In Frank 's seductively crafted universe introduced in last year's Jacob: The Nightwalkers , demons aren't the clawed horrors of myth unless they're possessed by the book's villainous necromancers ; they're handsome, proud, sensuous and decidedly ambivalent about the world of mortals. Demons have a thousands-year-old rule forbidding them from coupling with humans, who aren't made to survive sex with the charismatic Nightwalkers; male protagonist Gideon, an ancient healer demon who, naturally, doesn't look a day over 35 , has spent eight years in self-imposed exile after attempting to break that law. Recently returned, guilt-wracked Gideon is finally drawn to the true object of his desire: the even-more-forbidden Magdelegna, young sister of hot-tempered demon king Noah. Though Magdelegna's kin raise hell over the May-December romance at years old, Magdelegna is barely an adult , the pair's breathtaking sex scenes raise more. Regrettably, the complex characterization that humanizes Frank's paranormal characters including an urbane vampire, a sensual yet celibate lycanthrope queen and a couple of neo-Druids doesn't extend to the necromancers, who remain faceless, one-dimensional foes throughout. The plot's central conflict between good and evil is therefore lacking the psychological depth, vivid detail and personal chemistry that make its sensitive, scorching romantic components so compelling.
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The Vampire eyed the Demon before him with a lengthy, contemplative gaze of midnight blue. With uncharacteristic patience and largesse, the Vampire leaned back in his chair and casually hooked an ankle over one knee as he did so.
It was always good that he put so much care of thought into his speech, the Vampire mused to himself, because when this Demon spoke it was often to lay brutal truths at the feet of whomever he was conversing with. As admirable a trait as that was, it was not so refreshing as one might expect it to be, particularly when it heralded pivotal occurrences in the lives of the Nightwalker races.
Since time had begun, ages before the mortals had spread across this earth like an intemperate pandemic, there had been the Nightwalkers. The Dark Cultures. Those who basked in the moon for their daylight, and slept or hid from the sun when its acidic rays would try to touch their susceptible skins or minds. The clans had run with the wild beasts of Nature, their special gifts rooted in Her ways, keeping them connected to the soil, the free creatures, and the pulsing, magmatic center of Her heart.
And though in the modern age the mortals were the dominant population by a dramatic percentage, the Nightwalkers yet lived. The Dark Cultures were preserved, each with its separate ways and traditions, and each had carved out niches in those places that remained isolative and usually too inhospitable for humans. Some had adapted and now lived on the fringes of human societies, emulating or enjoying mortal ways… or a careful facsimile. Almost every clan had carefully laid laws and beliefs about how far its members could go when it came to dealings with human beings.
Errors and enemies had severely thinned out the ranks of all of the different clans in one way or another, and yet they survived—quiet, unknown to mortals for the most part, and searching for ways to find harmony in a rapidly changing world. But the world had changed before, and would change again, and there would always be the Nightwalkers to dance beneath the moon and sleep behind the sun.
It was proof that though Nightwalkers greatly resembled humans, usually very handsome and appreciable ones, there were distinct differences in their chemistries and physiologies. These distinctive differences would set them apart as supernatural beings to the common eye, should they decide to flaunt them. But the Nightwalkers used great care here.
Human beings could become overzealous at even the smallest hint of myth or mystery. It was in their nature to fear that which was more powerful than themselves, a failing that would not change until they matured as a species. The Ancient Demon also had hair of incredibly pristine silver, long enough to touch his collarbone and tied back with a thin strip of tanned leather.
In humans, this coloring would be a sign of age, but the Vampire knew Gideon had been born with his hair color, and, in spite of it, would never look a day over the age of thirty-five. Perhaps a little closer to forty when one took those aged eyes into account. Damien dismissed the idea with a click of his tongue and the brushing wave of an elegant, long-fingered hand.
We have long since learned to not feel slighted when one or the other of us goes into seclusion for whatever reason. They had both been alive too long not to know what was of import to one another. I should have sensed something was amiss!
I had thought he might have just gone to ground, as my people do from time to time, but Gerard had just roused from a century-long sleep, so I thought it odd he would return so quickly. Have you any idea how many we are to contend with this time? It is embarrassing to my intelligence to speak of it even now.
Out of respect, however, Damien would never think of scanning Gideon in order to obtain those thoughts. Now that truly surprised Damien. There had been no Druids for the space of an entire millennium. Their reemergence would have been thought a thousand times less likely than this distressing news of necromancers. Damien was well aware that the Demons and the Druids had once, long ago, been engaged in a terrible war, with history recording that the Demons had eradicated the entire Druid race.
