Book Critique - Dark Destiny (The Carpathian Novels #13)

For reviews of other books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: If you like paranormal plots with hint of romance, eroticism and the other world abilities involving immortals and vampires along-side humans with super-abilities, then this is a series to go for.

Dark Destiny is the thirteenth book in the longest series, Dark Series, by Christine Feehan which was published in July of 2004. The story is set in Seattle, WA and revolves around 

Nicolae Von Shrieder - an ancient with immense powers - and Destiny - a powerful psychic who has bad blood in her attracting the wrong kind of beings. Among being on several of the best seller lists, this book was honored to be the Finalist for the 2004 PEARL Award for Best Shapeshifter.

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. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the age of extinction as fewer and fewer children are being borne and far lesser of females. Without their female counterpart aka "lifemates" the male Carpathians lose the ability to feel emotions leaving the males with hard choice: either become vampire or "greet the dawn". Now that Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female with psychic abilities and is capable of converting, there is hope for all the other Carpathian males who have been holding off from turning into vampires – the very creature that they hunt and kill to save the humans and Carpathians alike. The series now ventures into another species - Jaguar Species - with the 10th book Dark Symphony.

In her 31st book, Dark Legacy released in September of 2017, Christine had introduced a new Carpathian female, Elisabeta Trigovise - an ancient and sister to Traian Trigovise and thought lost to them. Not sure why Christine brings back her characters and how she ties them together with the various plots, but the mention of Traian Trigovise made me want to re-read the series again since quite a few facts she had brought back in Dark Legacy were lost on me.

After being brutally tortured as a child, Destiny has been living with nightmares that flow literally in her blood. She had no peace and her only saving grace was a golden voice that guided her through her nightmares, taught her how to protect and fight, and giving her the motive to move forward in her life. Yet, when he calls her to him, she doesn’t go. And now this golden voice, Nicolae Von Shrieder, comes to her aid physically when she needed him again. She has to find the courage in herself to embrace his darkness for she is his light, even though she thinks herself as dark. Will she embrace and become his destiny for real?

Nicolae is an ancient who was sent out centuries ago by Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky's father to fight the vampires that haunt the earth. He has been searching for his light for so long, little did he realize that the little girl who had reached out to him years ago in pain would be his light. He needs a healer, but his healer is tainted. How will they bind and survive the darkness in both of them and yet finally reach the light?

The story is set right after the twelfth book, Dark Melody, and we meet Gregori Daratrazanoff and his lifemate Savannah Dubrinsky again in this book. 

One of the key concept that Christine covers in this book is about battered women and shelter for such women. MaryAnn Delaney was a counsellor and also a ran an institution through which she helped battered and abused women. A social evil that sadly is increasing as every year passes, but was glad to see it brought to light with this story.

Christine also opens up Destiny's mind to evils caused by humans as well, not just Vampires - something she couldn’t fathom that humans would do. In that process Christine brings to light another evil - sexual abuse on women by trusted professionals such as doctors, lawyers and priests. 

One question always came to my mind while reading this series, what about all those women who were destined to be lifemates to all those Carpathians who turned to become Vampires without waiting for those women to be born, what was their fate. And finally in this book, Christine shows us that side of the life as well.

A few tidbits: Again this book starts including the card inserts that give reader and opportunity to either join a book club and win books, or buy a book and get a few free. There is an advertisement for dorchester publishing at the end of the book enticing readers to join their club and buy books. Although we know now that in 2012 this publishing was acquired by Amazon Publishing and it shut down as dorcehsterpub.

As always Christine leaves a lot of inconsequential details all through the plot. It will be very interesting to see where and when these all surface again. Another powerful erotic plot woven by Christine Feehan keeping us thoroughly entertained and immersed into the world of Carpathians. As always the fight scenes are excellent and love scenes are very romantic, not yet erotic. Christine has certainly left the readers with so many minute details that they would be craving to read those details becoming important in future plots. Watch this space for more reviews of the next books in the series.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot reveals:

a. Destiny befriends two old ladies - Velda Hantz and her sister Inez Hantz. Velda is a strong psychic and a lifemate to Pater - the Carpathian who converted to Vampire too soon. 

b. Destiny has a talent to identify a vampire no matter how well he disguised just by the stench of his blood. 

