Book Critique - Dark Legacy (The Carpathian Novels # 31)

For reviews of other books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 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 Legacy is the thirty first book in the longest series, Dark Series, by Christine Feehan which was originally published in September of 2017. The primary plot is around Dragomir Kozel - an ancient Carpathian who was in the monastery in the Carpathian Mountains and now resides in Tariq's compound in CA - Emeline Sanchez - powerful psychic human female who was attacked by Vadim Malinov. The plot sets immediately after the events that occur in Dark Carousel.

Carpathians are a powerful and ancient race who are near-immortals living for thousands of years with powers and gifts. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the edge 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". After Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female with psychic abilities, 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 all beings. The series now ventures into other  species - Jaguar Species (with the 10th book Dark Symphony), Dragonseekers (with the 16th book Dark Demon), and Lycans (with the 18th book Dark Possession).

This was the book that made me want to re-read the series because of so many things that Christine had brought up, and as a reader made me curious on them and go back to the beginning. Needless to say, I had already posted my review on this book here but, now that I am re-reading the series, I am compelled to write my review again. 

Emeline Sanchez had been held by the vilest of the creatures, Vadim Malinov, for a brief time when she goes into the tunnels to save children along with Blaze Volkov. And now she, even after being rescued, she locks herself in the little cottage in Tariq Asenguard's compound fearing every second that Vadim might come back for her. And her worst nightmares come true when the compound is attacked.

She doesn't trust anyone around her, the Carpathians, kids, or even her best friend Blaze. But the moment the compound is attacked, she has to put all her trust and faith in one Carpathian, Dragomir Kozel. The only one who can perhaps become her salvation.

Dragomir has been in the monastery in Carpathian Mountains for more than 100 years cutting himself off from everyone as he was close to turning, just like everyone else who resided there. Trixe Joanes (Lifemate to Fane), Gabrielle Sanders (Lifemate to Aleksei) and Teagan Boroi (Lifemate to Andre Boroi) using their powers provide some respite to all the seven ancients and send them in the general direction where their lifemates could possibly be found in this century. Dragomir comes to CA due to that and ends up aiding Tariq in his fight against Vadim and Sergey Malinov. 

Emeline is a strong human psychic female with ability to have prophetic dreams. She had been through hell and back, stayed strong trying to endure it herself so she doesn’t endanger others. Dragomir has survived centuries just on his honor, defending Carpathians and humans by killing vampires. 

Tariq's compound keeps on expanding with all the people he is collecting and helping - psychic humans, male psychics who had fled Vadim's clutches or the Society of Human Vampire Hunters, ancient Carpathians who are coming to his aid. It is almost like Christine is creating a mini stronghold similar to what their Prince Mikhail has in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and around.

We saw that Tariq had sent for a powerful healer to aid them in CA in Dark Carousel. And I wondered if it was Darius or Gary. And it turns out to be Gary Daratrazanoff who is sent. And with that we also see that Tariq's position is elevating and his character developing more than just a hunter.

I remember in the third book Dark Gold, one of the vampires tries to convert Alexandra Savage to his mate by doing blood exchange. Aidan Savage comes at the nick of time saving her and claiming her as his lifemate. After 28 books and 18 years later, Christine brings this concept back again but more advanced.

This also proves how far ahead the Vampires are while the Carpathians still stick to the ancient methods, that a change definitely is needed in their way of lives if they have to best the Vampires. Of course, one look at the protagonist and antagonist, it is so obvious that Carpathians so behind the Vampires.

Christine also weaves two chapters around what lifemates meant, detailing in every way to the readers. One thing bothered me though that Dragomir doesn’t call Gary by his name, but as "Healer". Why is it so I don’t understand. Although I was pleased to see the direction Christine takes for Tariq's character. That was my favorite scene from the book where Tariq realizes his role while all along everyone around him knew it far more ahead of him.

When the ancients in the monastery were introduced in Dark Ghost, Christine had mentioned that they all had tattoo covering their backs, shoulders and arms with their creed in ancient letters. I was expecting her to reveal what it meant in Dark Promises, but she did that in this book though. 

