This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Born of Silence
Series: The League: Nemesis Rising #5
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Blood Trinity, Man of My Dreams, Invincible, Born of Shadows, Retribution, Big Guns Out of Uniform, Deadly Promises, In Other Worlds, Dream Warrior, "One BAD Night", Dark Side of the Moon, Alterant, The Guardian, Whispered Lies, Infamous, Aftertaste, The Curse, Inferno, Rise of the Gryphon, Styxx, Dangerous Women, Son of No One, Dragonbane, Born of Vengeance.
Fifth in The League science fiction-romance series revolving around a group of friends and assassins trying to claw their way past horrible pasts. The couple focus is on Darling Cruel and Zarya.
If you must read this, borrow it from the library. It’s not worth owning.
Why does Kenyon come up with these names? Is it all part of the space opera mindset?
I usually enjoy the over-the-top action and the whole love-of-a-good-woman romance, but this latest is more about the disgustingly cruel, horrific childhood Darling has experienced than anything else. And it has so damned many holes, that I’m surprised I can find any page left to turn. At one point, Kenyon states that his mother must hold herself chaste for the rest of her life and later she says that the succeeding governor traditionally releases her from this vow.
The laws the CDS pass or allow to pass including that lame ass one if someone should assassinate Arturo, the license they give Darling’s uncle, his mother…oh, man…his mother is such a piece of work, the obliviousness of everyone around Darling as he grew up, no, I’m sorry. I’m just not buying that an empire that has survived this long can be this obtuse.
After everything said about his mother, Kenyon has her show up for the wedding and telling Zarya that she loves her son but that her son has always been cold from the moment he was born. Oh, well, in that case, it makes perfect sense to allow her son to be tortured, beaten, and raped on a nightly basis so she can continue to have affairs. To constantly push him away and never provide any inkling of love or support. Tossing in his siblings every once in awhile as they range from expressing utter hatred to love.
Arghhh, the whole reason for this story is so contrived. Puh-lease. Once Darling had founded the Sentella, he could have hidden his family safely and fought back against Arturo. Kenyon continually uses Darling’s supposed homosexuality and his apparent weakness as the reason why the CDS doesn’t want him as the Governor. Neither of these reasons would have even existed if he’d stood up for himself after his family was safe.
Kenyon has Syn repairing Darling’s face and we’re left believing that nothing has changed. Nothing that is until Zarya sees him. And we get no explanation for why Kenyon has led us on. On the one hand, Kenyon has Darling taking down League assassins left, right, and center and then she turns around and says that with his damaged eyesight and lack of depth perception that he’s helpless. Kenyon. Pick one or the other.
If Zarya is so concerned that the Resistance is continuing to attack because they think she’s being held against her will, why doesn’t she recruit some person known for their ability to detect truth or falsehoods and broadcast an interview about her love for Darling?
Normally, Kenyon has everyone confessing in the end as to how they were held to the awful roles they had to play, thinking they were protecting the others. Naw, there’s just Drake whining his heart out and hurting Darling even more in the process this time.
This is a tragedy of a space opera. It has two redeeming values: the love and consideration Darling has for his best friend and most loyal supporter, the gay Maris, and the twenty basic rules laid down by Darling’s murdered father Drux.
Darling plans to overthrow his uncle, but in protecting his sister from potential fallout, Darling is captured and his sister injured. It will be months before he is found in his torture chamber and healed. A torture chamber in which his own allies are slowly killing him in the most disgusting and perverted ways.
A chamber from which he can hear his beloved fiancée laughing and talking while he hangs in the most unimaginable pain.
Darling Cruel is the heir to the Caronese Empire which his family has ruthlessly ruled for more than 3,000 years. It’s got the weirdest laws and Kenyon never does explain about this supposed dual nature of his. Nor do we ever learn why he can’t drink liquor in public. The Gerents seem to be a cross between a House of Lords and a ruling council. [And, just for the record, degredation is actually spelled with two as.] Darling is one of the founders of the Sentella where he is known as Kere. His siblings include Ryn, a bastard son by Drux’s mistress Kirren, Drakari, and Annalise. His mother is Lady Natale.
Maris Sulle is Darling’s oldest and dearest friend. He’s had Dar’s back since they met at the age of five. As an adult, he’s only safe on Caron because he is the Andarion ambassador to Caron as arranged by Nykyrian. Tamara is the woman Maris almost married. Chief Agent Safir Jari is a League assassin and the only brother who will still speak to Maris. Kyr Zemen is the prime commander of the League and, in spite of being his oldest brother, hates Maris and Darling.
Zarya Starska is one of two remaining members of her noble family and she no longer trusts anyone. Arturo is to blame in some form for the deaths of the rest — her father Zalan was murdered by his best friend. Her mother and oldest sibling had gone to plead with their old family friend, Arturo, to rescind his judgment against Zalan. The friend who had them both murdered. Her sister Sorche is all that remains to her since her brother Gerrit‘s death in battle. And she’s in love with Kere even as she leads the Resistance against the Cruel dynasty. [Resistant members? Really?] Ture is one of her best friends and the cook at a restaurant.
Fellow Sentellans include…
…Caillen, an Exeterian prince; Desideria Denarii de Orczy is a former Qillaq princess married to Caillen and they have a daughter Lillya; Chayden Aniwaya is Desideria’s older brother; the Andarion Hauk brothers — Fain is the oldest brother; the half-human, half-Andarion Nykyrian Quiakides is an Andarion crown prince, a former League assassin, and the leader of the Sentella; Kiara is Nyk’s pregnant wife; Syn is assassin, doctor, and the son of a serial killer; Shahara is Syn’s wife, Caillen’s oldest sister, and the most lethal tracer in the Nine Systems and she and Syn have a baby boy — Devyn; Nero Scalera is Trisani and Darling’s cousin; and, Jayne.
One of the most brutal rulers Caron has ever known, Arturo is the Grand Counsel, Darling’s regent until he is old enough — 30 — to take over as ruler. Darling highly doubts Uncle Arturo intends for him to live long enough.
The allies who capture Darling include Clarion Lubomir, Pip, Davon, and Timmon.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a top and bottom gradient of black bleeding into an off-center middle of towering red clouds in a red sky with the author’s name, title, and graphic image in holographic colors. The focus is on the hilt of a sword around which a dragon-like creature is twisting.
The title certainly reflects Darling’s childhood for he evolved and the adult that he is was Born in Silence.