2. Sub-Plots:

a. Would love to ask Christine Feehan as to why she didn’t have Barack claim Syndil early on, why make him wait till after Darius makes his clam on Tempest in the sixth book Dark Fire? Also why not a separate book or a novella for Barack and Syndil instead of spreading their story within two books - fifth book Dark Challenge and sixth book Dark Fire?

b. Christine reveals the possibility of more Carpathians being settled in South America in Dark Challenge. 

c. In Dark Symphony, Christine introduces some more facts of Carpathians - the Dragonseeker clan of Carpathians, Wizards and Mages who were one time close with Carpathians but now arch enemies.

d. In Dark Descent, we see quite a few sub-plots: Small details floating around, but I am sure Christine will be collecting them in a bigger plot later. 

i. Gabrielle Sanders and Jubal Sanders are introduced - siblings to Joie Sanders.  

ii. The Sanders siblings and Traian find a huge dragon encased in ice. We met Dominic Dragonseeker; saw Byron and Josef shape-shifting to dragons and mention of mages in Dark Symphony. 

iii. We meet Shadow Warriors - Ghosts of the wizards, lost long ago.

iv. While being tortured, one of the master vampire takes Traian's blood giving the vampire ability to control Traian - although Traian beats him at that control. However, not knowing who that vampire was and where he was, Traian decides to be away from his people. However, I don’t remember this tidbit being explored by Christine in any of the future books. Perhaps that is why she brought Elisabeta Trigovise in the 31st book, Dark Legacy's plot. Or I might have to read the additional 100 pages that Christine included in a later version to know the truth.

e. In Dark Melody, Julian and Savannah but muse that Gregori and Savannah should be blessed with twin girls who would run amok much to Gregori's suffering.

3. Unique / Repeat Characters who are not Carpathians but with the possibility of them being expanded by Christine Feehan in future books:

a. Gary Jansen first time introduced in Dark Magic, doesn’t have a story of him yet - 18 years since his character had first been mentioned. Recently Christine announced in her blog on Goodreads that Gary's story has to wait as his lifemate is a child now. I wonder who that child was and if she had already introduced that child in any of the recent books. And if she is basing her on one of her granddaughters' - just like Skyler - and she would wait till the grand daughter would grow in real life before penning a story between her and Gary.

b. In Dark Dream, Sara Marten adopts seven sewer children - three girls and four boys - all with psychic abilities. 

c. Skyler Rose Thompson is first introduced in Dark Legend, as a 14 year old girl who is battered and injured in every way. Above all she is a psychic. We are going to see more of her, but Christine has left enough clues to readers to guess who her lifemate would be.  

d. In Dark Legend, Francesca muses if her child would be one of those rare females since she had perfected the art of living like a human and walking in the sun. Wonder what would the fate of this child would be in Christine's hands.

e. Barry Woods, a reporter in the Dark Legend plot is not meted with justice or purged of the vampire's influence or any more exploration of his mind to understand about the Society of Vampire Hunters by Christine. Perhaps a future character?

f. Corrine Wentworth (lifemate to Dayan) gives birth to a female psychic child - Jennifer - in Dark Melody.

g. MaryAnn Delany is introduced in Dark Destiny, a female with strong psychic powers and also one who works with the battered women and children. She perhaps will be a lifemate to another Carpatian soon.

