Shaede Assassin, Book 2
July 3rd, 2012 | Signet
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“She needed a bargaining chip and this was it. Raif’s daughter’s life for hers. And he knew damn good and well I was right. Just like he’d assured me the night I’d killed Azriel, this was far from over. His daughter was alive, I knew it. And I was going to find her.”
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…
Outstanding sequel! Fast-paced mystery with multiple story lines that are seamlessly woven together. It all leads to an interesting twist that reveals a purpose and obligation that Darian never knew she had.
Bonilla has really blown me away with her second installment in the Shaede Assassin series. The pages are filled with action and by the story's conclusion I was still left wanting more. More ass-kickings delivered by Darian, more jealous, irrational Tyler, more time with Raif, and more secrets revealed. I just couldn't get enough!
I found Darian's character to be even more likable than in the debut. I wouldn't necessarily say that she shows a large amount of growth or makes any drastic personality changes. She's still stubborn, still too independent, and she doesn't trust others as completely as she should. But her hang-ups are easy to understand given the additional insight into Darian's time with Azriel, separated from the Shaede world, and we are better able to understand how deep her feelings were for him and the many ways that he manipulated her.
I also enjoyed the time that was spent with Tyler's character. Xander definitely takes a backseat to the Jinn this time around. Not only is he loyal, attentive, and easy on the eyes, but he is incredibly powerful! His magical displays were very impressive. If Darian could only learn to put more faith and trust in him, those two would make an unstoppable duo.
During the story, Tyler has moments of severe mood swings and is extremely possessive when it comes to Darian. He isn't himself and it's suspected that this is due to an outsider's magical influence. So in addition to the many complications that arise, Ty has to spend time trying to find the cause of this magic and determine how to stop it.
Another large focus of this story is Darian's attempts to locate Raif's missing daughter and trying to decipher the cryptic warnings and threats she receives. This proves to be a difficult task because no one who will provide a straight answer and everyone seems to prefer talking in circles.
The story's ending was emotional and heartbreaking. I was torn between feeling Darian's desperation over the situation she caused and wanting to shake some sense into her for not preventing it in the first place. I loved it and hated it. It was great.
I will be counting down the days until the release of the third installment, "Crave the Darkness".
For those of you who enjoy fast-paced urban fantasy with heroines who possess unique ass-kicking abilities, the Shaede Assassin series is a must read.