Book Critique – # 351: Dark Legacy (The Carpathian Novels # 31)
For reviews of other books in this series: Go here
Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: If you like paranormal plots with hint of romance, eroticism and the other world abilities involving immortals, then this is a series to go for. And this is a better one she had written in recent times.
Dark Legacy is the 31st book in The Carpathian Novels Series by paranormal author Christine Feehan published in September of 2017. This plot revolves around Dragomir Kozel - one of the ancients who had isolated in a monastery - and Emeline Sanchez - sister / friend of Blaze McGuire.
Carpathians are a powerful and ancient race who are near-immortals living for thousands of years with powers and gifts that no man can fathom - and live among humans without detection. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the age of extinction. Their children are fewer and farther apart and those that are born and survive are all males. Without their female counterpart aka "lifemates" the male Carpathians lose the ability to feel emotions and to see in color, the only feeling remaining is the thrill they get after a kill. They feed on human blood, but they don’t kill their prey. With so few females left, males are forced to make a stark choice: either become vampire or "greet the dawn" (i.e. commit suicide). When Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female with extensive psychic powers, the hope increases for all the Carpathian males so they don’t have to kill themselves or turn vampires. Because when they do find a lifemate, before they get "turned", the ability to see in color and their emotions are restored to them, and their souls are saved. The series ventures into other species or race, Jaguar and Lycan - extra-ordinary humans with abilities of jaguars and wolves - as the stories proceed.
Emeline Sanchez is living in Tariq Asenguard's compound - that he made it safe for the Carpathians and the humans who live there - along with Genevieve Marten (nanny to the human kids), Human Kids (Danny, Lourdes, Bella and Amelia) and the converted Carpathian child (Liv). But she had been tormented and tortured by Vadim Malinov's voice in her head since the time she had been rescued from his and his brother Sergey's clutches by the Carpathians. And she is worried that someday he will catch on to her and harm everyone on the compound.
Dragomir Kozel moved from Carpathian mountains to California in the hopes of finding hs lifemate - someone he had lost hope of finding in the long life he lead. And to his surprise the battered but brave Emeline turns out to be his lifemate. And Dragomir is perhaps the only sanctuary that Emeline could have from Vadim and Sergey.
Both Dragomir and Emeline have been previously introduced in two different books. We first see Dragomir in the 29th book Dark Promises (My Review of the book here). He was one of the seven ancients who had isolated themselves in a monastery atop Carpathian Mountains and that collectively Gabrielle Sanders, Teagan Jones and Trixie Jones restore some semblance and faith of hope to find their lifemates. We first see Emeline in the 27th book Dark Crime (which was published as part of the anthology Edge of Darkness; my review of the book here) along with another ancient Carpathian - Val Zhestokly. Both were survivors of Vadim and Sergey's brutality - two of the vampires bent on destroying the carpathians. Although we briefly see Emeline again in the 30th book Dark Carousel (My review of the book here). Two people who are so different from each other with varied backgrounds, both ready to sacrifice their lives albeit the reasons different, could have not better suited. Amazes me how Christine ties the threads between the characters so well.
I failed to connect Vadim Malinov with Ivory Malinov - one of the Carpathian female and lifemate to Razvan Shonski - when Vadim was reintroduced in the 27th plot Dark Crime. Finally made the connection in this plot when Christine had explained it explicitly. Ivory Malinov's story was told in the 20th book - Dark Slayer.
We see more of male Carpathians than female counterparts in the series as opposed to the other series that Christine has written where the male and female counterparts in almost equal proportion. Agreed that the series is based on the premise that female Carpathians are fewer and farther apart - it's been more than 500 years a female has been born until Savannah Dubrinsky (the daughter of the Carpathian Prince, Mikhail Dubrinsky and his lifemate Raven Whitney). I would still love to see more of Carpathian females too as part of the series who are not just converted Carpathians - and she does introduce one in this plot to my utter delight.