4. Perils that the Carpathians face:

a. Few children who have born are Males, most not surviving the first year of their life, females are rarely born. Shea Dubrinsky along with Gregori Daratrazanoff are working hard on how to better the food for their children so they survive. She is more interested to study Darius and Antonietta Scarletti's family in the hopes of finding a cure to their species.

b. With Dark Symphony, Christine introduces a new concept while converting a psychic female with Jaguar blood - Antoninetta Scarletti's blind eyes seem to be giving sight back to her. 

c. Vampires are congregating; attacking in coordinated methods; doing a hypnotic dance in hopes to transfix the Carpathian hunters; ability to create a holding spell; able to inject a fast acting poison impacting the nervous system; can cause Carpathians to sever the mental path the Carpathians share; casting a silvery net to capture the hunter in their molecular form; two master vampires running the show together; use animals such as rats, birds and insects to pry on others; a multigenerational poison that could attack the healers.

d. Society of Human Vampire Hunters who constantly hunt the Carpathians mistaking them to be Vampires. The Morrison Center for Psychic Research is targeting psychic humans documenting about them to kill them in the end. 

e. The antagonist Vampire was after Sara Marten in Dark Dream, as he needed her help to track the tomb of the master wizard and book of knowledge that will give access to untold power. 

5. Lifemate pairs introduced as the series progresses: Will Christine have a plot for these pairs sometime in future? 

a. Eric and Celeste – Celeste is pregnant with child in Dark Prince, but no mention of who they would be in the later books so far.

b. Vlad and Eleanor Belandrake - Eleanor is pregnant in the first book Dark Prince. However in Dark Symphony we see that she has given birth to Benjamin "Benj" and also adopts Josef - son of another Carpathian pair who are lying in ground now, Lucia and Rodaniver.

c. Tienn and Diedre - Diedre is sister of Vlad.

d. Vladimer Dubrinsky and Sarantha - Mikhail and Jacques Dubrinsky's parents - They are shown as dead in Dark Guardian plot.

6. Other Carpathians who are waiting for their lifemates as of this book and we meet as the series progresses are:

a. Dimitri Tirunul – another ancient Carpathian mentioned briefly for the first time in Dark Desire plot. First introduced almost 15 years ago, we as readers already know that his story would not be until the 25th book in the series. He is a renowned scientist; works for preservation of wolves and guards them in the reservations of Russia; and has a wolf foundation.

b. Dominic Dragonseeker - Introduced in Dark Symphony, with added little details about wizards / mages and a war between them and the Carpathians. He is looking for his sister - Rhiannon Dragonseeker - a powerful mage although just an apprentice, thought to be lost.

c. Josef  and Benjamin "Ben" - First introduced in Dark Symphony.

d. Vikirnoff Von Shrieder - brother to Nicolae Von Shrieder is introduced in Dark Destiny. He is tasked to find a woman who is being targeted by The Morrison Center for Psychic Research -  a woman has a talent to find the past of any object she touches. 

7. Being so many few Carpathian females born, a few females that Christine still manages sneak in her plots are:

a. Shea O’Halloran – lifemate to Jacques Dubrinsky, first female born after more than 500 years and a natural healer. Her story is in Dark Desire and is pregnant as of Dark Melody plot.

b. Savannah Dubrinsky - daughter of Prince Mikhail and Raven Dubrinsky; lifemate to Gregori Daratrazanoff. Her story is in Dark Magic

c. Desari Daratrazanoff - lifemate to Julian Savage, sister to Gregori and Darius; has the power to sing that could bring peace between humans, animals, birds and Carpathians alike. Her story is in Dark Challenge

d. Syndil - lifemate to Barack, both part of the troupe Dark Troubadours, with tremendous healing powers and has an affinity to earth. Her story is spread in two books - Dark Challenge and Dark Fire

e. Francesca Del Ponce - lifemate to Gabriel Daratrazanoff. Her story is told in Dark Legend. She is a powerful healer; has ability to bring peace to anyone who is in her vicinity or by touch; makes stained glass patterns that are specific to a one's need and bring healing to them.

f. Tamara - daughter of Gabriel Daratrazanoff and Francesca Del Pounce, born a few months before the Dark Guardian plot.

8. Geographical / Character / Grammatical / Historical Errors:

a. On Pg. 71, second line from bottom, it should be "….shouldn't be out by…"


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