Book Review: Darkness Raging by Yasmine Galenorn

May 18, 2018 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Darkness Raging by Yasmine Galenorn

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Darkness Raging by Yasmine Galenorn
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley on February 2, 2016
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Autumn Whispers , Night Vision, "Flight From Hell", Flight From Death, Souljacker, Legend of the Jade Dragon, Fury Rising

Eighteenth in the Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy series and revolving around three women who are half-fae, half-human battling a war against demons in Seattle.

My Take

I suspect Galenorn is finally going to wind up the Sisters of the Moon, although I also suspect that they’ll end up having their own spin-offs. Then again, Galenorn has been focusing on a different sister in each story…maybe she’ll continue with that. Okay, so I’m yammering on. I suppose it’s more likely that the Shadow Wing issue is the one that’s about to be resolved, and the girls will continue on. Lord knows there’s enough promise in their future for lots of action, lol.

It’s your same-ol’, same-ol’ good guys against bad guys, except they’re all supernaturals. Those “scary” beings that humans are afraid of, the ones who have been saving Earthside’s bacon for years. It’s a nice dig that points to an underlying subtheme that has run throughout the series about bigotry and tolerance. There is a lovely comment from Mennolly about society not making the man. For all the stereotyping of a race, it comes down to the individual. Something we should all keep in mind. Another nasty angle on this bigoted issue is Nerissa’s family disowning her for following her love. I mean, WTF??

As Galenorn is using a first person protagonist point-of-view from Mennolly’s perspective, everything we hear and experience comes from her, as our core cast continues their quest to recover those plot coupons, the spirit seals so highly contested between good and evil. A power that could tip the balance between life continuing or…

There were a few interesting side bits: Mennolly’s comment that there had been “a power in submission that I had never understood”; Nerissa’s bloodthirsty negotiating skills (!) — that new “arrangement” with Roman ought’a make the future very interesting; some back history on Vanzir’s lousy start in life (poor guy); and, Vanzir’s big news and fears for his future.

It’s a pip with tons of action — and some unexpected ceremony that will change everything!

The Story

It’s been a series of clashes Earthside between the forces of good led by the D’Artigo sisters and the battles fought in Otherworld by the Fae against an ancient necromancer. Battles that have left many of the Elfin dead.

Now the Demon Lord Shadow Wing is creating his own sinister version of the Keraastar Knights — the guardians of the spirit seals — to destroy the portals and free himself from the Sub Realms.

Then, on the eve of war, Mennolly’s wife, Nerissa, is captured. The enemy demands the surrender of the rest of the spirit seals, or they are going to kill her. Mennolly will do anything to save her. Even if it means leading an army of vampires into the very depths of the Subterranean Realms…

The Characters

Mennolly D’Artigo is one of three sisters, half-fae and half-human — a jian-tu by trade and birth. She was turned into a vampire and is now the official consort to Roman. Mennolly also owns a fae bar, the Wayfarer, where Derrick, a werebadger, is the bartender in charge. Digger is another bartender, and a vampire. Tavah and Johann help guard the portal in the bar’s basement; Pieder, the bouncer, guards it during the day. She’s married to Nerissa Shale, a werepuma who works as a counselor at FH-CSI.

Camille is the oldest sister, a Moon Witch and Priestess using death magic who is married to Morio, a youkai-kitsune who wields death magic; Smoky, a half-white, half-silver dragon prince; and, Trillian, a Svartan Fae. Camille must fulfill the role of the Fae Queen of Dusk and Twilight. Derisa is the High Priestess and emissary of the Moon Mother.

Delilah, a.k.a., Kitten, is the youngest and a werecat with two sides: housecat and puma. She’s engaged to Shade, a half-dragon who has lost his Stradolan powers. She carries a sentient dagger, Lysanthra. She is sworn to the Autumn Lord and can see and interact with ghosts. Maria D’Artigo had been their full-human mother who fell in love with Sephreh ob Tanu at the end of World War II.

