Jul 27 2011 9:30am

Welcome to the Dark World of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters, Part 1

No Mercy by Sherrilyn KenyonWe are Darkness. We are Shadow.
We are the Rulers of the Night.
We, alone, stand between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. We are the Guardians.
The Soulless Keepers.
Our souls were cast out so that we would not forewarn the Daimons we pursue. 
By the time they see us coming, it’s too late.
The Daimons and Apollites know us. They fear us. We are death to all those who prey upon the humans.
Neither Human, nor Apollite, we exist beyond the realm of the Living, beyond the realm of the Dead.
We are the Dark-Hunters.
And we are eternal.

—The Dark-Hunter series

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series is one of the best-selling paranormal romance series to date, and for good reason. Speaking to readers of all ages and genres, Ms. Kenyon’s unique twist on vampires, Greek mythology, and religion combines fantasy with paranormal romance to create a genre all its own. Ms. Kenyon has enthralled us since her first book, Fantasy Lover, released in 2002. Filled with intriguing suspense, non stop action, smoking hot romance, and biting humor; this intense character driven series (including Dark-Hunter villains, too) continues to enchant readers into its soon to be released twentieth Dark-Hunter novel, Retribution.

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn KenyonThe Dark-Hunters series is a convoluted world that progresses in real time. It uses immortal warriors from the past to stand between evil and the humans they are sworn to protect. Toss in some benevolent and vengeful Gods, a whole sub culture of  inter fighting shapeshifters, heaven, hell, demons, angels, and you have a complex evolving world encompassing thousands of years and hundreds of lives all intermingling and depending on each other for survival. The continuous arc tells of the battles and eventual war coming and the individual struggles within each group. Each story features a different hero and heroine who meet, fall in love, fight evil, and engage in some serious bed sport. Here are some important terms you need to know when reading this series.

Dark-Hunter: An ancient warrior who sold his or her soul to the goddess Artemis for a single act of vengeance. Now they protect mankind from the Daimons who want to eat human souls.

Apollite: A race who worshipped Apollo only to be cursed by him for a crime they didn’t commit...They can only come out at night and they can only survive on the blood of one another. At age 27, the curse kills them slowly and painfully unless they turn Daimon...

Daimon: An Apollite who refused to die from the curse. They feed on human souls and live to fight the Dark-Hunters. 

Were-Hunter: Originally part of the Apollite race, their DNA was magically spliced with animals. Now they are shape-shifters who fight amongst themselves and anyone who gets in there way.

Dream-Hunter: They are the gods of sleep who were cursed by Zeus to feel no emotion. 

Charonte: A race of demons who are extremely violent. They were enslaved to the goddess Apolymai until they escaped and now run a bar in NOLA.

Squire: A human who is employed by a Dark-Hunter. They are the Alfreds of the Dark Hunter’s world. 

Chthonian: A race of unknown beings. Extremely powerful and nasty. Only a few are left in the world and it’s best just to walk away slowly and make no sudden moves. 

What appeals the most to me in this series is the overlapping points of view. We see many different versions of the same events and it shows us all that there are always three sides to every story; yours, theirs, and the truth. The lines between good and evil in here are blurred, often revealing that a bad deed doesn’t make for evil and a good deed doesn’t always stand for truth and justice. Morals are held in high regard and often circumspect. I invite you to enter the Dark-Hunter world and meet for yourself the men and woman who stand in the shadows and give their lives for our protection. 

The first book in the series is Fantasy Lover. Here we meet Julian of Macedon and Grace Alexander. Demi-god and human.

Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn KenyonNight Pleasures is the second book in the series, but is considered the first book in which you are fully introduced to the dark hunters. Kyrian of Thrace is a dark hunter. Proclaimed as one of the greatest Greek generals of his time, he was betrayed by his wife and crucified by the Romans. He called upon Artemis for a single act of vengeance and was granted immortality in exchange for his soul. When he is attacked and knocked unconscious, he awakes handcuffed to a human. Amanda Deveroux is the only sane one in her family. While the rest of the Deveroux’s dabble in the supernatural, Amanda is a boring number cruncher and happy for it. When she awakes handcuffed to Kyrian, she finds herself dragged unwillingly into a dark and dangerous supernatural battle that will fullfill her destany or end her life.

