Night's Honor by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #7
Also in this series: Lord's Fall, Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood, The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races, Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8), Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
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From the author of Kinked and Oracle's Moon...In the USA Today bestselling author's latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…
On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.
The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…
Night’s Honor falls outside the other books in the Elder Races series. The timeline seems to run parallel to that of Lord’s Fall (Xavier leaves at one point to attend the Sentinel Games, which take place in LF),but has no direct relation with any of the threads Harrison is weaving in the other books. This is a light look at the Nightkind and their politics and intrigues, but mostly focuses on Tess and her perceptions of the Vampyres in general and Xavier in particular. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book since vampires are never a favorite for me. I ended up enjoying it.
Tess is on the run from a pariah Djinn and needs somewhere safe to hole up. She attends the Vampyre Ball, where the Vampyres hold court and choose attendants, figuring if she can get in with a Vampyre, the Djinn won’t risk all out war trying to get to her. She isn’t prepared when Xavier del Torro is the one who requests an interview with her, however. Second to the Nightkind King, Xavier has a brutal reputation. One that scares the bejeezus out of her. He offers her a trial period of one year to see if they’ll suit in the capacity of patron and attendant. She wants to refuse, but beggars can’t be choosers and there aren’t many places she can truly hide.
Xavier is intrigued by the terrified, yet defiant, girl who asks for a job. She’s a puzzle he wants to solve. When he takes her into his home, he doesn’t expect his curiosity about her to grow into fascination. As time passes and he sees how she pushes through her terror to remain in his household, he becomes increasingly determined to make her see him as something more than a monster.
I really enjoyed Xavier. He was such a complex, interesting creature. As one who was formerly pledged to the church, he has a strong moral and ethical core. Yet he isn’t afraid to kill his enemies or those who threaten the Nightkind. He was a surprising mix of tenderness and brutality.
I struggled with Tess in the beginning. She made some really bad decisions and came close to paying a very dear price for them. What saved her for me was how quick she was to realize her mistakes.
Tess, she thought, you might be geek- smart, but you are not as bright as you claim to be. Try to get smarter before you die.
As the novel progressed I came to admire her determination and inner strength. She was stubborn and refused to give up. Her fear of Xavier in the beginning was a very real thing, yet she didn’t let that stop her from interacting with him or trying to earn her place in his household.
Their relationship developed slowly, which worked well. Because of Tess’s fear and Xavier’s hesitation in bringing her into his household, I don’t think I would have found a quick attraction/relationship very believable.
Aside from an action-packed scene at the end, there isn’t a lot going on in the book. Pretty much everything is focused on Tess training to become strong enough to work for a Vampyre and Xavier becoming intrigued with her. At times the story seemed to drag, but just when I was starting to get bored something good would happen and I’d be pulled back into the story. As I mentioned, there are some light Nightkind politics, but nothing too heavy or serious.
You know, upon further consideration, this read more like a novella would – like a filler, of sorts. It introduces a new sect of the Elder Races but didn’t show a lot of depth. The end sets up the next novel perfectly. After reading the excerpt at the end of this book, I’m really looking forward to the next installment, Midnight’s Kiss.
3.75 out of 5