Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole

Genre: Paranormal romance
Hardcover: 506 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (January 10, 2012)

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.

Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.

Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

My thoughts: I have always thoroughly enjoyed Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series up until about three books ago. Now with this twelfth title, I find myself growing more uncomfortable with the way the men in this series treat their women. I know this is fiction and there is an expected suspension of belief, but there is a 'but' included in my argument now. Do these supernatural creatures have to hit, shove, strangle, threaten, their supposed objects of affection? And why in turn do these females still find these creatures sexually appealing and stay with them?

I have never liked Lothaire and with his own book I still didn't change my opinion of him. It is a testament to Cole's writing genius that I finished this book, grabbing it whenever I could. As a fan, I wanted to remain loyal to such a creative and unique fantasy world, yet, as a woman I'm finding it harder to enjoy the violence and supposed strong females condoning thisr behavior. Ellie, the female lead character, hails from a poor mining family living in the Appalachian Mountains. Intelligent, strong willed, and mighty stubborn, her body is possessed by the spirit of Saroya, a venomous demonic goddess cursed to live in mortal body after mortal body. The Enemy of Old, Lothaire, has been watching Ellie periodically throughout her childhood and teen years after Hag's prophetic vision convinces him he may have finally found his mate.

When he witnesses Ellie as Saroya after a murderous spree, Lothaire experiences the blooded--his heartbeat begins to pump again, he can breathe, and he feels desire. Now he only has to help Saroya destroy the soul of the mortal Ellie so the evil vixen can claim this body for her own. Though she may be young, Ellie isn't giving up that easy. After she is arrested, convicted, and jailed for said murderous spree, she is incarcerated for five years before she is scheduled to die by lethal injection. After another bloody rampage, Lothaire "rescues" Ellie/Saroya and takes her to his penthouse in NYC. From then on the powerful vampire sets his plan in motion to claim the goddess as his own, while Saroya leads him on into thinking she wants him as long as he can procure a magical ring which would empower him to destroy Ellie's soul. Problems arise for the willful Lothaire the longer he spends time with the human until he begins to wonder if his lifemate may be this redheaded mortal, a low breed female, and not the goddess.

Okay, here are some of my thoughts. As much as I tried to like Ellie, I couldn't. I wasn't convinced nor did I truly believe in her character. She didn't grab me. I'll never be a card carrying member of the Lothaire fan club, despite the author's attempts at humanizing his more 'likable' traits two-thirds into his tale. For me he will always bea selfish, arrogant and treacherous killer. What I did like and was glad to see was the backstory involving Nix and Lothaire in their younger years. The longer Nix spent time on the pages, the longer I kept wondering what type of book I would be engaged in IF she wound up with Lothaire instead. Their passages showed a depth and intensity I thought was lacking with Ellie. When cognizant, Nix is an incredible and complex character (even more so than Lothaire), and I can only hope this series will end with her own story. I would also like to see the advent of Thad, his honesty, virtue and gentleman-like manner has been refreshing these last two books. And Hag definitely needs to be pushed to the forefront with her own story.

Yes, I began this review with less than stellar words and yet I close it with the hope of seeing other characters prominently displayed in future installments. That's the power Kresley Cole has with her writing. No matter how much you may dislike/disagree with what goes on those pages, she keeps you entertained and turning pages much like a book addict. On writing prowess alone, I would give Lothaire four and a half stars. As a character-driven tome, I can only muster three and a half. It's not easy being a book junkie.

My rating: Already mentioned above.

Cover comment: It's OK.

Favorite excerpt: I didn't have time to find one since I wanted to return this back to the library so the next fan could read it.

Book source: Borrowed from my local library.

1 comment:

  1. As I sit here and try to think how to explain Lothaire, all I can really is say is that he is just one of a kind. There isn't a lot of gray in his world. He is so old and his arrogance is so ingrained, that it is his way or else. Kresley Cole allows him to fall in love -- and still retain these characteristics. Because of his age, and the fact that when he drinks from people, he retains their memories, he is not lucid at all times. He is skirting the edge of insanity and fears he may not make it to exact his revenge.