“What is a Dark-Hunter? Is it like the Vampire Slayer?” —Amanda
“Yes, I’m a small, emaciated teenage girl who struts around fighting vampires in earrings they would rip out of my ears and shove up my ass.” —Kyrian

Night Embrace, book 3, introduces us to “oh so sexy” dark hunter Talon and gives us a deeper explanation into the dynamic battle for humanity. Talon is a Celtic druid who gave his life in order to save his sister from sacrifice. He was double-crossed by his own people and they made him watch as they murdered his sister. He cried vengeance and offered his soul to Artemis in exchange for his people’s demise. When he is run over by a float (I always laugh here) driven by a drunk God, he is saved by Sunshine Runningwolf. Sunshine is a free spirit whose old soul speaks to Talon on every level.

“Yeah, but...” –-Sunshine

“There are no buts, Sunshine. I am the goddess of souls and soulmates. Unlike the other Olympian gods, I know when I see two people who were created for each other. If both you and Talon died tonight and were later reborn at polar ends of the earth, sooner or later the two of you would reunite. That’s the schtick with soulmates. Alone you can survive, hell, you can even be with other people, but neither of you will ever be complete without the other.” —Psyche

Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn KenyonDance with the Devil, book 4, is one of my favorites. Zarak died a tortured Roman slave and received his chance at vengeance. Considered one of the most dangerous and insane of the Dark-Hunters, Zarak is exiled to the wilds of Alaska for a crime he did not commit. When he reveals himself once too often to humans, Artemis condemns him to death. Ash steps in and asks for a trial by the Fates. The justice nymph Astrid is chosen. Astrid has thirty days to determine Zarak’s fate. As she gets to know Zarak, she realizes that he has been severely misjudged and soon finds herself falling in love with him. But Artemis won’t give up and soon Astrid finds herself fighting for more then Zarak’s life-she’s fighting for her own.

“Stars aren’t supposed to cry. They’re supposed to laugh.” —Zarak
“How can I laugh when I have no heart?” —Astrid
“You have a heart. (He placed her hand over his.) One that only beats for you, princess.” —Zarek

Kiss the Night, Book 5. Dark-Hunter Wulf Tryggvasen has the misfortune of being forgettable. His Dark-Hunter power enables him to be forgotten within five minutes of meeting him. Great for a hunter, bad for relationships. When he saves the life of Cassandra Peters he is shocked to find she not only remembers him, but that she belongs to the race he is sworn to hunt and destroy. As these two struggle with their forbidden feelings for one another, they find themselves at the mercy of meddling gods and a curse that threatens everything and everyone they love. Kiss the Night introduces us to quite a few interesting and soon to be major players in the over all series.

“You know, I went to your Web site and saw the names listed there. Kyrian of Trace, Julian of Macedon, Valerius Magnus, Jamie Gallagher, William Jess Brady. I’ve studied history all my life and know each of those names and the terror they wrought in their day. Why is it okay for the Dark-Hunters to have immortality even though most of you were killers as humans, while we are damned at birth for things we never did? Where is the justice in this?” —Cassandra

Night Play by Sherrilyn KenyonNight Play, book 6. Ahhh. Vane. *dreamy sigh* Most long time readers will tell you Vane is the most romantic and sexiest of the whole crew. Were hunter Vane Kattalakis is a wanted man. I mean wolf. Hunted by his mother and father’s people, Vane struggles to keep himself and his younger brother Fang alive. Bride McTierney is tired of men and their superficial needs. All she wants in a man to love her for herself. When the fates decide to mess with Vane once again and make the delectable and oh-so-human Bride his mate, Vane has three weeks to convince her he is her knight in shining armor or it’s neuter-ville for him. As time runs out and his enemies get closer...Vane decides to teach everyone once and for all just what an Alpha wolf is capable of.

