Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After several books where it seemed like she spent the majority of the book rehashing past events or telling the same story from someone else's point of view we are finally treated to a book full of new characters, new events and some answers to questions..........
***Spoiler Alert ****
For one thing we are going back in time to the Year of Our Lord 1716 although Sherrilyn Kenyon uses the modern names for the places she takes us Cameron Amelia Maire jack's brother is missing. He was first believed lost at sea, but somehow the formidable Captain Paden Jack found a way to send what appears to be a worthless charm to Cammy. After consulting Menyara, Cammy seeks out Captain Devyl Bane (aka Du) and shows him the charm (Seraph medallion). He immediately has Cammy taken to his ship while he and his friends finish off the demons that were at the bar to prey on the humans.
And really it would have been nice if there had been a cast of characters so we could keep everyone straight. So I'll provide one here along with the secrets that are revealed, so I can refer to it when Book 2 in the trilogy comes out.
Cameron Jack and her brother Paden Jack are born of the Seraphim Michael's linage. This makes their blood very powerful and it can be used to open the gates of hell. This book isn't really about them other than Paden's capture by Vine sets the events in motion. While Paden knows what he is Cammie was ignorant of her linage until Du told her, after she saves the ship when it was under attack by casting a veil using the Seraph Medallion Paden sent her.
Lettice is carrying Paden Jack's child, I expect her to actually play a role in future books. She is merely mentioned in this book.
Rafael Christoph Santiago - a pirate who knows what Du and Mara are and helps them when he can.
Marcelina aka Mara, she is from an ancient race, Vanir Deruvians, that can take the form of trees. She is the soul of The Sea Witch. This is her and Du's book. Centuries ago her people were battling Du's people. One of the Vanir Deruvians tricked Du's sister, Elf (aka Elyzabel) into marrying him and planting her harthfret (life source), so she couldn't regenerate. He and his friends then raped and killed Elf. When Du found Elf's body he went mad with rage and attacked Mara's nemeton (sacred grove), Mara took human form and threw herself in front of Du to save her family. Thinking he wouldn't know what she was doing she bound her life force to his. She doesn't know that the bargain Du made with Thorn gives her, her freedom.
Devyl Bane (his real name is Don-Dueli of the Dumnonii he was their Druid leader, Du or Duel for short) he is actually from several ancient races Aesir & Adoni (Father), Deruvian Vanir (Mother), and has several secrets. Untangling his family tree can give you a headache. His grandfather was the king of the Adoni, and his mother was a daughter of Yggdrasill. Not only does he know that Thorn's real name is Leucious Forneus, he knows who Thorn's real Father is (Noir). And when Vine killed Du it was his third death, he was reborn as a coryn (the most powerful of their kind, a sorcerer of unparalleled strength and abilities).
Vine - Mara's sister and Du's ex-wife. Vine killed Du when he wanted to make peace with the Romans. She is so evil that she didn't care that Mara would die too. Or maybe it was just an added bonus as she is well aware that Du has always loved Mara. If fact the only person who seems oblivious to that fact is Mara.
Strixa - sea witch Du summons, she eventually joins the crew of her own free will and it is only with her help that they are able to save Mara.
Deadmen (dead souls that Thorn is giving a second chance to, they are bound to him by his mark on their wrist and are part of the Hell-Chasers, the Seraphim and their Necrodemians are Hell-Hunters):
William "Will" Death (pronounced Deeth but don't worry Du pronounces it like it's spelled Death so you can too.)
Zumari - a Maasai warrior
Kalder - the crew refer to him as a mermaid but his people are actually known as Myrcians. He will give his life to free Cammie and her brother. Thorn promises to find a way to bring him back. Kalder was killed by his own Mother after his brother was killed in retaliation for something Kalder did.
Valynda - due to a miscast spell she is in doll form.
Sancha - in her past life she was Donna Maria Esmeralda de la Vega y Tarancon. (I suspect she will get her own book, rumor has it she will hook up with Jake Devereaux).
Janice Smith - (actually a Dark Hunter who was saved by Du when they found her adrift at sea). Janice is a necromancer by trade with telekinesis and a degree of clairvoyance.
Sallie -he keeps his soul in a bottle, which the crew is always stealing. To their consternation they discover that he really does keep his soul in a bottle and that when it is released he becomes a young warrior instead of the old man they have been mercilessly teasing.
Katashi (aka Wild Kat)
Simon Dewing - a former priest of Exu, he is able to shape shift into a raven. (Kat and Simon are homosexuals and are married)
Alabama - from the Choctaw nation before his death.
Most of the book is taken up with Du and Mara discovering their love for each other and all the mistakes they have made in the past. And the various attacks that befall them as they try to rescue Paden and Cammy's eventual capture. When the gates of hell weaken we learn that Adarian has just finished off a son that he had with a demon and absorbed new powers that broke the seals on the gates. Adarian is also one of the most powerful Malachai ever (In other words Nick shouldn't have been able to kill him). It is only due to Adarian's hatred for Noir and Azura that humanity is safe. Adarian is hiding from Noir and Azura in the mortal realm, but those who fight for the light, live in fear that he will end the world when he thinks he is strong enough to go after Noir and Azura. The prophecy says the Malachai would slay the gods of old and replace them all and once they were gone, and their curse with them, their Malachai demon would reign as the supreme power of the universe and rebuild his bloodline.
The only hope is an obscure legend of the Excambiare Malachai. Like the firstborn Malachai, known as Monakribos, this one wold be conceived from an equal share of light (Mother) and dark (Father) powers. the Excambiare's birth would complete the Malachai cycle and restore the balance that had been shifted by the thousands of Malachai who'd come along after Monakribos. It would break the curse the primal gods had placed on the Malachai and shatter the Malachai's Cimmerian bonds. He would be free to serve himself and no longer be bound solely to evil. (Nick is the Excambiare Malachai his Mother Cherise is a demi-goddess of Light)
Iri - are Seraphim that fight for the Dark Forces. Gadreyal is an Iri.
When the Iri attack the Sea Witch Du has Mara separate herself from the ship and takes everyone to Alfheim, the Adoni Kingdom. Apparently Du is the rightful King of the Adoni but his Uncle currently occupies the throne.
Too late Mara realizes her sister Vine has gone full Winter. During their fight Vine uses the fact that Du sold his soul to Thorn in order to give Mara her freedom to distract her and Mara is "killed". Killed in this universe is a mere technicality and not always a permanent condition. Vine took the harthfret Mara wore around her throat to plant in Tyr's Wood in order to totally destroy her. Strixa tells Du where Vine has gone and he follows and here we get a nice surprise. Mara has switched her harthfret out with Elf's (Du wore it in a ring) in order to try to regenerate Elf. When Vine buried Elf's harthfret due to several happy coincidences Elf is regenerated. And apparently being dead made Elf really angry because she goes after Vine and "kills" her. Unfortunately Noir uses Jaden to bring Vine back but no one knows that yet. They also don't know that Noir controls Paden and Cammy.
Valynda gets Nibo to help bring Mara back from the dead after Du agrees to exchange himself for her. Don't worry we get a happy ending because Du sold himself to Thorn to unbind their lives and part of the agreement was that Mara never be harmed when he sacrificed himself for Mara he actually bought his freedom from Thorn. But Mara and Du both choose to stay with their crew.
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