Wicked Abyss is right around the corner, and so begins my annual Immortals After Dark re-read. The series is getting to be quite long, however, and so I find myself re-reading only my favorites (and the most recent book) in order to catch up and get back in the mood. It is no secret that I am a mega Kresley Cole fan. I eat, breathe, and sleep the Immortals After Dark series. I have a Valkyrie-in-Training T-Shirt. I had a Kresley Cole-themed birthday party once. This is all said in an attempt to set me up as a Kresley Cole expert so you don't throw rotten tomatoes at me when you read this post. Know that even the most low-ranked book on this list is still a high-ranked book in my eyes.
We’ll have to wait and see where Wicked Abyss lands on the list, but with the promise of it being a Hades/Persephone tale, I have a feeling I’ll mark it pretty high. Until then, peruse my definitive ranking of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series and tell me your favorite book!
17. Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Declan and Regin)
The problem with anticipating a book for almost the entirety of a series, is that you tend to build up a lot of expectations… and so with a heavy heart, Dreams of a Dark Warrior fell flat for me.
16. “Untouchable” from Deep Kiss of Winter (Murdoch Wroth and Daniela the Ice Maiden)
I love the premise of this book. A woman who can never be touched without freezing her friends/lovers/compatriots!? How will she ever find a happily ever after? This one , however, was a novella and left me wanting more, which is never a bad thing.
15. Dark Needs at Night’s Edge (Conrad Wroth and Neomi Laress)
Unpopular Opinion: I don't like ghosts. I don't know why. I like ghosts and ghost stories in other mediums, but my head can't wrap around the logistics of a ghost being the hero or heroine of a story. Even when, like Neomi, they can become corporeal and interact with the other main characters, I just can't figure it out. I do love the angst of this book, though—between Conrad's own doomed beginnings, and Neomi's tragic past it brings the angst from both sides. It's one I applaud especially for the setup it brings for later books in the series since introducing the phantom as a new paranormal creature became an integral part of the plot for later IAD books.
14. Dark Skye (Thronos and Melanthe)
Poor Melanthe. Poor Thronos! This doomed couple brought us a pretty dark book, and for a large chunk I didn't know if Thronos deserved Lanthe. In the end, they both earned their happily ever after.
13. Kiss of a Demon King (Rydstrom and Sabine)
This is another book that suffers from my stupidly high expectations. I was so excited for Rydstrom's book. I hated Sabine previously, but by the end Kresley Cole did an impeccable job in redeeming this sorceress. Plus, who doesn't love a demon. Those horns...
12. Sweet Ruin (Rune and Josephine)
Oh, Rune and Josephine. Thinking you're enemies... and really you are, but when you both bend and find compromise—yum! This book shot us into a whole new universe and complicated the Immortal world as we mere mortals prepare for the Accession. Bonus: It got us one step closer to finding out who Nix's true mate is, the one she'd run to and never let go. Let's hope her madness doesn't get the best of her first!
11. Warlord Wants Forever (Nikolai and Myst)
Myst, when I first started the series, was such a conundrum! She was obviously and important leader to the Valkyrie, however in book 1, A Hunger Like No Other, she's missing! It's in Warlord Wants Forever that we find out where she was all this time and how she showed up at the end of A Hunger Like No Other as the Bride of a vampire—one of the sworn enemies of the Valkyrie.
10. Shadow’s Seduction (Mirceo and Caspion)
To steal a recent quote from a friend, I love this book like Oprah loves bread. The beginning is delicious. Not only does Kresley give us two opposites once again, but it was a first for her—male/male romance! To top it off, it's the romance of two familiar characters we haven't seen in a while, making me instantly invested. Mirceo is a Prince of Dacia, and it wasn't until later that I realized Caspion was the demon from Shadow's Claim, but by then I was already sold—hook, line, and sinker—on this pairing! These two are delicious and angsty and Kresley Cole makes it work in the best way.
9. Macrieve (Uilleam and Chloe)
Chloe is one of my favorite heroines in the IAD world. Strong and alluring, she's thrown into the deep end of the Immortal world and Uilleam is reluctantly there along the way. Macrieve ends with a fantastic twist and tackles issues far darker than we've seen before.
