Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review
A fate worse than death . . .
Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.
Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.
Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.
Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.
I’m going to start off by saying that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my all time favourite authors and I have enjoyed all her stories to date. However, I seem to have mixed feelings over Born of Vengeance. After reading Born of Legend I was hyped and ready for the next installment as I become quite intrigued by Bastien, and the position we found him in, in previous books. Now after reading Bastien’s story I can’t help but feel a little cheated. I was expecting more present day situation/events surrounding Bastien and Ember, but I felt like we got more back tracking and repetitive scenes/history from Hauk and Jullien(Dagger)’s books. When we do finally get up to speed and join the present everything happens so fast that before I knew it I had the book read. I was like, ‘that’s it, it can’t be, I want more, there needs to be more’. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book, just wish there was more present day events.
Bastien is everything I hoped he would be and then some. He’s a warrior who’s been to hell and back but somehow managed to hold onto his soul and humanity thanks to the love he still holds for Ember. It’s that love that sustains him through his years as a Ravin, a criminal placed on the run by the League to be hunted and killed. Bastien winds up seeking refuge on the planet Oksana where it plays havoc with communication and transmission devices. He’s planned to hide out and wait out his Ravin sentence so that he can return to his planet Kirovar and seek revenge on Uncle Barnie as he likes to call him, and ex-wife Alura(Ember’s sister) over everything that’s happened to him. Mind you, through all the back tracking/history of Bastien’s time on Oksana we do learn more about him; how he becomes friendly with the Sentella and is offered a position with them should he ever want one, we see more of his relationship with Jullien and his family, as well as how he becomes friends with Thraix and Trejan. In hindsight I guess you can say the back tracking wasn’t all that bad, and did serve a purpose for when we reach present day.
Once we do reach present day and Bastien is gunning for revenge, events from here on in do move fast. Bastien and Ember are reunited and have a common goal, Bastien learns he has a son with Ember, Florian, whom he loves instantly upon meeting the boy. Absolutely loved this scene, it was perfectly written and the interaction between Bastien and his son is priceless. In this scene we see the true Bastien come to the forefront, the man with a heart of gold, who will die before he sees any harm done to those he loves and holds dear. He may be a warrior honed in the fires of hell, but underneath it all, he’s just a cuddly teddy bear. We also see this side of Bastien whenever he’s with Ember. He loves her so deeply that there is no Bastien without Ember. His love for her, and Ember’s love for Bastien flows off the pages and makes you root for them to finally get their HEA. Bastien and Ember are solid characters who match each other in everyway which makes them perfect for one another. Even her sisters adore him and welcome him back with open arms, which was another cute scene that makes you want Bastien to succeed all the more. Another fun scene is when Bastien meets Trajen once he’s finally rid of his Ravin tracking device. Upon introduction via Jullien he uses Bastien’s royal title, to which Bastien quickly lets him know ‘it’s just Bastien, or Bas, asshole if you must’. Trajen’s response is priceless; “Aw god, there are two of you in this universe.” As he shakes his head and walks away muttering under his breath. I was LOL, at poor Trajen at this point.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Kenyon book without her rag tag band of unique characters. It was nice to see many of our old and current favourites return, along with some newbies to help Bastien, Ember and her sisters out. The interactions between these characters is ROTFL’ing moments where you can’t help but think ‘my goodness how have they survived this long’. Their antics and actions are off the wall and completely insane at the best of times. It’s no wonder they all get along and have formed friendships, they’re all a little kooky. It’s one of the reasons I love Kenyon’s books, her characters crack me up.
Another highlight of the book was the little bonus story/chapter after Born of Vengeance. It centers on Nyk and Jullien so we get to see how they’ve may in roads to being more brotherly with each other. Nyk is entrusting his eldest daughter to Jullien to be trained in the Tavali ways. Loved the interactions between these two and then watching Jullien with Nyk’s kids is simply adorable. It’s a lovely written chapter, one that leaves you wanting more from these two brothers. Here’s hoping we get more of these bonus chapters, or maybe, hopefully Thia’s story being told in the near future, with more brotherly interactions.
After writing up this review I’ve come to the conclusion that yes I did indeed enjoy Born of Vengeance, even though I had some issues with the back tracking/history lessons. It was full of the ingredients I’ve come to find in a Kenyon book and has me wanting more as I wait for the next installment. Guess that’s why she’s the author and not me 😉 For any Kenyon fan this is a good addition to the series, now bring on Mack and Ryn!!
Until next time my fellow Menyons, happy reading!!
Reviewed by Marcie