Again the words like "obey", "allow", "gifting as in orgasms", "rewarded", "earned" sneak in Christine's plots which were lesser in the previous three or four books. I wish she just could use other words as these make me feel more of BDSM type-ish. But then there is no give to the Carpathian men, so perhaps these words do suit them. Even though the women object thoroughly and find a way to balance that between them.

The Carpathian Family Chart appears in this book again, updated with the connections for pairs since Dark Blood. The two appendices come back - Appendix I for Carpathian Healing Chants and Appending II for The Carpathian Language. A lot of repeat paraphrasing continues in this book. 

This is the sixth book that Christine Feehan thanks her friend Cheryl Wilson, but this time she has her in the acknowledgements page. Yes, the very same C. L. Wilson of the Weathermages of Mystral series. The other five books that she had done so far were the 18th book Dark Possession, 20th book Dark Slayer, the 23rd book Dark Storm, 25th book Dark Wolf and 26th book Dark Blood.

The scene where Dragomir takes Emeline on a boat ride around the lake in Tariq's compound reminded me of a very old Telugu (Indian language from where I come) song. Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo from the 1957 classic hit movie Mayabazar (= A market of illusions) Sung by Ghantasala and P. Leela, Music composed by Ghantasala and Lyrics penned by Pingali Nagendrarao. More aobut the movie here.

Ivory Manilov's story had me in tears, buckets and buckets. Emeline's story came so close to that. She is such a strong character just like Ivory and has so much strength in her one finger than many have in their whole body. I just wished she hadn't gone through so much trauma. But again, she perhaps wouldn’t be what she is without that. And no wonder Christine related her to Ivory, in a way. 

At the end of Dark Promises, Andre and Teagan Boroi, Fane and Trixie Joanes, and Aleksei and Gabrielle Sanders plan to move to states and be closer to the Triplets, ancients Andre grew up with, aid the hunters there and also help any unattached ancients to ease pain and perhaps find a plausible location of their lifemate. We see at least Andre and Teagan Boroi joining Tariq in this book.

Another powerful paranormal romantic plot woven by Christine Feehan keeping us thoroughly entertained and immersed into the world of Carpathians, Lycans, Mages and Jaguars along-side humans. As always the fight scenes are excellent and love scenes are very erotic and rough, bordering on brutal.

Christine 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. Vadim somehow injects his seed into Emeline making her pregnant. But she changes the sex to a female.

b. Carpathians when communicating broadly they use the common Carpathian path, which is heard by Vampires also (since they were originally Carpathians). I wonder if Christine will ever address this so Carpathians can come up with a better way to communicate broadly without the Vampires knowing about it.

c. Tariq is elevated to the acknowledged leader in United States. Just like Jake Bannaconni from the Leopard Series. More and more Tariq is evolving, more and more I think Christine based both Tariq and Jake on the same model / person.

d. Christine mentions of a possible counselor coming from London to aid the kids and if she doesn’t work one more from South America would come. Would either of them be a main character in the next book?

e. Tariq Asenguard has inserted himself into the world of humans, the latest technology and the weapons being invented every day. He is evolved into the acknowledged leader for Carpathians living in United States. He would answer only to Mikhail Dubrinsky their prince. However every Carpathian in United States would be bound by his orders. Gary Daratrazanoff becomes his second-in-command in USA.

f. Julija - A prisoner in Sergey's underwater lair is a mage and a direct descendent of one of the three High Mage triplets. Sergey tears her throat, Gary repairs it, but she doesn’t speak out loud. She leaves Tariq's compound after being rescued by Dragomir and others to do some important things. But she promises Elisabeta that she would return in three weeks. Expecting to see her in the next book for sure. 

