Aug 31 2011 2:00pm

Anticipating Kresley Cole’s Lothaire

Lothaire by Kresley ColeA couple years ago, there was a Saturday morning cartoon called Shaolin Showdown. The basic premise was that four extraordinary kids were chosen to save the world with martial arts superpowers. There were a couple recurring bad guys in the series; the bad guy you saw every week was the comedic bad guy. You more laughed and rolled your eyes at him than ever took him as a threat.

And then there was Chase Young.

Chase Young was the smooth bad guy who showed up very rarely. He had long flowing hair and kicked butt. The heroes barely made it out when they were fighting him, and every time Chase Young came onto the scene, you were holding your breath, waiting for what was going to happen next.

Chase Young was bad, but you loved him anyway.

The creators were no fools, so the last season of the show Chase Young started showing up a heck of a lot more.

This could only be a good thing, right? Wrong.

See, the problem was, with Chase Young around so much more, the mystery started to diminish. Because the kids had to keep beating him (or else the series would end) his intimidation and awesomeness factor started dropping. And because Chase was so popular, he couldn’t be a complete bad guy anymore. We started getting a kinder, gentler Chase Young.

Chase Young went from being a bounce-in-your-seat-when-you-realized-he-was-in-the-episode character to a, “Oh, him again huh?” character. It was sad to see him diminished so.

Why am I talking to you about this?

I have fears any time an author brings their anti-hero character to the hero side, because usually the character can’t survive the transition. The more I have love for the author and their character, the more I fear.

And I have much love for Kresley Cole and Lothaire from her Immortals After Dark series.

Lothaire is the cool bad guy from the IAD series. He’s the one that as soon as he shows up, you get that tingle in the back of your neck going, “What’s he up to now?” In the series, he has some heavy duty favors owed to him by the good guys, and it is stomach-twisting to think on the many possibilities his devious mind will come up with to torture and chess move all of them.

But now, Lothaire is going to be the hero in the next IAD book, which is simply titled Lothaire.

Lothaire, who snapped Lucia’s neck and is on Garreth’s To Die List.

Lothaire, who betrayed Regin, Declan, and the rest on that prison island.

Lothaire, who has done so many bad things that there is a whole continent of immortals just waiting to take him out.

Lothaire now as hero.

I don’t want Lothaire to pull a Chase Young and lose that edge that has made him such a great and fascinating character throughout the series. At the same time, he’s going to be the hero of a romance book. If I’m reading a romance, to enjoy it I have to like the guy enough that I want to see him happy and in love and able to live this great life with his beloved. If I don’t like the guy, I sure as heck don’t want to see him content and settled.

It’s going to be a major balancing act between keeping the character sharp and faithful to his roots, but redeemed enough that I’m happy to see him get his HEA.

I admit that I have no idea how Kresley Cole is going to pull it off. But more than once during her books she’s introduced something where I’ve thought, “No way she can resolve this,” but she did. The challenge may be greater here than anything that has come before, but I have full faith in her abilities.

Anyone want to take any guesses on what she’s going to do with Lothaire?


Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. Besides torturing her poor, poor editor about her latest story, Dani likes to read manga and watch anime, debate the merits of DC vs. Marvel, and geek out over the latest and greatest romance novel offerings. Catch up with Dani on Twitter @DaniMonsch

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Lindsay Beeson
1. lindsayb
Sherrilyn Kenyon did such a great job with Stryker's book, and he seems even more evil than Lothaire. Both characters have a certain code of honor, it seems. Sometimes Lothaire manages to show hints of goodness. I'm looking forward this this one, which ever way it turns out.
Efthalia Pegios
2. Efthalia Pegios
There's truth in what you say. However, I believe there is more to Lothaire and we are going to find out what that is in the next IAD series.

Yes he's done all those horrid things and much more but what's driving him, that's what I want to know. I'm hoping this will tie up some ends for me. I have my speculation, I guess we all do.

At the same time, I understand what you mean about making him too soft that the hairs on your arms don't standing up anymore. Again as you say our villian deserves a HEA.

Let's see what happens, I'm looking forward to it too.

Efthalia Pegios
3. torifl
I and the kid LOVEd Shaolin Showdown. lol We even have the video game.
Danielle Monsch
5. DanielleMonsch
@lindsayb - I'm certainly not saying it can't be done, and I think Cole is as talented as Kenyon. Both of these authors can keep the twists and turns coming and make us root for characters we might otherwise have no wish to to spend lots of time with.

That doesn't mean I don't worry about it though!

@Efthalia - Exactly, he is such a fascinating character the interest in this book is huge (and rightly so!) All we can do is wait and see - and trust in Cole :)
Danielle Monsch
6. DanielleMonsch
@torifl - so glad to have another Shaolin Showdown watcher :) That cartoon was great, more so than most Saturday morning fare we've gotten in the last few years. Kid AND adult awesomeness in every episode.