The rest of the D’Artigo household includes…
Iris, a Talon-haltija (Finnish house sprite) and an Earthside High Priestess who does the housekeeping for the girls, who is married to Bruce O’Shea, a leprechaun, and they have twins. The Duchess is Bruce’s intimidating mother. Rozurial became an incubus and has been a bounty hunter. Vanzir is a demon with soul-sucking tentacles who is going to have a child. Maggie is a toddler calico woodland gargoyle.

Darynal is a Svartan mercenary and tracker and Trilian’s blood-oath brother whom everyone had thought was dead. Taath had been Darynal’s partner on their mission.

The Seattle Vampire Nexus is…
…Vampire Central and had been Sassy Branson’s mansion. Roman is the son of Blood Wyne, Queen of the Vampire Nation. Of his family, one brother, Caleb, has broken with his mother, and is no longer regent in western Europe; the twins were staked; Viktor and Encee know they are not fit to rule; Anastasia prefers to be behind the throne; and, Paulette is the youngest with the most issues.

Mennolly’s “daughter”, Erin, is based here and works for Roman. Wade Stevens is a former beau of Mennolly’s; he and his mother, Belinda, were turned. Vampires Anonymous is Wade’s baby. Arleth Mendez is the contact person to whom attacks are reported. Trent is Roman’s chief guard. Eletha is a young vampire and part of Roman’s staff. Kesana is the Great Mother of the Vampire Nation. Ron, Jacob, Sandra, and the twins Tico and Jorge are vampires Roman sends with Mennolly on their covert mission.

Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigation (FH-CSI) is…
…part of the Seattle Police Department and works closely with the D’Artigo sisters. It’s headed up by Chase Johnson, a human cop transformed by the Nectar of Life, who has a daughter, Astrid, with Sharah, an Otherworld fae queen. Yugi, a Swedish empath, is Chase’s second-in-command. Mallen is an elf and the chief resident in charge of the medical wing.

John is an investigator with Scotland Yard and a friend of Chase’s. Jason Binds is a mechanic/martial arts instructor. Wilbur, a former Special Forces operator, is now a one-legged necromancer and sorcerer who has helped the girls in the past. Martin is the dead brother whom Wilbur brought back as a ghoul. Down the Aisle is a bridal boutique with Hilde in charge of the other sales associates, Karen and Linda. Neely Reed is one of the founders of the All Worlds United in Peace organization and is in charges of strategy and policy. Amanda is the president. Carlos Rodrigues is the PR frontman.

The Supe Community Council is…
…the were-animal organization. Frank Willows, a farmer and werewolf, is head of the Supe Militia and part of the Council. Jonas Rigbee is the current alpha of the Blue Road Tribe werebears. Marion Vespa is the coyote-shifter owner of the Supe-Urban Café. Venus the Moon Child is the shaman of Nerissa’s Puma Pride. Lana is Nerissa’s mother who told her to never return. Great-aunt Lucy is the human who left Nerissa her money.

Talamh Lonroch Oll are…
…the fae lands in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range, and they are recognized as a sovereign nation by the U.S. government. Aeval, the Queen of Shadow and Night, and Titania, the Queen of Light and Morning, are based Earthside. Merlin and Áine, a green-and-blue dragon who is priestess, consort, and partner — and foster-daughter to Aeval, are going to England.

Grandmother Coyote, a.k.a., a Hag of Fate, lives some five miles from the girls and has a portal to Otherworld. Tanne Baum is a Woodland Fae (part of the Hunters Glen clan who hunt demons) from the Black Forest. Trytian is a daemon whose father is leading a covert army against Shadow Wing. Lokial is one of his. Ivanka, the Maiden of Karask, is a deadly and freaky Elder Fae.