2. Sub-Plots:

a. Wonder why Christine didn’t have their own book or a novella for Barack and Syndil instead of splitting between Dark Challenge and Dark Fire? Why make him wait till after Darius makes his clam on Tempest, before Barack claims Syndil?

b. Ivory Malinov has a pack of wolves that she had converted them to Carpathian - Raja & Ayame, Blaez & Gynger, Farkas & Rikki. Now Dimitri and Skyler also have a pack of their own Carpathian wolves - Frost & Misty, Moonglow, Shadow and Sonnet.

c. The book of spells by Xavier was found in Dark Demon by Natalya and Vikirnoff Von Shreider. However, Christine hasn’t yet put together a plot to destroy it. 

d. I wonder if Christine would have a cross-over between her Leopard People Series and the Jaguar species in this Carpathian Series.

e. In Dark Peril, it is shown that Solange Sangria's royal jaguar blood gives Carpathians ability to walk in sun, albeit with some difficulties. Christine showed the continuity of this in Dark Predator and Dark Storm plots. 

f. In Dark Blood, a few things come to light: Zev Tirunul gets 12 Lycan/Carpathians - Guardians of All - thought to be Sange rau, for his pack which includes Dimitri and Skyler, Fen and Tatijana and Bransilava, his mate; along with his trusted elite Lycans. I am seeing another thread here that Christine perhaps will explore further. That Zev is from a powerful Carpathian lineage, Dark Blood.

g. At the end of Dark Promises, Andre and Teagan Boroi, Fane and Trixie Joanes, and Aleksei and Gabrielle Sanders plan to move to states and be closer to the Triplets, ancients Andre grew up with, aid the hunters there and also help any unattached ancients to ease pain and perhaps find a plausible location of their lifemate. Andre and Teagan are confirmed to have joined in Dark Legacy plot. 

h. In Dark Carousel, more characters are introduced who could have significant importance:

i. Genevieve "Vi" Marten's grandmother, her only living relative, and her boyfriend were killed brutally in France. She comes to CA with Charlotte to exact revenge. She seems to have strong psychic powers too. And she has strong desire to go back to Paris.

ii. Grace Parducci - Charlotte's friend and nanny to Lourdes, with psychic abilities, but decided not to stay in Tariq's compound.

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

a. In Dark Dream, Falcon and Sara Amiras adopts seven sewer children - three girls (Chrissy, Blythe, Emma) and four boys (Travis, Peter, Lucas, Jase) - all with psychic abilities. 

b. Jubal Sanders - sibling to Joie Trigovise, first introduced in Dark Descent, resides in the Carpathian mountains with his sisters and aiding the Carpathians, comes from pure Jaguar blood-line, has feelings for Jasmine Sangria, jaguar female per Dark Storm.

c. Dark Celebration plot reveals that Paul and Ginny have Jaguar blood in them by way of their mother. Although Paul is tied to Nicholas De La Cruz by blood bond since Dark Secret.

d. Jasmine Sangria - sister to Juliette De La Cruz, first introduced in Dark Hunger, jaguar female, pregnant as of Dark Possession. 

e. Four strong psychic kids, siblings, are saved from the clutches of Vladim Malinov in Dark Crime - Danny (15 years old boy), Amelia (14 yr old girl), Liv (10 year old girl converted to Carpathian in Dark Carousel), Bella (3 yr old girl). Lourdes - Charlotte Asenguard's 3 yr old niece - gets added to the lot in Dark Carousel.

4. Perils that the Carpathians face:

a. Master Vampires and their lesser vampires and puppets; master mage Xavier's remaining two splinters, both residing in Sergey Malinov per Dark Legacy; Xavyion, the surviving High Mage Triplets (Xavier killed in Dark Slayer by Razvan and Ivory Dragonseeker, Xaviero killed in Dark Blood by Zev Tirunul, aided by all the Carpathians and Lycans); rescue psychic females from the clutches of the remaining Malinov brothers so they don’t use them for breeding; male human psychics being converted by Vadim and Sergey; ability to show emotions by vampires which was unheard of.

b. 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 and jaguar females. 

c. Malinov Brothers - introduced in Dark Secret; they were sent to Asia by Vladimir Dubrinsky to fight vampires, instead they become the very thing that they were sent to kill - Kirja Manilov killed by Rafael De La Cruz with aid from Vikirnoff Von Shrieder in Dark Secret; Maxim Malinov killed by Mikhail Dubrinsky in Dark Celebration; Ruslan Manilov is the eldest of them and killed by Zacharias De La Cruz in Dark Predator; Sergey Malinov introduced in Dark Slayer; Vadim Malinov introduced in Dark Crime - injured beyond hope in Dark Legacy yet not dead.

d. The Lycan/Vampires - Carpathians who deliberately mixed blood with Lycans and voluntarily converted to Vampires - also known as the Sange rau.

