Night Lost

 
Evermore
by Lynn Viehl
(Signet Eclipse, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN:  978-0-451-22284-8
****
A shining continuation of Viehl's Darkyn series, Evermore is primarily the story of Jayr, seneschal to leader Aedan mac Byrne.

Seven hundred years ago, Jayr saved Byrne from a trap, and he subsequently killed her by taking too much of her blood. To heal, the Darkyn (modernized versions of vampires who regardless hate being called vampires) require blood.  To save her, Byrne changed Jayr to one of the Darkyn, and she has been at his side since, the only female seneschal.  The two are in love with each other; Jayr's suffered since that night on the battlefield.  Byrne, being your typical man, has only recently realized.  

Both are stubborn, and Jayr doesn't want to cross the master/seneschal lines since she has great pride, especially in her job.  Byrne doesn't want to get involved with Jayr because he's always cared about her, and he plans to leave the area (a big fuss is made out of Byrne's "affliction" which is a demonic rage that causes him to plow through everyone in sight, leaving a bloody mess in his wake, and he's recently decided he just can't control it anymore.).

Twined throughout is the snooty and secretive Lord Nottingham (yes, of Sherwood Forest).  He's bringing up history that the Darkyn have left buried.  And, since Robin Locksley (aka Robin Hood) is in residence for this year's tournament, a lot of old hostilities are being raised. Suddenly, secrets from everyone's pasts are popping up, and as usual, Michael's (the head American Darkyn guy) girlfriend Alexandra is at the center of it.

Evermore does rely heavily on the backgrounds that have been developed in the previous Darkyn novels.  I did read the second book without having read the first, and I caught up quickly enough, but I think the series is more enjoyable read as a series instead of as stand-alones.  Both Jayr and Byrne are real characters, which Viehl has had some issues with in previous characters; often, just one of the pair is fully fleshed-out.  The reappearance of Alex and Michael is pleasant, since they have an on-going plotline that makes a small appearance in each book.

Using the Robin Hood theme was very fun, especially bringing up the gory history between Locksley and Nottingham. Intermingling that history with Jayr's was even more interesting.  All in all, Evermore is better thought-out and has much stronger characters than Viehl's previous books.  A whirlwind but highly satisfactory ending in addition to a few tasteful-yet-steamy romance scenes will please even those readers who don't generally enjoy paranormals and would be a good taste of something different for people who love historicals.

--Sarrah Knight


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