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 Vengeance
Series: The League: Nemesis Rising #10
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, Born of Silence, Aftertaste, The Curse, Inferno, Rise of the Gryphon, Styxx, Dangerous Women, Son of No One, Dragonbane.
Tenth in The League: Nemesis Rising science fiction romance soap opera series and revolving around warrior outcasts, royal and otherwise, in the Ichidian Universe. The focus is on Bastien Cabarro, branded murderer and former prince of Kirovar.
Using third-person point-of-view, Born of Vengeance is a soap opera of warring, betraying characters. I wish Kenyon had included a family tree to show how everyone is related, egods. I’m not even sure this one would make sense (relationship-wise) if I’d read every story one after the other. Mmm, just figured out that the last The League story I read was back in 2012.
I do like Kenyon’s The League series, in general, because the good guys win and woman are equal. But part of my problem here was Kenyon’s leaping about in the story and amongst the characters. Too many pronouns that I couldn’t attribute to a name(s). Of course, part of my problem could be that I’ve missed the last four stories in the series. Where does the time go?? And Kenyon does not do well with explaining these organizations, countries, families, what have you…
As for Born of Vengeance, this is one where I didn’t like the primary female protagonist. What an idiot. As for her family…oh, lord. Another bunch of idiots. Sure, they’re good at what they do, but they’re still stupider than turkeys, and Alura was a weak excuse to set up this soap opera.
I really, really don’t understand why the sisters haven’t cut Alura off. If I had a sister who was this bad, she’d be dismissed from my orbit so fast. As for Bastien’s siblings (and his father), I’m sorry, but Kenyon did not endear them to me; all they do is shriek at him, denigrate him, and abuse him, which seems to be a family failing on both the paternal and maternal sides. In the “second” half of the book, she’s trying to make them, seem all endearing, but it ain’t working. Not after the way she depicted them at the start.
Bastien is a great guy, even if he does make a few bad choices — why wouldn’t he insist on a DNA test before marrying the bitch?
Events in Born of Vengeance do demonstrate why you can’t accept any kind of celebrity news as gospel truth. Poor guy. Especially when Ember has her sacrificial moment. Oh. Brother. One of those tropes I really hate: the I’ll-sacrifice-my-love-for-love-of-my-man. She’s been with the guy for a year and doesn’t get it?
The series description claims you can read each story without having read the others, and I’d have to agree with that…f you’re the type who isn’t that interested in other characters’ stories. And Born of Vengeance is interesting (if incredibly confusing) to read, if only to find out how it all works out. And that “interesting” is why I bumped it up to a “3”.
A cataclysmic betrayal finds Bastien on the run from all he held dear, all that’s left of what he loved, anyway. Branded, declared a murderer, he’s been sentenced to running from his executioners in a situation where the average life span is six weeks.
It’s pure and absolute luck that Bastien finds allies, friends, who understand.
Captain (and visir) Bastien “Badger” Cabarro. His mother, Øda / Ødara, Lia Triosan ydayra Cabarro (Triosan is her maiden name), is empress. His father, Sa / Saðir, is the emperor of Kirovar, Newell Cabarro. Quin is Bastien’s oldest brother and heir to the throne; Myrna is a political activist whose tongue was cut out. Lilian is their older sister. Commander General Barnabas Cabarro is in command of both the Gyron Force, prime commander of the the Kirovarian armed forces, and Bastien’s uncle. Cala is one of Barnabas’ granddaughters and Neville‘s daughter. Jackson is another uncle. Iskander Zeki is Bastien’s illegitimate half-brother with his father’s mistress, Odile.
The Sentella is…
…a rival organization to the League. Prince Nykyrian “Nyk“, a.k.a., Nemesis, is Jullien’s twin brother and head of the Sentella. Thia Quiakides is Nyk’s daughter. Kiara is Nyk’s second wife (Born of Night, 1). Terry, Tier, Adron, Jayce, and Zarina are the rest of their children.
Prince Jullien eton Anatole is Bastien’s favorite cousin, even if he is half Andarion and half human, and the child his family despises. He becomes a Tavali officer. Ushara is Jullien’s wife with Vasili, her son and Jullien’s adopted son. Viv and Mira are their twin daughters. Vidar is born during this story.
