Born of Shadows
The League, book five
First generation, book three
ebook, 432 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
For Caillen Dagan, a defiant soldier of fortune, survival isn't a right, it's a brutal daily battle. Moving through the Ichidaian universe like a wraith, his brushes with the law and death are legendary. But when an act of rare heroism reveals his hidden birthright, he's forced into a world much more dangerous and cold-hearted than the bloody streets where he was raised-one of obscene wealth and lethal politics.
Ferocious and determined, Desideria serves as an official bodyguard for her queen. Born of questionable genetics, she will do anything to prove herself worthy of the weapons she carries and the position she's won by combat. But when she uncovers a ruthless plot to assassinate the queen and overthrow her country's government, Desideria is caught in the crosshairs.
With assassination contracts out on both of them, Caillen and Desideria must learn to fight together or die alone. And if they fail, their governments will fall into the hands of an unimaginable evil.
I was hesitant in reading this book because Caillen, who was but a distant secondary character up till now, managed to royally piss me off in Born of Fire. And well, there's nothing like the revelation that his birth name is Kaden (also my son's name) Radek de Orczy that can put a man firmly on the road to redemption. I'm such a sucker.
Caillen Dagan is Shahara's youngest sibling, adopted when he was just a toddler. And he knows nothing about it. Having allowed himself to be taken into custody so that his sister, Kasen, could escape her pursuers, Callen ends up on death row and after a time, moments away from a beheading. He is saved, miraculously, by a man claiming to be his real father. A man who is also an emperor. And, too, a good man. Caillen accepts his new role in the world with reluctance. He hates everything around him. All but the man who calls him son. And for him, he does try to cope, with Darling Cruel and friend, Maris, helping along the way.
The youngest daughter of the Qillaq queen, Desideria has only just earned her place among her mother's guard, and quickly uncovers a plot for both their deaths. When she tries to take action, it's Caillen who stumbles upon a fight for her own life and the two end up in an escape pod. Totally unintentional.
Desideria was an amazing compliment to Caillen, and truly his saving grace. She brought out the best of that notorious manwhore and made him, surprisingly, loveable. As their escape pod becomes a target of its own, they're forced to crash onto the closest planet, home to Andarions. Most of the time spent there is in hiding where, basically, it's a time out to talk. Syn and Shahara did the same and it's quite an effective strategy. Enjoyable and, in the case of Caillen's rant on his ex, all the more entertaining.
Luckily enough, it's the Hauk brothers, Dancer and Fain, that come to Caillen and Desidara's rescue. As well as Syn, Shahara, and Caillen's other two sisters. Great scene, btw. The twist at the end, or revelation that it was, was a big Yay! for me. It's not something I expected, but Caillen's story ended up a great one. A 5 out of 5 stars.
Previously in FIRST GENERATION of the series: