I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Prince of Shadows by Tes Hilaire
Series: Paladin Warriors #3
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 3 December 2013
I’ve been patiently waiting for the Valin’s story since we first encountered the Black Knight in Deliver Me From Darkness. His ability was just so cool. In Prince of Shadows he finally gets the chance to woo Gabriella, the vampire with a slightly tarnished heart of gold. Both of them are seeking redemption from past sins which makes for quite a Byronic tale as they try to negotiate their relationship.
Valin was no stranger to loss as his wife (and best friend) Angeline and their unborn child were murdered by vampires. He feels guilty for not saving them which time has not erased. His skill which allows him to become one with the shadows sets him apart from other paladins who use light rather than darkness to defeat their foes. As the Black Knight he often takes on jobs such as assassination and spying which other paladins either can’t or won’t do. Despite loathing vampires, he has a very strong connection with Gabby and not knowing whether she is okay or not is pure torture.
Gabby is literally at war with herself as her biology fights with her vampiric nature. She was turned into a vampire against her will but refuses to yield to her urge to drink human blood. By starving herself and trying to sustain herself by drinking from evil beings she is frequently ill and ageing quickly. Instead of focusing on the difference she could make if she was healthy, she feels an incredible amount of guilt for simply being a vampire and is determined to martyr herself.
Valin and Gabby’s relationship is fraught with tension and often involves her backing away whenever he makes overtures. Gabby can’t understand why a man dedicated to fighting evil would want to offer her his vein and save her. Maybe her loyalty, strength of conviction, compassion and courage had something to do with it? Valin knows his window of opportunity is slipping away as Gabby progressively gets sicker and pushes harder which makes her reject him even more. A man from Gabby’s past shows up and this increases the strain on their relationship. More than once I found myself wondering what else Hilaire was going to throw at these poor people.
Plot wise, the beginning, climax and denouement were fantastic but the middle seemed to drag a little. I had nearly hit my limit with Gabby’s ‘I’m not worthy’ introspection when Hilaire introduced a couple of big twists and to be honest, they were well worth waiting for.
Prince of Shadows, like all of the books in this series, is an enjoyable read. It is a dark, dark world that Hilaire has created and I’ll happily dive back into it again.