Aros eton Anatole is Jullien’s hateful father (his paka), Bastien’s maternal uncle, and emperor of his own lands. Cairistiona is the woman Aros wanted to marry; I think she’s Jullien and Nyk’s mother. Jullien’s maternal Andarion grandmother, Eriadne, is nuts and has had most of her family assassinated.
Fain Hauk is an Andarion and had been a friend of Bastien’s; Omira Antaxes is his ex-wife. Galene Batur is the woman who has always had Fain’s heart. Talyn “Iron Hammer” is an Andarion Ring fighter and Fain’s son. Dancer “Akuma” Hauk is Jullien’s best friend, Fain’s younger brother, and former League, now a Sentella. Darice is Dancer’s nephew. Sumi, Omira’s sister, is a trained League assassin and with Dancer. Kalea Hauk.
Prince Darling “Kere” Cruel is an old Caronese schoolmate of Bastien’s and a Sentella. He’s married to Zarya (Born of Silence, 5); they’ve just had a baby son, Cezar. Prince Drake Cruel is Darling’s brother; his ship is Saker Mara.
Ryn “Precious Cargo” Dane is an older half-brother and ambassador of the Tavali joint Nations and the Wasturnum VA. Ryn’s wife is the pregnant Mack. Hermione “Kirren” is Ryn’s mother. Yra is first officer on Ryn’s ship.
I think they’re an organization like the League and Sentella. Ember hooks up with the Tavalis. Florian “Rian” is her son. Jalyna “Jay” Xever, a Fyreblood Andarion and captain of their ship. Ushara is also the Tavali’s vice admiral and Jay’s sister. Trajen is their high admiral.
Prince Chayden Aniwaya of the Qill empire. Caillen Dagan is his nephew and Princess Desideria‘s husband (Born of Shadows, 4).
Syn Wade is Ritadarion (Born of Fire, 2). Xander. They’re with Dancer: Jupiter “Jup” Hinto. I’m not sure, but it’s possible that Jory Woods Hinto, son of Gadgehe Hinto (the HAP of the Septurnum Nation) is also Jupiter. Unira Samari is a high priestess and Jullien’s adoptive mother, Thrāix is a Trisani. I think he’s had a son with his wife, Mary: Admon Simon Eteocles Sparda, a.k.a., Sphinx. Ushara is Mary’s sister. Driana was someone’s daughter.
Major Ember “Wildstar” Wyldestarrin was Gyron Force and in love with Bastien. Lieutenant Aurora “Alura” Wyldestarrin is Ember’s baby sister, a nasty bitch whom I don’t understand why her sisters haven’t killed her yet. Kindel, Cinder (she’s married to Tasi), Brandy, and Ashley. Brandon is their deluded father; Colonel Charlotte Wyldestarrin is their equally deluded mother. Aunt Tish.
Gyron Force is…
…an elite military unit in Kinrovia. Colonel Werrin is Ember’s superior officer assigning her an unwanted subject. Colonel Syrin Dayan is Ember’s ex. General Dayan is Syrin’s father.
The League was…
…an alliance originally formed (under the leadership of the Quorum) to battle a ruthless tyrant and evolved into a universal police organization. The League Assassins is a subgroup of soldiers. Unfortunately, the League itself has become corrupt. It’s currently led by Kyr Zemin. A Ravin has a target painted on them, used for practice by League assassins-to-be.
Safir Jari was a League assassin and Zemin’s younger brother until Kyr declared him a traitor.
The Trigon Court is headed up by Alia, the Overseer. Justiss had been Kindel’s angry husband, who provides the reasoning behind Ember’s stupid decision. Zusa means sister. I think a theren is a brother. A monidar is the ruler. Aksel Bredeh is a now-dead scumbag whose house is located on the Oksanan desert planet. Hiller is one of the Bolodorians, freelance assassins. The Dread Reckoning are lawless renegades and miscreants. Pheara and Telise are part of a group of female bounty hunters. Dancer keeps calling them haritas.
Andarions have fangs. Trisani have psionic powers and are a virtually extinct race. Other planets/races include the Caronese, Garvons, Gourish, and Exeterians.
The Cover and Title
The cover is DARK with Bastien’s face emerging from a deep brown background. In front of him is an elaborate sword hilt. The author’s name and title are in an embossed gold…a lousy choice as neither stands out. The tiny series information is in white at the bottom.
The title is Born of Vengeance and could be the new Bastien who comes through.