Mar 29 2017 12:30pm

A Definitive Ranking of Every One of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Books (So Far)

Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole

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. 

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

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...

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

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. 

Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole

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. 

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresely Cole

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, even though I had read Lothaire first, A Hunger Like No Other made me a die-hard fan. 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. 

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

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?

Learn more about or order a copy of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark books mentioned in this post:

Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Deep Kiss of Winter
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge 
Dark Skye
Kiss of a Demon King
Sweet Ruin
Warlord Wants Forever (available in the Blood Red Kiss Anthology)
Shadow’s Seduction
Shadow’s Claim
Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Demon from the Dark
No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Desires After Dusk
A Hunger Like No Other
Wicked Abyss (available April 25, 2017)

H&H Editor Picks:

Sign up for the H&H E-Book Club and Get a FREE E-Book

Marked on My Soul: Mate Markings and Tattoos in Romances

Nucking Futs: Top 10 Scenes from Kresley Cole’s Nïx, the Ever-Knowing

Speculating about the Perfect Match for Kresley Cole’s Nïx


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

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
This post has been live for 20 minutes and I'm already re-thinking my order! Someone come talk with me to calm me down ;)
Jessica Moro
2. JessicaMoro
you're making me want to re read the entire series so I can argue with you point for point. This series is what made me want to read again AND was the last series before I finally got a kindle. I totally agree with your points on #1 you hit the nail on the head on what makes Lothaire, Lothaire. I wanted so much more from Daniela, I loved the premise too. You know Idk why but REgin was built up so much for me too. She was one of my favorites, I actually started in the middle with Lucia and Garreth so they're #1 fav for nostalgia and she was in that book so much and so fun.
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
@JessicaMoro, Yeah, I love Regin in all the other books, hers just... wasn't there for me! And thanks, I'm glad you agree with Lothaire. It just was such a good standalone book, and Kresley made our perception of Lothaire change, without changing Lothaire. Perfect.

I still LOVE Garreth and Lucia, like really and truly love them. It's one of those books that I hyped in my head and the hype paid off. I LOVED it and re-read it often... just not as often as I re-read the first three books in the series, Lothaire, and I'm sure I'll be adding Shadow's Seduction to that list.
Jessica Moro
4. JessicaMoro
You know what I did like about Declan and Regin she gave us a really complete epilogue that looked long into the future and none of her other books have done that. Or I just haven't noticed.
5. Bretton
I'm struggling to decide whether I like the more recent books so much more because I read them more recently but I think it's actually because the hero's are more dynamic and less one dimensional. Like Lothaire, he has more dimensions then there are demonarchies.
Jessica Moro
6. JessicaMoro
I'll also never forget reading that book because this series was recommended to me by an lady in a nursing home who said if I liked Twilight this was going to knock my socks off.
Jessica Moro
7. JessicaMoro
@bretton for me it's the opposite I somehow remember more of the older characters than the newer books. hmmmm
Jennifer Proffitt
8. JenniferProffitt
@JessicaMoro I think that would have been the only one she did that with because so many of her books overlap. She did a slight epilogue with Sweet Ruin? Maybe?
Heather Waters
9. HeatherWaters
I'd probably put Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night as my top choice. All the IAD heroines are badass, but Mariketa's a fave.
Jennifer Proffitt
10. JenniferProffitt
@Bretton, I think you're right that the later books give us more dimensional characters and worlds but I think the one con is that it takes the focus off of the central love story and so there's so much going on that I lose the focus on what I love--which, at the end of the day, is the love.
Jennifer Proffitt
11. JenniferProffitt
@HeatherWaters, I also really love that book. I re-read the first three IAD books probably the most often!
12. Squiggles
For the most part, I agree with your ranking. For 17 - only because of the vivi-section. That didn't do it for me and made things worse. I get having to have a dark stroyline sometimes, but nope... too far.

