Aug 22 2013 8:30am

First Look: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Styxx (September 3, 2013)

Styxx by Sherrilyn KenyonSherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin's Press / September 3, 2013 / $27.99 print, $14.99 digital

Just when you thought doomsday was over...

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.

As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.

The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her.

But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.

Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?

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 me since her first book, Fantasy Lover. On that day I lost my heart to Julian of Macedonia and my soul to his creator.

Filled with intriguing suspense, heartbreaking horror, non stop action, sizzling romance, and wicked humor, this intensely character-driven series continues to enchant this reader well into its twenty-third release, Styxx. Styxx is the twin brother of Acheron Parthenopaeus (Ash). His true name is Styxx of Didymos. Born a prince in 9548 BC, he was the privileged son of the king and queen of Didymos. During his mortal life, he hated Ash with every single cell of his being and caused him nothing but unimaginable pain and humiliation every chance he got.

Or did he?

“...Why would he hang onto that for almost twelve thousand years and keep it so pristine if he truly hated you and is as selfish as you claim? [...] That doesn't strike me as a labor of hatred, Acheron, but rather one of love.”

It is often said that there are three sides to every story: Yours, theirs, and the truth. Memories are tailored to our emotional state and what we remember isn’t always exactly how it happened. Styxx sets the story of his and Ash’s childhood to rights. What we thought we knew to be the absolute truth becomes only a single part of it, told from the point of view of a brutalized boy whose life was doomed from the moment he left his mother’s womb and his prejudicial sister. Here we will learn who the real Styxx of Didymos is. His strength and perseverance. His sorrow and pain. His love and loss. You learn of events that weren't in Acheron’s book. Misjudged, condemned, betrayed and abandoned...there's a whole side of Styxx that no one knows of.

None of them had ever taken pity on him. He was thrown aside and forgotten like garbage.

Until they needed him.

All he’d ever wanted was a family. One person who treated him like he mattered to them.

All he had gotten was disappointment.

Slapped in the face and stabbed in the heart.

Here you will learn the truth.

In spite of everything and everyone, even them and their own stupidity, he still loved his brother.

Kenyon offers no mercy as she takes a sword and hacks away at the misconceptions from the past to get at the heart of truth. Styxx takes us back to the familiar setting of Styxx and Acheron's past, where we meet a tortured hero whose story of love, sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness astounds, wounds, and humbles. Styxx’s life is a harsh study in cruelty and horror. It’s utterly heartbreaking, not only what he experiences physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He has lost so much that death is a release he craves everyday. His only happiness is his memories of his beloved wife and child.

“...the book was filled with pictures of the same woman and the baby boy at various ages that ranged from newborn to adulthood. [...] Memories that had been stolen from him “

Truths are spoken and lies are revealed as Acheron sees the incredible disservice he has done to Styxx and himself by clinging to his hatred and bitterness. By looking into the past and reliving it through someone else’s eyes...Acheron learns some ugly truths about himself.

“You even held him down while he was branded a whore.”

And those who stood upon their high pedestals, secure in their decisions and safe in their denial and self righteousness, find themselves crashing to the ground as worlds collide and fate realigns to show us the devastation that can occur when Gods and Goddesses choose to meddle in the lives of mortals.

“Remorse gutted him as he felt for the childhood and life Styxx would have had they not all interfered.”

The time of reckoning is upon them all, driven by a Goddess who seeks to redress the wrong done to her and her family and make them pay for what they took from her.

“...she remembered everything the Gods had done to them both to tear them apart and keep them from each other. Anger rose up in her but she forced it down. There would be a full accounting later. No matter what, she couldn’t allow him to suffer any more or die for these bastards.”

“Or for her.”

Though I was originally unimpressed with Styxx and upset Sherrilyn Kenyon would devote an entire book to him, I see now that my perceptions, like others, were clouded by emotion. Kenyon takes a supposed villain and gives us back a remarkable hero whose strength, compassion, and fortitude will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon before its release (September 3, 2013):

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound



Tori Benson can be found at Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Helyce
This is clearly one of my most anticipated releases this year--more so because I didn't know she every had any intentions of writing it. I am chomping at the bit even more having read your fantastically written review!
2. Nia2113
I had thought about taking off work to sit and read it cover to cover in one sitting ( just like I did with Acheron) I won’t lie. I cannot wait!! It makes it even better that Kenyon admitted that she HATED Styxx and for the longest time fought tooth and nail with him about writing his story. I also love that she fights with her characters :D. Is it the 3rd yet?????
3. juli1961
thank the gods and amazon for pre-orders
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