I’m just going to state a fact: Gena Showalter is one of the best Paranormal Romance authors out there. She could write the phone book and I would probably buy a copy in hardcover and paperback because I am sure it would be witty and delightful.
The Darkest Warrior was a controversial novel for fans of The Lords of the Underworld series from the second it was released. Gillian, the heroine of the story, and William, NOT the hero of the story, seemed to be a fated pair throughout the 13 (!?!?) novels leading up to The Darkest Warrior. Ms. Showalter flipped the script by pairing Gillian up with Puck. I, personally, loved the pairing. William and Gillian never made sense as a fated pair in my mind. Gilly was too young and William was too everything.
I should have expected how Ms. Showalter dealt with Gilly’s youth and immaturity, but I didn’t. She always manages to surprise me and that’s one of the reasons I love her so much. Without spoilers, let’s just say it was a freaking delight to see Gilly become the heroine she was meant to be. Her journey included violence, different realms, and losing a few limbs (no worries they grow back), and somehow I completely related to it. Showalter let Gilly stand on her own two feet so she could stand beside Puck as an equal, something she never was to William.
Let me say, I have loved Puck, the keeper of the demon Indifference, since we first met him in The Darkest Touch (still my favorite LOTU novel to date). He was possessive and brutal but also tender and supportive. He saw and respected how strong Gilly was and loved her all the more for it.
While I really enjoyed this novel, I don’t think this book would be the best place to start for a new to the series reader. There were many characters, who all have multiple names, a plethora of realms and even more world building rules. It would most likely be confusing for a new reader of the series. Another slight glitch for me was the complete retelling at the beginning of the book. Readers of the series already knew that Puck and Gilly were bonded because that event happened at the end of The Darkest Promise. The first twenty percent of the book were events that already happened and it really bored me. I understand that Ms. Showalter needed that to make this book standalone, but I was still a little disappointed at the slow start.
Overall, the complete story made up for a slow beginning. The action was spectacular, the romance was sweeping, and the sexy times were SUPER sexy. I have been completely invested in this series for years and I know my obsession won’t wane anytime soon. I loved getting to know some of the secondary characters better and as always, I am dying for the next book.
I highly recommend you start with book one (The Darkest Night) and fall in love with the series from there, but if you want to start with Puck and Gillian, I really can’t blame you. The Darkest Warrior is a wild ride!
**I received a copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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