I love love love the first books in the series. There was a light-heartedness, some humour, and such to them. As the books changed, I may have changed as well as I was more focused on the suspense/plot line and not the romance part.

But the same thing is starting to happen with this series as a lot of the long-running series: I am bored. I will buy and read, but I get tired of essentially the same story being told with only different names. This one is handling that better because of the switch ups and the addition of new characters. But in a lot of ways, not too much of a fan of the darker storylines.
Jennifer Proffitt
13. JenniferProffitt
@Squiggles, as I mentioned above I think that part of the problem is that the later books have expanded to include SO much of the world because we're amping up to the Acession and Nix's goddesshood. I think that means we get less time with the core love story and more time with the world, which is great... but not why I read romance.

That being said, if you haven't already, read Shadow's Seduction. It's a return to form. I don't know if it's because it's so "out" of the IAD world and has very little to do with the mechanizations of the Acession, or if it's because it's a shorter book--I think I've seen it called a novella in various places--but there's something about it that works so so so well!
14. Lucy D
Bless you taking the brunt of this one. Very hard list to put together.

Can't say I agree completely but like most books it it very personal which ones you like more. Carrow and Malkom is a personal fav. She is hysterical and their language barrier makes for some interesting times and who could forget the bathtub scene.

Conrad and Naeomi are also favorites. Being a ghost kept the angst up and their future seemed doomed even though you knew KC would have something up her sleeve. When he sees her in the flesh for the first time, still a favorite scene. (As well as Nix at an Immortal rave.)

Macrieve is the worst book ever. I loved Chloe but Macrieve's treatment of her is abhorrent. It makes me angry. She was too good for him.
15. ampurp85

I love Lothaire but it will never be a number 1 book for me and that's only because anything Scottish and lupine takes top spot. I am literally in the process of a reread of the series to prepare for the lates release (reading a Hunger I am typing). I rank the books as the Lykae first, Vemons second, Lothaire third, the Vampires fourth, then every other fraction and the demons last. I can't, try as I might, care as much about the demons and I actually loved Declan but only because he was Irish and a berserker. I found Neomi and Conrads story to be a little meh but it is still better than anything involving Sabine.

I also would agree that in the scope of things the IAD series is getting a little long and repetitive, especially since we haven't gotten to the other twin Macrieve, Nix, and Kristoff (who is obviously mated to Furie). I also don't know whom I love more Bowen or Lachlan, as I have read their books the most out of everyone. I haven't had a chance to read Shadow's Seduction but I don't like M/M romance so I am not as apt to spend money on something I may not enjoy.
16. Brunette librarian
Declan and Regan were one of my favorites!! Something about Declan makes my heart go pitter patter. Lothaire's was a bit disappointing...I thought he was a little too dismissive of his "redneck bride" until too late in the book. I just wanted more happy for a while instead of the hateful rhetoric for so long. Who am I kidding though...I will read anything Kresley Cole writes and I LOVE THIS SERIES!!
Jennifer Proffitt
17. JenniferProffitt
@LucyD, I would agree that Macrieve, mistreated Chloe... but I still love that book. I really felt like he was redeemed in the end... but I could be misremembering through rose-tinted glasses. We will have to agree to disagree on Neomi and Conrad... I don't like ghosts. I don't know why--but I do love that scene! Ugh. and Carrow and Malkolm, there one of my favorite couples. Ride or die with them! The bathtub scene!! The. Bathtub. Scene. Ugh. I can see it in my brain like I was reading it right now.

@ampurp85, Hmmm. I do love the Lykae. Like love love love them. I would say, creature-wise, Vemons are great... but I LOVE Cade and LOVE Caspion... but you're right the Vemon... Oh man. This is making me want to have a full series re-read. I think part of the problem with the later books is you're right, she's expanding the universe SO MUCH that she's not giving us any characters we really know. So there feels like a disconnect.

