Jan 14 2015 9:30am

5 Reasons Kresley Cole’s Death Should Be Your Book Boyfriend

Dead of Winter by Kresley ColeI’m aware I look like a crazy person every time I tack on the #TeamDeath hashtag to a tweet, but I can’t help myself. Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles have me tied in knots. Both of Evie’s love interests are worthy, but somehow during the journeys in Endless Knight and the just-released Dead of Winter (no spoilers here!), I found myself falling more and more for Death.

His real name is Aric, but he can’t shake the fact he’s been the Death card for centuries. He’s cold, in pain, and so in love with Evie. I can see it, even if she struggles. So, while I totally understand those still rooting for Jack (love that Cajun, too!), I’m here to convince you Death/Aric should be your book boyfriend.


1. He’s straightforward.

We might not always like what Death says, but he’s not much for lies. When Evie accuses him of doing something with an end game, he doesn’t deny it. Ever. There’s something incredibly attractive—and a little bewildering—about someone willing to own up to their own faults and admit them openly to others.

Death doesn’t hide who he is from Evie.

2. He appreciates Evie’s strength.

Death isn’t the guy who will save you when you can save yourself. It’s not that he wouldn’t like to earn a little goodwill, but he isn’t dismissive of his potential partner’s power. He trusts that Evie can handle situations, even if she isn’t sure herself. He has faith in her, and that kind of respect can get him far with this H&Her.

3. He’s a reader.

A man with a book is hot. This one reads voraciously, and he can read in multiple languages. He’s a seeker of knowledge, and an active, curious mind is a very sexy thing.

4. He wants to be better.

He doesn’t actually want to kill people. I’ll avoid spoiler territory here, but just because he’s good at killing people doesn’t mean he gets joy from it.  He actually very much likes the idea of not having to take lives. He’s too realistic/pessimistic (depending on your stance) to think Evie’s plan to stop the game will work, but he wants it to work. That counts for something.

5. Those abs.

What? I can be shallow. Kresley Cole does a great job of describing the planes of Aric’s chest, the cut of his abs and that light dusting of a happy trail. I’m here to appreciate them. You should be, too.

So, H&Hers, where do you stand? Have you fallen for Death? Would you be willing to give Aric a chance? Do you want Evie to give that knight another opportunity to love her?

And, fine, if you’re Team Jack, feel free to talk about his sweet-talkin’ ways in the comments, but know he’s kind of a liar and some of us still need to really see him accept Evie as an equal.

If you include Dead of Winter spoilers (the ending is a big twist) below, please give people a heads up so they may avert their eyes.

Learn more about Kresley Cole's Arcana Chronicles Series:

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole  
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole  
Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole  




Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club and writes YA novels. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I haven't read this series yet, but I just had to comment to say that I really appreciate posts arguing one team or another in a love triangle. This might sound weird, but I like going into a series already with an idea of which couple I'm rooting for! So thanks for this--Death sounds like my kinda hero.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I have the first book in this series, I should really give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up about Death, Chelsea.
Laura Bracken
3. Night -owl
I was totally blindsided by the character of Death(before we actually met Death I thought that maybe Jack was Death, weird, I know). I didn't see the whole love triangle coming at all. When Death came into the story he was just the bad guy to me but then suddenly everything changed when he took Evie. It really messed with my head, here I was loving the whole Evie & Jack love story(even though I knew he was keeping secrets. I was thinking sure, he is the love interest, it will all work out, and then bam, Death comes into the picture). I felt awful when I started liking Death, but he was so brooding & hot, and he collects rare books and manuscripts(what's a girl to do). I'm still all messed up by the whole thing but I think I like Death better as of now. I have yet to read the new book. I hate being this fickle!
4. ChelseaMueller
I felt awful when I started liking Death, but he was so brooding & hot, and he collects rare books and manuscripts(what's a girl to do).
@Night-owl - Yes. Exactly. I had the same problem. Somehow I found myself falling for the villain.(He's totally trying to be not evil now.)

@MFrampton - I have no doubt you'd pick Death/Aric. He's the right kind of broody.

@redline_ - You'd like these books.
Teddy Pierson
5. TeddyP
Humans are great at romanticizing (make cool) the dark side of things.
6. AvidReader
I'm all for Death. As soon as I realized he isn't actually evil, I was all in for him. He NEEDS Evie in a way no one else ever can. He's a man worthy of her. He's never lied to her and has faith in her abilities. He hasn't turned away from her in disgust because of who she REALLY is. I love him for her.
7. Crystal @ RBtWBC
Couldn't have said it better myself, Chelsea! You would think Jack would have learned halfway through DEAD OF WINTER to be straight forward with Evie...smh. I'm kinda glad he didn't though. But my fingers are starting to cramp up from keeping them crossed through these last two books. lol #TeamDeath all the way!
8. Angela3034
I agree totally with this article. Evie's relationship with Aric seems more mature, more like true love. I like Jack too. But he seems like that teen crush/first love you grew out of as you matured. Great read.
9. Jennifer@TheBookNympho
TEAM DEATH!!!! I agree with ALL 5 reasons.
11. PeachSalsa
Jackson is also trying to better himself. He reads. And his body is as perfect as Death's. Death has had plenty of opportunities to be educated and refined. Jackson has had to fight for everything he's gotten and learned. Even though I like Death now, he in no way compares to Jackson. Jackson will always be the better of the two. Can't imagine picking Death over Jackson. The question is, does Evie deserve someone as wonderful as Jackson? Not, if he deserves her.
12. ChelseaMueller
@PeachSalsa - Jack definitely has great qualities. (I was in love with him through all of Poison Princess. I get it.) I like his determination and good heart.