“I never knew softness,” he breathed. “Not until the moment you touched me in your store. My life is violent and dangerous. Its dark and twisted and no place for someone like you. I have more people wanting me dead than I can count. They will stop at nothing, and you..” He ground his teeth before he spoke again. “You’ll never want again for anything in your life. I swear it on what little bit of human soul I have left.” —Vane

Seize the Night. Book 7. Valerius Magnus is one of the most hated of the dark hunters. A former Roman general, his arrogant ways and ancestry make him unpopular with the largely Greek dark hunters. When he is transferred to NOLA to replace a fallen dark hunter, he is stabbed then saved by Tabitha Devereaux. Tabby is not only sexy and completely uninhibited, she is also the sister in law to Val’s mortal enemy, Kyrian. As Val and Tabby team up to fight a growing evil in NOLA, they find themselves at the mercy of a Daimon who has come back from the dead to seek revenge on them both. Val must learn to let go of the past and forgive if he wants to win the love of a woman who drives him nuts and save the life of a man he hates.

“Life is serious." —Valerius
“No, life is an adventure. It’s thrilling and scary. Sometimes it’s even a bit boring, but it should never be serious.” —Tabitha

Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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Megan Frampton
1. MFrampton
Tori, I have Night Embrace, and after reading this can't wait to begin my own Kenyon journey. Whee!
2. torifl
MFrampton- Squee!! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
3. Mippy Carlson
Sherrilyn Kenyon is the best! Not only is she a phenomenal writer, but she is also an *amazing* woman. One of *the* nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. And can I just add that I am completely over-the-moon over the fact that they are making the Dark Hunter into a TV show, her Chronicles of Nick into movies, and the Were-Hunters into anime!! *squeeee*
4. Grace S
I absolutely love this series. I wait with baited breath with each new breath and am amazed that I can be laughing out loud from Simi's antics or Tab's snark one minute and literally in tears over Ash or Wren the next.
5. torifl
Mippy Carlson-I met her and Nora Roberts at ROM10 and was in totally fangirl squeeee mode. I can't WAIT for the TV version. So excited for that.

Grace S.-This series is what led me into PNR/UF and I never tire of it. She keeps it so fresh and exciting.
Pamela Webb-Elliott
6. Spaz
YAY!!!!!!!!!! I am SO happy you are pimping this series, Tori!!!
You know, I have to go out on a limb here and say that Sherillyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series really truly is the best of its kind in the genre. I don't know how she does it, but this series just keeps on going with the same magic it started with. 20+ book later and I will be downloading and reading REVELATION the minute it releases next Tuesday.
7. Mippy Carlson
@Torifl - Isn't she just the nicest person? I've had the pleasure of meeting her at 2 book sigings and went to KCon 2 years ago in New Orleans. What a blast! At the book signings, she will literally autograph anything you want her to and she doesn't put a limit on books she'll sign. I've even heard of her going out to the parking lot to continue signing books. I splurged and ordered the leather bound/signed limited edition of RETRIBUTION and bought one for my friend as a birthday present. She's not a huge reader, but I'm proud to say I got her hooked on the series. Yet another Minion added to the fold :)
8. torifl
SpazP-I adore this series. It was the one that really got me into PNR and kept me hooked. The combo of action, suspense, and humor hooked me from the start.

Mippy Carlson-I found her to be very gracious and down to earth.
Nicole Noffsinger
I love this series and I especially love how the heroes are paired with their HEA. The first one I read was Julian's book and after that I had to have more and more and more. So far my favorites are: Acheron, Vane, Zarek, Talon, and Wren's books. I love them all though, really. I wish Dragonswan and Winterborn had been longer because even those short stories were really great. The only ones I don't have or haven't read are Retribution(duh) and Fury's story.
Robin Diaz
10. Blazingfire
I have read every Dark Hunter book out there. I can't wait for the new one. I started reading them this October and finished them around March. I got everything from Night Pleasures to No Mercy. I also have Dragonswan and Winterborn. I can't wait until Retribution comes out. I also love her League series and can't wait until Born in Silence comes out. I can't stop bouncing like a little child I want them so bad.
11. I.V. Diva
I so can't wait for the TV series. I love Sherrilyn and can;t wait to meet her on the 4 of August in Richmond Va. I hope to have all her book in Hard back soon.
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