To your comment on Shadow's Seduction, this might be a good book to get into m/m. I LOVED it. I actually, after publishing the post, really thought I would move them higher up the list. It's back to form for Kresley and it's exactly what I wanted it to be!
Jennifer Proffitt
18. JenniferProffitt
@Brunette librarian, I was SO excited for Declan and Regin, I wanted to love their story so much. I like the glimpses we've seen in later books but... I just couldn't. But I haven't re-read it in a LONG time (if ever?) so may need to revist.

As for Lothaire, I have to say, I think his dismissiveness made her telling him off and the final scenes of the book so work the pay off. But as you said... I will read anything KCole writes!
19. reanderson
I love reading everyone's opinion!

I couldn't stand Lothaire because I couldn't stand Elizabeth. I mean I didn't love him, but I really abhorred her, though I'm not sure I could put into words why. And sometimes I reread Emma and Lachlain and it feels a LITTLE to rapey. So I'm with you up until the last two.

Macrieve works for me because I see him as a rape victim. Yes he was horrible to Chloe but that was some serious trauma he went through for, like, thousands of years.

I think Carrow, Kaderin, Holly and Chloe books are my favorites.
20. reanderson
me again!

So I think I haven't liked the more recent ones because it's more story and less romance. That sounds horrible, doesn't it? Like there's too many groups and too much going on and I miss the simple days of Valkryes, Witches, Vampires and Wolves. And whatever happened to Uilliam's brother? He got kidnapped by the Bad Werewolves and THIS WAS NEVER RESOLVED.

and I read Lanthe when I want to sob a lot. You know those days?
Jennifer Proffitt
21. JenniferProffitt
@reanderson, but why did you hate Elizabeth!? I'm shocked! Would love to hear more.
As for Emma/Lachlain, I think when I first read Kresley and there was this whole fated mate business and men jumping on the women and like... making them theirs... that could read as a little rapey, but has never been how I perceive it to be, especially since we see it from Emma's POV a lot.

Your favorite books are all my favorite heroines ;) Love them!

Uilleam's brother (meaning the other Macrieve, right? Who we saw at the end of Macrieve?) I think we're going to get his book eventually. Kresley has plans. Only she knows.

Awwww. I hear you on Lanthe's story. I don't look for romances to make me cry but I can relate to that feeling. When I need cheering up and just a good romp, I got to Carrow's story or Cade and Holly... or.... or... lol (all of them)!
22. AshleyE
1. Cade and Holly
2. Lachlain and Emma
3. Sebastian and Kaderin
4. Garreth and Lucia
5. Bowen and Mariketa
6. Lothaira and Elizabeth
7. Trehan and Bettina
8. Thronos and Melanthe
9. Nikolai and Myst
10. Malkolm and Carrow
11. Conrand and Neomi
12. Murdoch and Daniela
13. Rydstorm and Sabine
14. Declan and Regin
15. Rune and Josephine
16. Mirceo and Caspion
17. Uilleam and Chloe

Cade and Holly -- Cade stole my heart. I just love him.
Lachlain and Emma -- It was the book that introduced me to the IAD series. I loved watching Emma find herself.
Sebastian and Kaderin -- I just find Sebastian so sexy and the way he softens Kaderin's personality.
Garreth and Lucia -- I loved their adventure through the Amazon.
Bowen and Mariketa -- Mari is just awesome with her magic, I love the final battle.
Lothaire and Elizabeth -- The first time I read this it wasn't one of my favorites, but I reread it again recently and it moved up my list.
Thronos and Melanthe -- I don't really enjoy this book because of them. I enjoy it because of all the different places we travel through, and I also feel like it moved to stroy along quite a bit.