I don't like that he doubts Evie and her powers.

For me, Death's a better match. Yes, he's had time to read and learn—but that's centuries of loneliness. Centuries without physical human contact. I think something he and Jack have in common is the need for healthy relationships (friendships and otherwise). Just for very different reasons.
13. Marbella
The guy is abusive! It makes my head spin how he is being turned into the "tortured hero." It doesn't matter what a past Empress did to him, there is no excuse for him being abusive towards Evie. I also find it troubling that Cole has made Evie make excuses for his behavior. A women under no circumstances should blame herself for being a victim of abuse. I know I will get attacked for this, but I am just stating MY OPINION.
14. Team Jackson!
I tried not to say anything specific as to make it spoilery but just in case beware as I have alluded to events in the last book.

I have to admit it was kind of iffy for me too. I waffled back-and-forth all through the second and third books. I'll admit I was more biased towards Jackson. It was more about him wanting to be with Evie versus Aric who really couldn't be with anyone else. However, without giving away any spoilers, what really took me off Team Death was the very end of the latest book. Again trying not to spoil here but what Aric revealed at the end of the last book made me really wonder if really understood what it meant to change for the better. He made a point of always being honest and upfront but then again that ending made me doubt all that.
15. ChelseaMueller
@Team Jackson - I totally know what you mean. I'm definitely curious about what may come from that play. (Are you referring to the "gift" he had for Evie?) I expect we're going to have the rug pulled out from under us at the beginning of the fourth book (and it won't be the last time), so I'm trying not to focus on that just yet. But it does worry me.

I like to think he didn't want her to think he was "buying" her with gifts, etc., and that's why he held off. He wants her love for real not via coersion. However, if I were Evie I'd be pissed he didn't share sooner.
16. ChelseaMueller
@Marbella - You're absolutely entitled to your opinion. No attacking here. :)

I don't see Death as abusive at all, though. Let me explain. He treats Evie like he does every other Card in the game. He's played this game over and over, and each Card behaves in a standard fashion as their latest reincarnation. They're out to kill each other. So, he does what his card and his history tell him to do when he meets an enemy card. And, yes, it's wicked.

However, when he discovers that she truly is different this game. That she isn't even playing the game, his torture of her ends. He falls in love her with her, and begins coming to her aid.

I'm not forgetting some of the awful things he did, and I don't think Evie should either. However, to me, he was playing the game. Once they moved into romantic territory, I felt there was a dynamic shift.
17. marbella2829
@chelseamueller. No need to explain. I have read the series several times. Abducting someone, binding their hands with spikes, threatening to kill at any moment, calling a person creature for months, and COERCING someone into SEX is abuse in my book. Like someone above mentioned, many people like to romanticize bad things. I am not trying to convince anyone to change their allegiance towards Death (please don't try to change mine) I was simply replying to an article. The wonderful thing about reading books is we all interpret characters and actions differently.
18. Brenda Ruiz
this is really fun to read, thanks...
I will have to agree with all that about Jack, he really does have all those qualities however, after we started knowing more and more about Death I started folling for him and I really want for Kriesly to give him a chance with Evie, especially after that impresive ending in this last will be really interesting for them to have a chance but also see them try to end the game... I can't wait for the next book!!
19. Chancey
I'm team Aric all the way, but I think what Aric was thinking she was going to be like the red witch so he treats her like that because he didn't know she was different, but what he did in the end of endless knight he was wrong. I think he was trying to make it up to her! I think the reason she was with jack is because she afaid of losing her humanity.
21. ChelseaMueller
@Chancey - Yes! I think you're right about Jack = humanity for her.
22. MalinE
Frankly I'm neither Team Death nor Team Jack, I'm mostly Team Anti-Evie. She is the worst, and while Jack annoys the heck out of me, I'm pretty sure both guys would be better off without her. Of the three in the love triangle, Aric is the most preferable, being broody and well-read, but he does some pretty questionable stuff.
23. Ellen C.
I enjoyed reading about Death/Aric and his interactions with Evie but Evie is a different Evie from all the other Evie's that Death met before. She seems to have genuinely fallen in love with Jack and trying to have that connection with Jack even with all the craziness happening so SHE should end up with Jack!
24. Stacey.H
I love Aric. He is definitely my kind of guy - sexy, smart, strong of will and physique! I love the end of book 3, have reread it 3x. Cerise as her sister/friend again is enticing as well.