They are hybrids, partially of Druidic descent, partially human. Apparently Druids hid themselves among humans all those centuries ago, in order to escape their Demon hunters. There are only two active Druids at this time, both of whom are under Demon protection, and they are greatly coveted. It is to be expected. At least they are not met with hostility. The oldest of us who might hold grudges are all perished, save myself, and I have grown well beyond such childish impulses.
The first female… She is powerful in unexpected ways. Ways that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time. Her sibling is awakening to her abilities much more slowly, but I have reason to expect that she will be just as unique. It is also clear they are only the beginning. He always listened very carefully to the way others spoke, to the way they worded phrases. Gideon had confessed already that he was intentionally withholding information, but the Vampire Prince sensed other depths to the story that promised to be fascinating and dangerous.
I do not relish the idea of unregulated beings of power in our world. The misguidance of necromancers is sinister enough, not to mention the less seemly Nightwalkers amongst us already.
I know you will do what you can and must do. More so, I suspect, considering the history you share with the Druids. But that was a time, as I recall, when we Vampires were avaricious enough to enjoy the idea of Demons and Druids eliminating one another, leaving us to become more powerful. Even though I was young then, I do remember that the popular way of thinking at the time was that it was no more our place to interfere in the actions of your race than it was yours to interfere in the actions of ours.
It may be that a small part of my absolution rests in the hands of the others who will come in the footsteps of the two female Druids, but my sins are far too great to be so easily forgiven. Gideon did not rebuke the Vampire again. Strange, that after so long, they held any hope at all. Gideon had always suspected, though, that it was some sort of defense mechanism, this thing called hope. He was a cynical creature, from tip to toe, and no one who knew him in any degree would argue that, but they would perhaps be a little shocked to know that there might be a part of the Demon that still held out for a glimmer of absolution.
Gideon was not a man used to giving explanation or apologies for his actions. He was the oldest and most powerful of his kind, and with that distinction came the privilege of doing pretty much whatever suited him. In order to reach such an advanced age, he was considered to have learned enough to know best.
A prime example would be his presence in the lair of the Vampire Prince who was seated across from him. Though the Vampires and the Demons were not enemies, they were not great friends either. There were those on both sides of their races who held little tolerance for the other, and others still who actively sought to antagonize one another.
But this had been true between differing societies since time was time. There was no such thing as a perfect peace so long as there was free will and obstinate ignorance in the world, even in races so long lived, so powerful, and so renowned for great intelligence and sophisticated reasoning. Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Gideon Nightwalkers 2 Author: Jacquelyn Frank. Total 41 Pages: Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next.
Gideon (Nightwalkers #2)(14) by Jacquelyn Frank
They're called the Nightwalkers—proud, ancient beings who live in the shadows, existing just beyond the human world. But there are also dangerous humans who hunt them—necromancers who use the blackest magic to manipulate them. And for a Demon named Gideon, the battle against these evil forces will soon be all too personal. For a thousand years, Gideon has healed his people. And as the oldest surviving male of his race, his wisdom has always been respected without question. But Gideon knows that even he is vulnerable to the powerful, primitive desires that befall his kind during Hallowed moons—and nine years ago that truth was hammered home when he found himself claiming Magdelegna, the Demon King's sister, in a wild embrace. Now, with necromancers threatening his people—and Magdelegna nearly their victim—Gideon must face another truth.
Gideon: The Nightwalkers
The Vampire eyed the Demon before him with a lengthy, contemplative gaze of midnight blue. With uncharacteristic patience and largesse, the Vampire leaned back in his chair and casually hooked an ankle over one knee as he did so. It was always good that he put so much care of thought into his speech, the Vampire mused to himself, because when this Demon spoke it was often to lay brutal truths at the feet of whomever he was conversing with. As admirable a trait as that was, it was not so refreshing as one might expect it to be, particularly when it heralded pivotal occurrences in the lives of the Nightwalker races. Since time had begun, ages before the mortals had spread across this earth like an intemperate pandemic, there had been the Nightwalkers. The Dark Cultures. Those who basked in the moon for their daylight, and slept or hid from the sun when its acidic rays would try to touch their susceptible skins or minds.
Gideon (Nightwalkers Series #2)
Why would he be? There is no Council meeting today. That and his presence are quite distinctive, as you are well aware. Perhaps he was in the area. Legna did not mention he had been here when I asked her. I will visit with you later.