8. Shadow’s Claim (Trehan and Bettina)
I loved the introduction to Dacia that we saw in Lothaire and so was tickled pink when Trehan would be getting his book and we would be getting more of the Dacians—with the return to Dacia in Shadow's Seduction, I'm even more hopeful for more books now. I loved how this couple connected us to the Immortal world we know in this dimension, and widened it to include so much more! Bettina was an amazing heroine, and Trehan was grade-A alpha!
7. Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Garreth and Lucia)
When you're reading a romance where the heroine staying a virgin is literally what's stopping the end of the world, you could say the stakes are high! In this “road trip” romance Garreth and Lucia finally get their happy-ever-after after seven books of waiting—and the pay off was more than worth the wait.
6. Demon from the Dark (Malkolm and Carrow)
For once this couple wasn't necessarily an opposites attract story, but what I would call a “rock and a hard place” story. I can't imagine the loneliness and pain Malkolm must have felt in his hell realm, or the fear Carrow must have known as she struggled to save Ruby. However, Cole showed that if you work together (and there just so happens to be a riot at the prison where you're being held captive), you can do anything. Oh, and the sexy times are scorching.
5. No Rest for the Wicked (Sebastian and Kaderin)
No Rest for the Wicked launches readers from the introductory Immortal world found in A Hunger Like No Other and welcomes us to the Talisman Hie arc. Throughout the series, Cole has give us several arcs—the Talisman Hie, the Order prison arc, and now the Morior arc. Of the arcs so far, the Talisman Hie is by far my favorite. Bringing together many species in the hopes of gaining a wish from the goddess Riora, it was a great and unexpected second book in the series—as a newbie, I thought for sure Bowen’s book would be next. It was with this book that Kresley gained my blind faith and trust on this wild and wicked ride!
4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night (Bowen and Mariketa)
I. Love. This. Book. First, Mariketa is a redhead (so am I). She's a witch (I wish I was). And Bowen is completely devastated, wandering the world bereft of his chance at true love (Something I'm glad I'm not). Who doesn't want these two crazy kids to find a happy ending together!? When we're introduced to Bowen in A Hunger Like No Other, I instantly knew that his book would be one of my favorites. Mariketa is a strong heroine and learns to not hide who she is—not because of the love of a strong werewolf, but because of her own inner strength. This pairing is #relationshipgoals.
3. Dark Desires After Dusk (Cadeon and Holly)
Now we enter my top three. These three couples and books have been swapped around so many times, and Cade and Holly's story was nearly my number one. For starters, I love Kresley's take on the “road trip” trope, and I love it when she brings a “human” into the IAD world only to have them discover that they have belonged their all along! Holly is me and I am Holly, and I find her so relatable and so hot, and once again... demons. Demons are my favorite.
2. A Hunger Like No Other (Lachlain and Emmaline)
You never forget your first—whether it's the first book in the series, or the one that hooked you on an author for life. In the case of A Hunger Like No Other, it happens to be both. Lachlain and Emma are perfect. Lachlain is fierce, and loyal, and protective. Emma is everything Lachlain shouldn't want but does. Plus, it's the introduction of Kresley's now-signature “opposites attract” and “fated mate” combo that have made both so delicious for me. I love this book and it's one of my most re-read in the series.
1. Lothaire (Lothaire and Elizabeth)
This one may be controversial, I don’t know! I love this book, and so in my head, it will not only not be a controversial pick, but an obvious one. Lothaire stands on its own, as far as books go. I have come to learn that you do need to read this series in order to pick up on all the intricacies of plot, and especially give that Lothaire is such a villain throughout the series up until this point, makes series reading order all the more vital. However, what makes this book so masterful, is that Kresley redeemed a villain, but did not reform him. He’s still just as likely to rip out the hearts of his victims—much like he ripped out his own heart—and he’s still very unhinged, but Elizabeth brings him peace, and is a perfect case for “don’t judge a book by its cover,” for Lothaire judged Elizabeth as suitable
How would you rank the Immortals After Dark series? Where do you agree with my ranking? Where do you disagree?
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Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. You can usually find her wishing time-travel was possible so she could go back to Victorian England or that she was a paranormal creature. But in the meantime, she fills her time being the Community Manger for Heroes and Heartbreakers, and reading and writing romance. You can find her on Twitter at @JennProffitt