Clearly with Dark Crime Christine has moved her Carpathians from Carpathian mountains in Romania to San Francisco, CA in United States. However with this plot she has also set a pecking order. Tariq Asenguard being the leader in United States with Gary as second-in command to Tariq. I am pleased to see more of Gary Daratrazanoff in this plot. Finally he gets a much appreciated role. Yet there is so much more for Gary that meets the eye. We also see why Tariq could be a leader as the plot evolves. And with the Carpathians increasing and settling across the world, Mikhail would need such leaders for each cluster to rule them. I remember Christine had introduced a section of Carpathians in South America - the De La Cruz brothers and their lifemates - with the plot in the 14th novel Dark Hunger and four subsequent books that followed. But she had not evolved them beyond what they were as opposed to how she is evolving Tariq and the Carpathians standing by him. Perhaps she will re-connect all the dots in a future book.
The Jaguar and Lycan species were introduced by Christine when the De La Cruz brothers' stories were told. However we haven't seen them come across in a while since the 26th book Dark Blood. Will Christine bring those species back? I sure do hope so.
Quite a few characters from older plots resurface in this plot as well connecting those books with these, connections going as far back as to the beginning of the Carpathian world as we know now. That in itself is making me want to re-read the entire series again to see what other hidden plots or forgotten plots had Christine included that are resurfacing in the recent books including this one. But that would be a long read since we are on 31st book now…perhaps for another set of reviews once I complete these 366 reviews.
Of all the hunters that I read in this series so far I had soft spots for a few of the ones in the older plots. But I have to say Gary had been my most favorite lately. However with this plot Tariq is also becoming a fast favorite. But we have already Tariq's story so I am curious to see what more of his character will Christine bring out.
Christine has filled in a lot of gaps she had created when she started the United States side of the Carpathians and finally I see them closing in this plot. However she left with newer and more openings for the next books in the series. Originally I wasn’t so sure of the plots being successful if the characters were moved to United States. But now I am liking this shift very much.
Another book in the series that I have enjoyed it better than her recent books lately. I cant wait for the next one in the series.
a. We see more of male Carpathians than female counterparts in the series as opposed to the other series that Christine has written where the male and female counterparts in almost equal proportion. Agreed that the series is based on the premise that female Carpathians are fewer and farther apart - it's been more than 500 years a female has been born until Savannah Dubrinsky (the daughter of the Carpathian Prince, Mikhail Dubrinsky and his lifemate Raven Whitney). I would still love to see Carpathian females too who are not just converted Carpathians. So far other than Savannah we see only few others - Ivory Malinov, Arabejila, Desari Daratrazanoff, Francesca Del Ponce, Branislava Dragonseeker, Tatijana Dragonseeker, Colby Jansen de la Cruz. Lara Calladine and Natalya Shonski-Von Shrieder.
b. Six more ancients are introduced in the book Dark Promises (Check my review here) as well - Sandu, Isai, Petru, Benedek, Andor and Ferro. Looking forward to see how their stories will pan out.
c. Also looking forward to see how the stories for these ancients pan out in Christine Feehan's future books - Mataias and his two brothers Lojos and Tomias (triplets), Afanasiv "Siv" Balan and Nicu Daka
d. In Dark Blood (the 26th book in the series), it is revealed that Xavier is part of triplet. Xavier, Xaviero and Xavion are at the head of destroying the Carpathian, Jaguar, and Lycan races. Each took one race and infiltrated himself into that race to destroy. And one of the splinter from Xavier - a piece of Xavier with all his power - lodges into Vadim.
i. This plot continues to expand the fact that Vadim is as powerful as Xavier was since he has a splinter of Xavier in him.
ii. But where are the remaining two of the triplets? Somewhere along the line the stories progressed I missed what happened to Xaviero and Xayvion, although I remember Xavier being killed in one of the books.
e. Now that we saw a plot for Emeline, will the next book of Christine have a plot for Valentine "Val" Zhestokly - another ancient Carpathian and survivor of Vadim and Sergey's brutality - and Liv - the 10 year old girl that was saved in the previous book. Although everyone is confused as to how Val to identify when Liv is still not grown to be a woman. A scenario I am looking forward to see how Christine will unfold it.
