent to retrieve it or kill it. Led by the mysterious Thorn, no one is sure which side they are on.
And last we have the Dream-Hunters. Children of gods and goddesses, (though some have human mothers), they are formally called the Oneroi—the protectors of humans, immortals, and Apollites dreams. Many, many years ago, Zeus stripped the Dream-Hunters of their emotions as punishment for a perceived insult. Now the Oneroi can no longer feel, and they are not allowed to visit the same human more then once. As further punishment, Zeus also stripped them of their names to destroy their individuality, forcing degrading monikers on them to denote their statuses.
M’ — These are the enforcers; they police the Oneroi to keep them from going Skoti. They are judge, jury, and executioner. They are the leaders of the Dream-Hunters.
V’ — They help the humans who have trouble sleeping or who have nightmares.
D’ — They help the gods and immortals (Dark-Hunters and Were-Hunters). They are recruited to help new Dark-Hunters let go of their human past & ease their transition to their new immortal lives. In return, the Dark Hunters help keep the Dream Hunters powers at optimum levels.
When the Oneroi enter a dream, they are able to feel emotions. Some Oneroi cannot stand leaving this altered emotional state, so they stay and manipulate the dreams and become Skoli. The Skoli are considered enemies of the Oneroi and routed at every chance but many of them are able to escape detection and roam freely in and out of dreamscapes.
Here is a small list of known Oneroi and Skoli and the Dream Hunter books you will find them in.
M’Alerian/D’Alerian — The Dream Hunter, Upon the Midnight Clear, Dream Warrior, The Guardian
M’Adoc — The Dream Hunter, Upon the Midnight Clear, Dream Warrior
M’Ordant — Upon the Midnight Clear, Dream Warrior
Delphine — Upon the Midnight Clear, The Dream Warrior, The Guardian
Leta — Upon the Midnight Clear, Dream Warrior
Lydia — The Guardian
Arik — The Dream Hunter, Dream Warrior
Solin — The Dream Hunter, Dream Chaser, The Guardian
Xypher — Dream Chaser, Dream Warrior
V’Aidan — Upon the Midnight Clear
Zeth — Dream Warrior
There are five main Dream-Hunter books, though you see and interact with them through out the entire series.
The Dream Hunter (book 10) tells the story of Arikos and Dr. Megeara Kafieri . Arikos is Skoti. He has drifted through dreams for thousands of years yearning for the brief touches of emotions he feeds upon. When he drifts into Megeara Kafieri’s dreams, he finds a dreamscrape so rich that he barters with Hades for two weeks of humanity. The catch, he will have to return to Olympus with a human soul. Megeara (Geary) has risked her reputation on finding Atlantis but bad luck has dogged her every step. With Arikos help, she gets closer then she ever imagined, but not without cost. Arikos cannot let Megera discover what he is and the only way to stop it all is to sacrifice the one person who has become the world to him.
“Thank you, Geary.”
“For giving me a life that is the best dream I’ve ever had.”
Upon the Midnight Clear (book 13) introduces us to Aidan O’Conner and Leta. Aidan is a world famous actor who had the world by the tail until betrayed by those he trusted most. Now Aidan has turned his back on the world. Leta is a goddess who is running for her life and goes to the only man she knows can help her. Aidan carries enough anger to fuel her immortal powers and she knows she will need everything he has to help her defeat her enemy.
Leta: “I’m a professional bodyguard.”
Aiden: “Yeah, right.”
Leta: “Nope. All true. I know seventy-two ways to kill a man and sixty-nine of them look like an accident.”
In Dream Chaser (book 14) we meet seductive bad boy Xypher. Part demon and part Dream-Hunter, he has been sentenced to an eternity of torture in Tartaus unless he can can redeem himself on Earth in one month. Simone Dubois carries a secret deep inside of her that even she doesn’t know. A medical examiner with a ghostly side kick, the dead come to her and she helps the police find their killers.
A wicked twist of fate attaches Xypher and Simone together-only to part upon death. Add in killer demons, doorways to hell, and and the future of mankind in her hands...Simone has to wonder if it’s worth getting out of bed some days.
Simone: “Stay out there! Don’t you dare come back in here with those evil mind tricks!”
Xypher: “Does it buy me any bonus points to note that you have a really nice looking ass?”
Dream Warrior (book 17) is a major turning point for the Dream-Hunters. Olympus is at war and Delphine has been charged by Zeus to find Cratus, the son of Warcraft and Hate, and convince him to come and fight for them. The problem? Cratus, a Titan, was exiled by Zeus and suffers untold torture every single night. He refuses to raise his weapons for anyone. If Delphine cannot change his mind, mankind will be slaughtered and the world doomed.
Jericho: “I want to hate you, but I can’t even stay mad at you.”
Delphine: “You know, I think you’re more in need of lessons on how to seduce than I am. Why don’t you call me fat and ugly while you’re at it?”
The Guardian (book 21—releases Nov 1, 2011) is Solin’s big story. Dream-Hunter Lydia has to go into the Nether Realm to rescue the God of Dreams before he spills some major secrets that could destroy them all. She never expects to be taken prisoner by the Guardian of the Realm. Seth must break the God he has prisoner or he will forfeit his life. When Lydia appears, he changes tactics. As he and Lydia engage in the ultimate battle of wills, only one can win. If Lydia fails, an ancient evil will roam the Earth once more, but evil never looked so good...
Though I love the entire series with every beat of my heart and have been known to snatch the last remaining copy out of someone’s hands and run gleefully to the cashier shouting, “IT’S MINE!!!!! ALL MINE!!!!,” I have to say that the Dream-Hunters do hold a special place in my heart. Though the Hellchasers are giving them a run for their money. So tell me...do you have a particular sub-group of characters in this series that appeal to you?
(Want more? Visit our Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Collection for more great stuff, including an exclusive bonus scene, “Redemption,” from the latest novel in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dream-Hunter series, The Guardian.)