Immortals after Dark Series:
Lothaire: Lothaire Daciano Enemy of Old and Elizabeth Peirce
Lothaire is the oldest and most feared vampire of the Lore he is on the brink of total madness from harvested memories. Even with madness pressing in on his mind he is still one of the most brilliant strategists alive, his mind processes everything steps ahead of his enemy predicting the outcome. Only Nix the Ever Knowing can match him move for move. For thousands of years Lothaire has only had loyalty to his “Endgame”, every action, every deed, has been with the Endgame in mind. He has collected thousands of blood oaths from the who’s who of the Lore; hording these debts until he has reached his Endgame. Before all Lothaire had to worry about was his Endgame, he never had to consider anyone else in his plans; until 6 years ago.
Up until 6 years ago Ellie’s life was good, she had her whole future ahead of her. She was accepted into college, the first of her family and she had the unconditional love of her family. Then when she was on campus her body got possessed by Saroya the Soul Reaper the former Goddess of Divine Death and the protectress of vampires. Since Ellie’s possession she has blanked out many times waking in the carnage of dead bodies and blood everywhere. After a year of mass killings Ellie has realized that the only way to get this madness to stop is to kill herself therefore stopping Saroya’s murderous rampage. Just as she is going to pull the trigger in front the police who came to arrest her some strange creature arrives out of nowhere keeping her from killing herself and therefore sending her to prison and death row.
Five years Ellie has been counting down until her death, 5 years of prison, 5 years of knowing her expiration date, 5 years to hate the man that stopped her from killing herself and sending her to prison. Now she is 30 seconds from relief, from death when again Lothaire has foiled her plans. Capturing her and taking her to New York, she just can’t understand why he just won’t let her die. Lothaire is convinced that Saroya is his bride, and he needs to keep Elizabeth alive until he can extinguish her soul so Saroya can take over her body. Only with Saroya, can his Endgame be achieved. Ellie refuses to give in to Saroya, she has a plan and all of it revolves around Lothaire, and getting him to want her more than Saroya, which means seduction…
The Immortals After Dark series remains my favorite paranormal series, it remains one of the most consistent series. Kresley Cole weaves fantastic tales of violence and romance. This book is no exception.
Lothaire is one of the most violent of the Lore, which is saying a lot when you consider the Lore which is violent by nature. When you add in his madness, his single minded focus and his propensity for strategy this makes him one the most feared of the Lore as well. We have been getting glimpses of Lothaire in previous books but we never had a clear picture of Lothaire, we knew he was feared, collected debits like it was his job and had no issues switching loyalties at a “whim” and he was verging on total madness quite like Conrad. What we saw in this book was that Lothaire is a lot more complex than we ever knew or guessed. The brief glimpse into his history is eye opening to say the least. Now we know what has been fueling him for thousands of years. We see a vulnerability that I never would have guessed from this vampire that always seemed so cold and ruthless and evil. We see just how far gone mentally he really is. Of course Lothaire is still Lothaire so we see plenty of his arrogance, his single minded determination and a ruthlessness that surpasses most Lorean creatures where only the strong and ruthless survive for long. As one of the oldest of the Lore he has obtained more knowledge then most which he uses to his advantage as often as he can, no one can call Lothaire stupid that is for sure. In books past Lothaire has never really been a character that really interested me all that much, but by the end of this book, I definitely had a whole lot more respect for Lothaire and how brilliant he really is. Despite how smart he is certainly still had his douche moments pulling typically male mistakes. Wow, he really did not know how to deal with women especially a woman like Ellie.
Ellie, is one of my favorite females of this series, in the book she calls herself the “Sucker punch you never see coming”. I’d have to say that is a fair assessment she is underestimated at every turn by everyone. You never see her coming and never expect what she is going to do. At 24 years old she is smarter than most, she is able to even out think Lothaire and keep him guessing and on his toes wondering what she’ll do next. Many hear her hillbilly accent and write her off, little do they know that there is a brain behind that accent, one that is extremely cunning. Almost 25% of her life was spent in jail counting down until her death sentence by lethal injection. All she wanted was to LIVE and be happy, but because that *itch decided to take up in her body she’ll be dead by 25. She is stubborn, feisty with a backbone made of steel; she makes the most of her situation and tries to find happiness where ever she can. Knowing her life has a short expiration date makes her appreciate life and happiness more than most and she is determined to bring that to Lothaire. She knows the key to living longer is with Lothaire, she knows she needs to make him care for her more than the heifer that is squatting in her body. She also knows one of the quickest ways to get to Lothaire is through his lust for her and she uses that to her full advantage. Smart girl, she is nothing if not resourceful. She wins people over where ever she goes, now she just has to win over the most important one, the one that is the key to everything.
One of the things that makes a Kresley Cole novel among my favorites are our reoccurring characters. In particular Nix, she is the most powerful soothsayer in the Lore, as old as Lothaire if not more so. Nix is probably the one character we have seen in every book so far, she is integral to the Lore making moves even Lothaire can’t conceive of. In this book we see Nix more downtrodden then we ever have before and it about broke my heart I hated seeing Nix like that. There is this scene with Lothaire, you’ll know it when you get there, it will probably be one of the more memorable of this series. Over the millennia Lothaire and Nix have been friends as well as advisories and you see more into that in this book, I would have liked to have seen more of this history, but that’s just my curiosity. (Maybe a Lothaire/Nix through the ages novella or companion guide Ms. Cole?) Thad is back in this book, Lothaire’s only friend lol. He is a 17 year old vampire/phantom that was on the Order Island along with Lothaire, Reign, DC and others in the previous book. He is our southern gentleman that refuses to give up on Lothaire and he can charm just about anyone, you can’t help but like him. The other character we see a lot of in this book is Hag, you may remember her from Sabine’s book. After her release from Omort she fell into service with Lothaire. We don’t know much about this Fey but we do know she is powerful and is completely loyal to Lothaire’s Endgame.
Overall, this is a strong installment of the IAD series. I highly enjoyed this book, it kept me up way past my bed time so I was yawning at my desk at work the next day. Then each break and lunch my Kindle was out and my nose was deep in the story. It’s not my favorite of this series but it’s in the top five. It was missing some of the humor I have come to expect from Kresley Cole, it still had humor I did find myself laughing but I guess I’ve gotten greedy and I expected more. Also, the plot line with Saroya, didn’t really fully fleshed out, it was almost like it was an afterthought, a way to throw Lothaire and Ellie together. It was kind of anti-climatic; it was like build up and build up only to fizzle out and there were unanswered questions with this plot line. I was expecting more of a fight with Saroya and especially with La Dorada, but really there wasn’t much of one. However, the interaction between Ellie and Lothaire was explosive in its own right these two match each other in wits and battle each other constantly so the sparks really fly. When they aren’t arguing they are making up which leads to some pretty steamy “parking”. There is plenty of action to keep you entertained and there is a lot going on at any given time, which is not surprising given Lothaire’s Endgame and all of his enemies. But the core of the book remains about Lothaire and Ellie and their battle of wills and love.