Vasilisa Sidkorolyavolkva is a Lycan of royal blood. She knows what is expected of her, but all she wants is to be out from under her family’s watchful eyes. There is a fire inside her that is building. A restlessness coupled with a sense of growing dread. Every day she feels the weight of the legacy passed down through generations. The prophecy that says a man will come to claim her as his mate, and that she will guard his soul. She knows nothing about him except that he is hers. But nothing seems real until the night she meets him in the flesh....
Afanasiv Belan is a Carpathian, an ancient one. In all the centuries of his existence, no one has ever affected him like Vasilisa. He can see into her mind and feel what is in her heart. They are so alike, warriors bound by honor and plagued by secrets. They both know they must reveal the darkest parts of their souls if they hope to survive and protect the ones they love.
But if they claim each other as lifemates, it will change them down to the bone. They will become something more—something feared by both of their kinds....
Vasilisa Sidkorolyavolkva is being pushed by her family and people to take a mate soon. She is one of the royal lycans and she knows her duty but she also knows that she cannot mate just yet. She holds a secret inside her that even her family doesn't know. She holds the other half of a Carpathian male's soul. She knows she is destined to be his mate but she also knows that because of her friendship with a female Carpathian, she is different from her family and no longer fully Lycan. If her family were to find out, there might be big trouble for her because her family and her people already don't trust the Carpathians.
When Vasilisa comes across a Carpathian male that needs her help, she knows that he's her mate and so does he. She doesn't think that she's ready to be a mate to someone yet but the pull between them is strong. Afanasiv Belan is an ancient Carpathian who had been staying at the monastery with some of the other ancient Carpathian males. They are very old, and very dangerous because they have lived so long without their mates. Some of them are close to turning vampire or meeting the sun so they don't turn into vampires. Vampires are Carpathians that have lived too long and chosen to turn into evil vampires. Carpathian males hunt these evil creatures and kill them. Afanasiv has killed too many to count and with each new kill they are pushed to the edge without their mates.
I liked Afanasiv because he knew right away that Vasilisa was a warrior, an equal to himself and he didn't try to stop her from being what she is. If you've been reading this series you know how dominant and alpha some of these Carpathian males can be, always telling their mates what is best for them. It gets old, at least to me so it was nice to see this male being proud of the warrior Vasilisa was. The action scenes were great. The romance between Afanasiv and Vasilisa took a backseat to the story of how the evil has infiltrated her family, how it got there and who was behind it though. I was really kind of hoping for more romance between these two but we don't really get that until towards the end of the book because there was so many other things going on getting in the way of that.
This book for me was a little slow though with all the rehashing of some of the backstory of some of villains that we already know. I also think some of the names of these characters are starting to get ridiculous. Yes, they are unique but in my head while reading I know I'm not pronouncing them right and just shorten them for myself.
The twists and turns this story took made it interesting though. There were so many times I thought I knew where this story was going or who was behind the curtain pulling the strings, only to find out I was wrong. If you've been reading this series from the beginning like I have, you'll like this installment but this series is really best to be read in order because of all of the characters who have a habit of showing up unexpectedly in some books throughout the series. Not that I'm complaining about this, I like seeing old couples and finding out how they are. But because there are so many couples, so many characters and more characters popping up in each new book, it's best to read in order to get the full effect. The ancients from the monastery and their mates are really adding new facets to this series which I like and there are still many ancients who haven't found their mates yet so it'll be interesting to see finds their mate next.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclosure: I received an e-cook copy via NetGalley but all thoughts and opinions are my own.