Unleash the Night
In Kenyon’s Dark Hunter novels, there are two kinds of were-animals: the Katagaria, who are animals able to take human form at puberty, and the Arcadians, who are able to take animal form at puberty. An ancient curse has pitted these two sides against each other for centuries. There are a few areas where all factions may come together in peace, where no fighting is allowed. The Peltier Bear Sanctuary is one such place.
Katagarian Wren Tigarian knows he is an outcast. He’s a mix between a snow-leopard and a tiger – neither species will claim him. He is an enigma, and barely speaks to anyone, but can be very, very dangerous. The bears barely tolerate his presence at Sanctuary, and his one friend, Nick, has disappeared. Wren’s parents killed each other in a fit of anger, and Mother Peltier believes Wren is also ready to become a Slayer, killing indiscriminantly. Wren is well aware of his capacity for violence, but not even he knows the real truth behind his parents’ deaths. Wren knows he will probably never have a mate, as the other Katagaria consider him an abomination.
Marguerite D’Aubert Goudeau feels that something is missing from her life. As a New Orleans society child, she spends her time at the university with other society students, who are mostly shallow and well aware of their superiority over others. The only person in her study group who was different was Nick Gautier. Nick was a down to earth person with an irreverent outlook toward life, and he had told Maggie stories about his friend Wren, who worked at Sanctuary. After Nick’s disappearance, Maggie and her “friends” decided to visit Sanctuary to honor Nick.
Wren feels immediately and terrifyingly attracted to Maggie from the moment she walks into Sanctuary with her obnoxious friends. When they cause problems for Wren, Maggie disregards the rules at Sanctuary and follows him into the back to make sure he is okay. Their lives change forever at that point as Wren cannot keep himself from her. Their paths begin to cross in unlikely places. He knows they cannot be together; she knows absolutely nothing about his world or his identity. And Wren has made some dangerous enemies who will stop at nothing to see him hunted down and killed. He is unaware that events have already been set in motion and that Maggie is in danger.
Wren is my favorite kind of hero – tortured, but with a tender heart. He is terrified that he will lose control of his animal and end up hurting or worse, killing, Maggie. He desperately tries to stay away from her, but finds that he can’t. She feels her own life is without purpose. Her father cares for her only because she can further his political career. It was the same for her mother, who died when Maggie was young. Her involvement with the bus boy from a bar will not be allowed to continue. Maggie is the perfect heroine for Wren. Although she enters a world where nothing makes sense and her life is in danger, she handles herself intelligently. Even though she is afraid, her support of Wren never falters.
Wren is much more than he seems, however, and he has more friends than he realizes among the Dark Hunters and Katagaria. With some unexpected help, an unusual solution is found. It was fun to see the characters from past novels come together to help Wren and Maggie. There were also some intriguing new characters, who I’m sure will show up again soon.
I’ve read all the books in this series and enjoyed most of them, but this one stands out as a favorite. Although it probably isn’t necessary to read the others first, doing so will probably make for a more enlightened read. I hope that Wren and Maggie make an appearance in one of this author’s future works because they are definitely a couple I’d like to see more of. Enjoy!