f. Vadim also has another brother Addler who is yet to appear in any of the books.
g. Still looking forward to see a story about Gary Daratrazanoff and find out who his lifemate could be although we get a few glimpses about his lifemate with this plot. However in this plot he is finally accepted into the brotherhood and also becomes second-in-command for Tariq.
h. The current Carpathian Prince Mikhail's father Vlad was the good one. However Christine brings up a different Prince at a different time in the 30th book Dark Carousel - Prince Ruslan who had a child called Draven who was more twisted than anyone can imagine. I fail to remember how Xavier was connected to Mikhails father and any other Princes before. But Ruslan and Draven are new names for me so perhaps more will be seen of them in future books.
i. There is mention of Xavier's father Alycrome again who perhaps knows more than Xavier has ever known his entire life as a mage.
j. The De La Cruz brothers living in South America also have a De La Cruz - Luiz - who was converted to Carpathian from Jaguar. Mikhail worried that he might face the same fate as Gary. More of him will we see in future?
2. Plot Reveals:
a. Finally the sub-plot of Malinov siblings that starts with Ivory Malinov in the 20th book Dark Slayer, continues in this plot. Malinov brothers had turned to the dark side joining hands with Xavier triplets. Oldest sibling is Vadim followed by Kirja, Maxim, Ruslan and Sergey. Ivory the only sister had followed to the light, found her lifemate and joined forces with Mikhail Dubrinsky - the Carpathian Prince. Of these brothers, Maxim Malinov is killed by Mikhail, Kirja Malinov is killed by Rafael De La Cruz and Ruslan Malinov is killed by Zacarius De La Cruz. The remaining two corrupted Malinovs are being showcased on and off by Christine in the past plots. I have to re-read the older plots to see exactly in what books did the three Malinov brothers were killed which I will keep for another time when I need to get lost in the world of Carpathians.
b. What is the story behind Genevieve Marten other than being nanny to the human kids on Tariq's compound? I am wondering if she would be a lifemate to one of the ancients. However so far Christine hasn’t show any indication that Genevieve is psychic and could be a lifemate. Will have to wait and see.
c. Sergey Malinov is shown as the real power behind Vadim Malinov and Vadim is unaware of it. In the end Xavier's splinter also goes into Sergey making him more powerful. But what left me wondering was why would Sergey want to keep Vadim alive. Would be a curious read when finally there is a face-off between Sergey / Vadim and the hunters at Tariq's compound.
d. And just as I was lamenting about female Carpathians, I came to a point in the book where Christine pops in a female Carpathian and a mage. How interesting.
i. Elisabeta Trigovise - sister to Traian Trigovise, younger to him by more than 500 years - who had disappeared one day suddenly centuries ago. Clearly she had been kidnapped and kept hidden, locked under a spell inside a cage and tortured by Sergey Malinov. Dragomir and the ancients rescue her from Sergey's capture finally.
ii. Dragomir also recues a female mage - Julija - who is a direct descendent of the mages - Xavier, Xaviero and Xayvion - and also had been held under Sergey's torture for a year at least. But she has her own agenda and leaves Tariq's compound.
iii. Sandu - another ancient from the Monastery in Carpathian mountains - seemed to be interested in Julija. Will she be his lifemate?
iv. It would be interesting to see how Elisabeta turns out and who her lifemate would be. With her abilities and powers she could be an asset to both Carpathians and Vampires alike. I am hoping it is one of the ancients in Tariq's compound.
v. It would be interesting to see the meeting between Elisabeta and Traian after finally she wakes up from her healing sleep. And as far as I remember there were some open endings in Traian's story was well - it was told in the 11th book Dark Descent - which perhaps will get closures too.
3. Grammatical / Geographical / Location / Character / Historical Errors:
a. On Pg 187, it should perhaps be "His voice was commanding…" instead of "His soft was commanding…"