Carter is part-demon and part-Titan (his father was Hyperion). Carter is also head of the Demonica Vacana Society and works as a records keeper noting how Demonkin interacts with humans. Shimmer is a dragon Carter had dated (“Flight From Hell“, 0.5 (15.5)). Liu-An is Carter’s newest assistant, a Fae from Otherworld. Roxy and Lara are his cats.

Otherworld is…

…the home of the Fae and other supernaturals. The Ionyc Seas are an energy current through which the dragons and others can pass from one place to another.

Kelvashan is…
…where the city of Elqaneve is/had been located and where Sharah became queen. Trenyth is her advisor and most of the Elfin race is dead, including Asteria, the previous queen. Quith is the strongest techno-mage to survive.

Ceredream is a city in the east with a LOT of portals to Earthside, which is under siege by Telazhar. Queen Tanaquar rules Y’Elestrial, the girls’ homeland. Leethe had been their childhood cook. Aunt Rythwar is a paternal aunt. I think Aladril is a king, as is King Gwyfn of Nebelvuouri. Svartalfheim is the capital of the Svartan. Gylden is a Goldusnan city which got help from the Tygerian monks.

Dragonkin are…
…Smoky’s kin and live in the Dragon Reaches. Vishana is Smoky’s mother; his father, Hyto, was killed. Thank goodness. Vapor is a shadow dragon. The Builders are workers.

Haseofon is…
…the temple where the Death Maidens live and serve the Autumn Lord, an Elemental Lord and one of the Harvestmen. He’s claimed Delilah as his only living Death Maiden; she is destined to bear the Autumn Lord’s child. Delilah has a twin, Arial who died at birth, who manifests as a wereleopard and lives here.

Pentangle is an Elemental Lady.

The Keraastar Knights are bound to the spirit seals and are to be magical warriors to fight against the demon hordes with a fae queen, who will wear the Keraastar Diamond, and lead them, per the Maharata-Verdi, an ancient scroll.

Undutar is the Finnish goddess of mist, ice, and fog whom Iris worships, and now the Temple of Undutar is wanting Iris’ children. One of them, anyway.

The Subterranean-Realms are…

…demon territory. A world of worlds within worlds where Salamanders, efreet, Soul Eaters, and other horrifying creatures live. Shadow Wing, a.k.a., the Unraveller, is a Demon Lord of the Sub-Realms, a Soul Eater, who intends to take over Earthside, brutally. He’s setting up his version of the Keraastar Knights, the Saraktanas, using demons. Telazhar is Shadow Wing’s ancient right-hand necromancer. Xilan Ki is a lava-type river.

Tregarts are human-like demons who pair with bloatworgles, demons who breathe fire. Wuccan, is a Lychkonneg, a skeletal king and energy vampire whose touch could freeze flesh. This Degath Squad consists of three very powerful demons — a Naedaran (a one-legged maneater), a Shelakig (an 8-foot by 4-foot scorpion), and a Varcont (a Greater Vampire whose power even exceeds Blood Wyne’s) — aiming to assassinate the D’Artigos.

There are various hate groups, including…
The Fellowship of the Earthborn Brethren advocates violence against anyone other than humans. The Freedom’s Angels, a militant activist group, are their front men. Washington state’s Governor Sarkness keeps his hate covered somewhat.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a deep reddish brown, the color of dried blood, bwa-ha-ha. Well, hey, it is Mennolly’s story, and she’s off to the left in a blood red, shiny leather jacket, her very long blonde hair in cornrows that end loosely down around her waist and her black leather pants. While her body is tilted away from us, Mennolly is looking straight at us, assurance in her face and a battle axe propped over her shoulder. In the background, we’re in Otherworld, dragon silhouettes flying over stone ruins and away from the clouded-over full moon. The author’s name is at the top in a purplish gray with the title in the same color at the bottom with the series information in white below that. Between author and title are several info blurbs in white.

The title focuses on the Darkness Raging against the Fae, the supes, and the humans.

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