Since No Rest For The Wicked the Woede brothers, Rydstrom and Cadeon, have been a part of the Immortals After Dark novels. It gradually attached the reader to their quest of regaining the Kingdom lost to them as Omort now reigned at Tornin court. Though each book can be read separately I think for an increasing reading pleasure you should read this series in order. Also, Rydstrom and Cadeon's stories are almost occurring simultaneously so I advise to read Dark Desires After Dusk before Kiss Of A Demon King.
How I have loved each entry in the Immortals After Dark series, some a bit more than the other but always a wild ride and in this Kiss Of A Demon King is no different. This tale does not contain your typical heroine and Sabine - Queen Of Illusion - is an acquired taste in characteristics, I think you'll either connect with her or you don't and I was thrilled to get to know her. She just hasn't got lily white thoughts or feelings, has a save the world from all evil complex or has a Florence Nightingale syndrome. Sabine has an acerbic nature and is both in looks and character trades a truly remarkable woman. She and I had to get acquainted and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her, because being bad isn't always about doing the wrong thing. If there is one thing that does not apply to Sabine is being meek and mediocre. This is one of the elements that elevate this series so, the intriguing and fresh characterization that allows them to come alive with their own personality trademarks and looks. This makes them stand out in the crowd of so many who inhabit the world of the average paranormal reader. There are no cardboard characters in this series, it brims with almost larger than life Lykae, Vampires, Valkyrie and many more making it such a pleasure to venture back in to this world.
Rydstrom was one who had to grow on me in the series but in his own story I quickly succumbed to his charm. Outwardly he is so almost stoic, rational and reasonable but his fierce nature is barely controlled by a veneer of control, he is a Rage Demon after all. Together Sabine and Rydstrom gave a steaming picture of abandon lust simmering between them, it becomes maddening to read as the story progresses but oh my, they deliver some spectacular verbal and physical firework. There were times my frustrated inner voice screamed at those two to "get over" the trust and control issues and get it on already. Kresley Cole antagonizes the reader over and over with sultry foreplay between the main characters and in answer it raised my body temperature at a steady pace. Insert a bit of rough love to it and the sensuality sky rocketed between this love couple.
If you think Kiss Of A Demon King is all about the lust, well ok, it is a key element between Sabine and Rydstrom but this tale contains so much more than that. There is also the fact of Rydstrom's singular desire which has been about getting back his Kingdom from a fiend enemy who seems undefeatable. Tied to this are many factions with many characters we've come to treasure while reading this series. So many are plotting their own plans, loyalty is gained and betrayed, as all have a place and function within The Lore. While some races/characters are just mentioned I love the descriptive details which adds depth to this world. Like how Sabine is portrayed, with bright, colorful headdresses, gold chokers, leather strips and chain metal materials in clothing and unusual make up. She is one of the Sorceri and with these kind of details I can see her so clearly in the mind's eye. It draws me completely in the setting Cole provides and makes me savor the pages as I read along.
I feel this novel has been very character driven and though much is going on it was very centered around Rydstrom and Sabine. The mischievous nature of Sabine kept me on edge and empathetic to Rydstrom's trust issues. Sabine loves a good juicy plot as much as a good surprise and I relished in the fact how Rydstrom surprised her at times. The power play between them is taunting, it is provoking, it is titillating and sensual, both good and laced with a bit of evil and they both gave as good as they got. At a few times I edged the feeling a scene became a bit repetitive but then Sabine would make a comment and had me all in giggles and laughter again.
Secondary characters were aplenty and some immediately struck home with me. Lanthe, Sabine's sister, was one of them and together they became a one-two punch that whetted my appetite for a future story of Lanthe. Also Puck, the orphaned demon child enamored me in his interactions with Sabine. I have got no clue what to think of Lothaire but I don't think we have seen the last of him and he has me intrigued in his motives. Cadeon is of course a part of his brother's story and one of the series favorites Nïx once again displayed her soothsayer wisdom with flair and humor.
The plot and minor sub plots have kept me alert and focused where everything was heading, nevertheless it plays second violin this time. I always think I have a sense where Kresley Cole is taking me and yet she manages to surprise me in the end and like Sabine, I love a good surprise! Omort has his puppets dancing around his every whim and has the very thing Rydstrom covets above anything else...or at least, what he thinks he covets above anything else. Omort seems to be the epitome of all evil in this novel and he plays his part so very well. Just to have him enter the scene turned me on edge, wondering what his next step would be. The good versus evil element is showcased with every shade in between that holds its own significance and it fits in this story perfectly. What was lost somewhat along the way was the "ultimate battle" to regain Rydstrom his Kingdom but going towards the end other things occur that created pulls pounding moments!
Kiss Of A Demon King is imbedded with all we came to treasure from Kresley Cole as an author. Everyone will have their favorites among this series as have I but Sabine and Rydstrom have once again been a wild ride. I will count the days until the next Immortal After Dark tale is told!