5. Other Carpathians, Lycans and Jaguars who are waiting for their lifemates or partners as of this book and we meet as the series progresses:

a. Tiberiu Bercovitz - an ancient mentioned in Dark Celebration known to be amazing with weapons. 

b. Luiz De La Cruz - introduced as Luiz Silva, a Jaguar converted to Carpathian by Manolito De La Cruz in Dark Possession, inducted into the Carpathian world of Warriors in Dark Blood.

c. Matias, Lojos and Tomas - ancient Carpathians and siblings, triplets, first introduced in Dark Slayer. Living in Tariq's compound since Dark Crime.

d. The other elite Lycans introduced in Dark Lycan and subsequent books - Daciana Declaw (female elite Lycan), Lykaon, Makoce, Damon Declaw.

e. Gary Daratrazanoff - Introduced as Gary Jansen in the 4th book Dark Magic; revealed to have Jaguar blood and related to Colby De La Cruz and her step siblings in Dark Celebration; converted to Carpathian in Dark Blood after suffering a mortal wound aiding the Carpathians; loses all his color and emotions in one night, aging a thousand years with the power of all the ancients who had poured inside him, when Gabrielle is claimed by Alexei and his soul gets split at that moment, in Dark Promises; Trixie, Teagan and Gabrielle help him in pointing him to France for hope of his lifemate potentially being there; comes to CA to aid Tariq in this book; he has odd colored eyes - ice blue rimmed with silver - that may mean something; he claims that his lifemate is just an infant and until she comes of age he would stay in USA and aid Tariq. 18 years since his character had first been mentioned, yet Christine still hasn’t spun a story for him. Christine had mentioned the same in her blog too. Has she already introduced the child? Or is she 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. 

f. Valentin "Val" Zhestokly - ancient Carpathian legend rescued by Maksim and Blaze from clutches of Vladim Manilov in Dark Crime. Liv, the psychic 10 year old girl, saved from Vadim's clutches, is his lifemate per Dark Carousel. He also came from the monastery but left it long back. Val vows to wait for another 8 years before claiming Liv. So one plot definitely gonna come up in near future.

g. Remaining Six of the Seven ancients introduced in Dark Promises plot who resided in the Retreat in the Veil of Mists, all sent to different directions by Trixie, Teagan and Gabrielle's powers in hopes of finding their lifemates - Sandu, Isai, Petru, Benedek, Andor, Ferro - As of Dark Legacy all reach CA and live in Tariq's compound

h. Afanasiv "Siv" Balan - ancient hunter who joins Tariq and Maksim in San Diego, CA. First introduced in Dark Carousel. He was also from the monastery but left it long back.

i. Nicu Dalca - ancient hunter who joins Tariq and Maksim in San Diego, CA. First introduced in Dark Carousel. He was also from the monastery but left it long back.

6. 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, a natural healer. Her story is in Dark Desire.

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; power to sing that could bring peace to all beings. Her story is in Dark Challenge

d. Syndil - lifemate to Barack, 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. She is a powerful healer; makes stained glass patterns and quilts that are specific to one's need and bring healing to them. Her story is in Dark Legend. As of Dark Wolf, she is pregnant again. 

f. Natalya Shonski - lifemate to Vikirnoff Von Shrieder. She is part human, part mage and part Dragonseeker. Has ability to see the past of anything that she touches. Her story is in Dark Demon.

g. Ivory Malinov - Lifemate to Razvan Dragonseeker, sister to the Malinov and De La Cruz brothers, ability to weave counteracting spells to Xavier's. Her story is in Dark Slayer.

h. Lara Calladine - lifemate to Nicolas De La Cruz. She is part human, part Carpathian and part Dragonseeker; and a daughter of Razvan Dragonseeker. Her story is in Dark Curse.