@infinitieh - He's a very nice looking gentleman. Having said that, I'm one of those annoying people that don't want a face on my cover (I like imagining what the characters look like.) I'm really sorry they aren't keeping with the look of Cole's last few covers which started with "Kiss of the Demon King." I thought those were some of the nicer 'man chest' covers out there, very well done.
7. nicolette
I am so excited:) I LOVE her books, :P ^^ comment before I agree about the imagining the faces and the man chest covers:) personally I think more authors should leave the faces a mystery and put nice chests on the cover, better for the imagination:)
Pamela Webb-Elliott
8. Spaz
FANTASTIC article! I never watched Shaolin Showdown but I definitely get the the situation you are describing, and I am somewhat concerned as well. I have faith in Kresley Cole, I just know she can pull it off!!
9. ChelseaMueller
Such a great post, Danielle! It's a worthy concern, but there's also a great opportunity for real redemption. If he is to be a hero, imagine what's going to be necessary for us to buy that -- for anyone to accept him. I like it when they bring the emotional heavy, and Kresley Cole can certainly twist it enough to make everyone accept him as a hero. Or at least I hope so.
Elizabeth Halliday
10. Ibbitts
I agree with lindsayb and Efthalia. One had a certain degree of sympathy for Stryker when the story was told from his point of view, but that didn't keep him from still being a bad guy when he next appeared in the series. Regardless of how the Lothaire character develops through telling "his side of the story", I am looking forward to following where Kresley Cole leads us.
Efthalia Pegios
11. nikki t
I've been reading IAD since it began and have to say she does an amazing job of keeping her characters personalities in tact. Sabine falls for Rydstrom but does not suddenly become sweetness and light. Conrad is still quasi insane after finding his Naomi. I don't belive there will be a drastic change of personality. Lothaire will remain himself.
S Tieh
12. infinitieh
Ah, "Kiss of the Demon King"! That has an excellent shot of Paul Marron's back on the cover! :)
Efthalia Pegios
13. paulatau
Good thought-pondering concern Danielle! I think Kresley can totally pull this one off. Yes, Lothaire is the Enemy of Old, but no faction has been outright agressive towards him (is that just wishful thinking or did I forget something?) like they have been to the "real" bad guys. I think his book will show that he did all his evil deeds for a reason. At least that's what I'm hoping for. @nikki t - totally agree with you! Kresley was able to "reform" some of her characters without really changing them! Love how she's been able to do that!
Efthalia Pegios
14. Zia Bo
I so agree with everyone. And I think from the outside looking at Lothaire, he has appeared very bad indeed, but that is coming from the other hero's and heroine's povs. Who ever really knows what someone else's motivation is for doing what they do? And though he is the Enemy of Old, I don't really remember him doing anything that made me think he is irredeemable. How many times have we read a story where the girl thinks the guy did something totally unforgivable and it turns out she just didn't know the full story? I think Lothaire will have motivation that we have no idea about because we've only seen from the "good guys" side. I can't wait to read this story. And sometimes the "bad" guys are so much more fun! ;)
Efthalia Pegios
15. rdsangel127117
I agree with all the comments, especially Zia Bo's. We haven't saw Lothaire's point of view from his side, only the good guys. Certainly there's something that drives him and probably extenuating circumstances involved. Kresley Cole is exactly the kind of quality author that can take him from being totally evil, leave enough of that evil and control within his grasp, but also make him lovable. Let's face it, it's a love story after all. Whoever she's picked for his HEA will unhinge him, but I think he'll still retain his inherent evil qualities. She'll just make him purr enough to expose the other side of his character to us. I can't wait to read it!
Eloivene Blake
16. lilelo
I like you guys :)
Just joining the board but felt compelled to join in the discussion.

Loved the Shalin Showdown reference - but not dreading it - I have faith in Ms. Cole.

I can't wait for Lothaire's book - I say bad boys sometimes fall hardest because they are so oblivious. Bring it on.
Efthalia Pegios
17. Michelle_B
lindsayb made an excellent point. Sherrilyn Kenyon wrote a book with Stryker, the at-the-time main baddie (until bigger baddies were introduced and Stryker no longer seemed so bad in comparison) as the hero, and at the end, readers were left with both a better understanding for him, but with satisfaction, because he wasn't suddenly an all around good guy. He was still a bad guy, still wanting nothing more than to take out Ash and the Dark Hunters. Lothaire, on the other hand, isn't what I would call "evil", like Stryker. Lothaire isn't BAD, in my opinion. In the IAD series, there are the good guys, the bad guys, and Lothaire, who is on no one's side but his own. I think Kresley Cole will be able to write this book so that in the end, Lothaire remains on his own side. Perhaps leaning more towards the good than the bad, but honestly, I always thought he did anyway. He's done a lot of bad shit over the course of the series, but nothing so irrevocably bad that he can't be redeemed, and lord knows he's had opportunities.
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