Anyone else think Jack is the dormant card? He's not killed an Arcana yet, and he will have to somehow be alive but I think the triangle must persist.
25. sayan
I think Aric is a verious serious lovable guy.... so is Jack.....

KC made the love triangle, and Evie rebounds between the 2 totally lost.... (and the readers also)

Who she will choose is KC decison!

Strong point of Aric:.... he is Aric ;) (with all qualities mentionned and may be more)

Strong point of Jack:... he is Jack, but
He is the fist one to appear
He made love with Evie
He has secrets (I want to know)
He will (very likely) become an Arcana (I like the Chariot card, at least the title).... and what would have been is relationship with Empress in previous game)

ie much more possibility to evolve (in good or in bad) than Aric.... so I expect a lot of development from Jack, and by consequence in the relationship Jack / Evie, while I assume a on-going but 'stable' relationship Death /Evie (KC will continue playing till the very end with this love triangle, don't you think?)

I can only make a parallel with a serie I am currently reading 'Starcorssed': Jack is Lucas, Orion is Death.... there were both (really) adorable, but logically the heroin ends up with Jack (but Orion remains always as lovable with a very nice ending, too)

KC makes the story, and I do not know how she will make it (from a pure logical aspect, I believe she will choose Jack, from a popularity aspect, she will make it up with Aric).

Away from this love triangle, I hope the story will progress (in 3 volumes, we learned only a little bit of the Arcana... saw some cards, some died), and see a path for 'stopping' the game and better understanding Mathew's role & 'betrayal'. KC lets some many hints which push you to guess/imagine the next moves and this I find very 'nerves breaking'
26. Laravia94
Stacey H - I thought the same thing! I keep thinking that Jack will be The Sun card!!! It would make even more sense why she's attracted to him - she needs the sun's energy after all...
27. sayan
Thanks for thread.... I like this story and try to anticipte how it will develop.

Few comments:

First, I believe you forget the most important aspect of Aric: Romantic kinght.... compared to Jack, speaking a bad french and with his sentences 'You are mine', I believe Aric is far in advance in way of flirting (at least, it is the way I feel it).

On your 5 reasons to choose Aric:

1) Straighfoward: Definitivelly, and transparent. We know what he thinks, his motive.... In that sense he is transparent. If we compare with Jack, Jack is much more complex, he has his own secret, I expect Jack to take much more role/revelation/surprise in the story, which is, and for me it is a weakness for Aric, not the case for Jack.

2) He appreciates Evie's strength: Not sure of it. He said he will tell her the past history of the games and teach her.... lol he only 'teached' her flirting, he did not reveal a single thing on the game history. The only thing we know is that he married her and she killed him.... not that good for a fated love lol and I can understand he is carefull on this 'teaching' aspect if he wants the history not be reproduced. More interesting, when they found the twins chronicles, it is written in a language that only Aric can read, as if there are infos Evie should not get.... Also, Jack's role is to preserve Evie's humanity (it was said several times), and to inhibit her Red witch aspect...

3) He wants to be better: This not my reading. Aric is ruthless, emotionless on killing. In fact, previously, his goal was to win the game, I agree he changed his goal, getting Evie's love, but I have the impression it is the same ruthless approach. A good reading of this aspect is during Evie's choice: Aric picks up granny and convinced Jack to leave.... on the opposite, Jack left not to impede 'Evie's final choice on Aric'... quite a different appraoch of love KC hinted us, no?

4 & 5) Ads & reading (lol you could have added also nice castle and oil stock btw): Even if at first glance it can be percieved as nice traits, I believe from my perspective they are very negative. I have an egoistic impression of a guy who has lived 2000 years, reading and making gym in a confortable castle while the world was collapsing. On the contrary, when Jack was spearated of Evie 3 monthes, he spent his time protecting the world.....

Independantly, for Aric's suppoter, the main worrying aspect which gives me the impression that Aric will not end up with Evie is that he has a role of Evie's follower, he helps Evie but does not drive the story. I mean if you removed Aric of the story, except the 3 monthes hollidays in Aric castle, the story coud have been identical. If you remove Jack of the story, then it would have been a totally different story. And I expect major thing happening around Jack (arcana, past games' history, Jack secrets...) having a major influence on the story.

My theory for the next installment is that we will have parallel stories, Jack (mathew?) being an arcana, Evie/aric/Circe, progressing on her red witch power & avenging Jack's 'death' and the story crossing just before Evie loses her humanity with the retrun of Jack. If Aric, in the next book does not major progress (which I do not really believe) on Evie's love, eventhough I do believe the love triangle will be maitained up to the very end of the story.... I will not bet a single penny on Aric (sorry for Aric supporter. I can be totally erroneous, but it is how I read the story....)
28. Different theorist
Everybody's theory that jack could be the undiscovered arcana is most probably correct and when he gets back to E.V + its gonna be chaos for her.
BUT my one theory is Jack is Deaths reincarnate ( he was suppose to be death in this round if death had died in the previous round)

So if that were true E.V just loves 1 person not 2.

Maybe , just an idea
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