i. Branislava "Bronnie" Dragonseeker (Lifemate to Zev Tirunul, her story is in Dark Blood), and Tatijana Dragonseeker (Lifemate to Fenris Dalka, her story is in Dark Lycan).

j. Skyler Daratrazanoff - lifemate to Dimitri Tirunul; adopted by Gabriel and Francesca Daratrazanoff, is Razvan's biological daughter; part Mage, part Human, part Dragonseeker, part Jaguar, part Lycan (as revealed in Dark Blood); Daughter of the Earth. Her story is in Dark Wolf.

k. Elisabeta Trigovise - Traian's sister and kidnapped by Sergey centuries ago for her power to bring peace to anyone around, especially the unattached males who were closer to turning make them feel as if they had emotions. Rescued by Dragomir and others in Dark Legacy. She is considered a true treasure and great gift to the Carpathian world. 

7. Next Generation Carpathian male and female kids:

a. Tamara - daughter of Gabriel and Francesca Daratrazanoff, born after the Dark Legend.

b. Josef  and Benjamin "Ben" Belandrake - Carpathian male kids, first introduced in Dark Symphony. Nephews to Byron Justicano. In Dark Celebration a budding romance was shown between Josef and Ginny - Colby's step-sister; while in Dark Lycan Skyler mentions that perhaps one or both of Gregori's daughters' may be his lifemate.

c. Jennifer - daughter of Dayan and Corrine Wentworth, born in Dark Melody.

d. Stefan Kane Dubrinsky - Jacques and Shea Dubrinsky's son born in Dark Celebration.

e. Alexandru "Sandu" - Mikhail and Raven Dubrinsky's son, born sometime after Dark Curse.

f. Anastasia Daratrazanoff and Anya Daratrazanoff - twin girls of Gregori and Savannah Daratrazanoff, born in Dark Slayer. As of Dark Lycan, Anya and Anastasia are becoming strong protectors of Alexandru just like Gregori was to Mikhail; Anya more being Alexandru's second-in-command.

g. Andor and <> - Twins (a boy and girl) of Darius and Tempest Daratrazanoff.

h. Isabella Sara Amiras - Falcon and Sara Amiras' daughter, born in Dark Blood. (Sara miscarried the first child she had sometime after Dark Celebration)

i. Emeline Sanchez is pregnant with a girl child, Carisma, who gets converted along with Emeline in this plot. She carries the Malinov genes even after getting converted and has pure Carpathian blood as Emeline was originally made pregnant by Vadim. Ivory Malinov sort of aunt to the child. 

8. Geographical / Character / Grammatical / Historical Errors:

a. Since the Malinovs were first introduced in the 15th book, Dark Secret, Ruslan Manilov was mentioned as the eldest of the Manilovs. And I did think it was fitting that the eldest of the De La Cruzes, Zacharias, kills him in the 22nd book Dark Predator. However, in this book, Christine mentions Vadim as the eldest Malinov and reputed to be highly intelligent. Character mis-representation here.

b. Christine keeps mentioning that Dragomir's eyes are pure gold. However, the male model on the book cover doesn’t have eyes close to her description. I wonder why she didn’t have a model with gold colored eyes instead to stay true to the character.

c. On Pg. 35, Line 17, it should be "Bella" instead of "Lourdes".

d. In Dark Carousel, when Dragomir was introduced, Christine had mentioned his last name as "Kozul". But now in this plot, she made his last name as "Kozel". And her website has it as "Koziel". Wonder which one is the right last name.

e. On Pg. 149, Line 17, it should be "…sent her a perverse…"

f. In Dark Crime, Christine mentioned that one of Xavier's splinter was shared between Sergey and Vadim Malinov. However, in this she corrected it as both the remaining two splinters reside, one each, in Sergey and Vadim Malinov.

g. On Pg. 187, Christine opens the chapter with Emeline and Dragomir on bed initiating making love. But on Pg. 192, she has them on couch. And not once in between the pages, she had shown a shifting from bed to couch. 

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