I don't really have much to say about the other books. I really did not like Macrieve. I don't like m/m and I put Micreo and Caspion ahead of Uilleam and Chloe.
23. LKR
Lothaire is my #1 in the series as well. He's so deliciously cunning and clever. I think it's my fave cuz throughout the series he's "the bad guy" and Cole does a fantastic job with making me fall for this dude. I think the beauty of this series is that readers find certain characters they love/hate but we all want more. I don't like some stories for several reasons just like you may like those same stories for different reasons. That being said, your #2 is my #17 (loved emma, not a fan of lach) LOL
24. reanderson

1. I am humiliated I wrote "to" instead of "too". Forgive me.

2. I'm going to have to reread it (maybe I'll like it more?!) but my memory is that Ellie was just young? And I think I found her "cunning" annoying. I don't know. I'm going to reread now and see if she bugs me as much.

But I'm now going to call them the E/L stories. Ellie and Lothaire and Emma and Lachlan, where I couldn't get over the power imbalance.
25. Rizos
If I had to pick a top five it would be:

Dark Desires after Dusk
Demon From The Dark
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night/No Rest For The Wicked
A Hunger Like No Other

There are some that I enjoyed more after the first read (Shadow's Claim, Dark Skye, and Kiss Of A Demon King). A few others I didn't really care about, like Dreams of a Dark Warrior and McRieve) but I still enjoyed the fact that they advanced the arc or answered questions. I'm still not sure about Sweet Ruin and will need to read it again before the new one.
26. ChelseaMueller
It's a stellar list, Jenn. I'd need Garreth and Lucia higher, though. Otherwise, I'm with you. The Hie is still my fave of the arcs.
Jennifer Proffitt
27. JenniferProffitt
@AshleyE, when I first sat down, those were my top three too. I love them still! And your love for these characters is why I love them too!

@Rizos, I am 100% with you on enjoying those three more upon a re-read! Sweet Ruin I enjoyed more than I expected but still when I look back at that top 10, I can't imagine it replacing any of those!
Jennifer Proffitt
28. JenniferProffitt
@LKR, YAY! I just think it's a great book to stand on its own, all by itself. And when I read Shadow's Seduction recently, I loved, again, that Lothaire is still bad and batshit crazy but you can tell that Elizabeth calms him so much! As for your comment about Emma and Lachlain--someone else said that! I fear re-reading it now, thinking that my rose-tinted glasses will be removed lol
Jennifer Proffitt
29. JenniferProffitt
@reanderson, Ellie is incredibly young, but what made me love her was the scene when she's in the human prison and she wanted to die to get rid of the Vampire lady who was possessing her (Soraya?) and I just thought, wow, this girl is a badass. You're fully human and you've been thrown into this world and have no backup. Every other human we've come across has had the backup of either their mate or someone else in their life to help ease the way. Not Ellie and she's so strong. Foolish sometimes, and I think when we see her in later books, Cole has made her almost too elegant now that she's "queen" but I loved her. But if you don't like her, that's totally okay! As I just mentioned to someone else, I'm scared to go back and re-read the E/L books (as you so perfectly put it lol) and have my rose-tinted glasses ripped off!
Jennifer Proffitt
30. JenniferProffitt
@ChelseaMueller, YAY! So, I looked over my list and Ugh. The thought of putting Gareth and Lucia higher... it hurts me. I LOVE them but... wow. I didn't think it would be that hard. But, as you mentioned to me on Twitter, I may try to listen to it on audio like you suggested and see if that changes my mind ;)
31. reanderson
@Jennifer-- I think it's brave to make a list that will live on in the ether; I'm guessing that for all of us the list is a movable thing that changes depends on our mood. Like I said, if I'm feeling like I need epic love--with all its sadness and trauma--I am all over Lanthe and Thantos. If I want fun I'm going for Holly or Carrow (though I do sort of cry when she has to betray him...I'm a weeper in books, not so much in real life) or the Wolves.
Jennifer Proffitt
32. JenniferProffitt
@reanderson, 100% agree--depending on my mood/what else I've been reading lately, this list could look totally different! But I'm there with you on when I want fun, definitely go for Holly, Carrow, and probably the first three books—any of them!
33. AshleyE
Has anyone did a list like this for the Black Dagger Brotherhood? I'd love to see everyone's opinions and thoughts.
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