Dark Heart Rising
“At the end of Dark Heart Forever, Evan turned out to be Raphael, the son of Anna’s teenage love Gabriel. Raphael wanted revenge because he mistakenly believed that Anna had broken Gabriel’s heart and caused his death. Luca, Dayla and Lowe saved Jane and her family from Raphael’s wrath when they...”
“At the end of Dark Heart Forever, Evan turned out to be Raphael, the son of Anna’s teenage love Gabriel. Raphael wanted revenge because he mistakenly believed that Anna had broken Gabriel’s heart and caused his death. Luca, Dayla and Lowe saved Jane and her family from Raphael’s wrath when they were able to prove that guilt ridden Gabriel had in fact broken Anna’s heart when he deserted her. A sombre Evan returned to Nissilum along with Luca and Dayla. In Dark Heart Rising, the second installment of the Dark Heart series, Luca finds himself in a bind when his parents, unhappy with him being with a mortal, betroth him to another werewolf, Lila. Luca is duty bound to obey his parent’s wishes and a heartbroken Jane is forced to contemplate life without him. To take her mind off Luca, Jane joins her grandmother on a trip to Paris where she meets a Hungarian art lover, the mysterious enigmatic Soren Balzac. It’s not long before the two strike up a tentative friendship.
(read full review)
Jane comes to discover that her meeting with Soren was not by chance after all when he reveals that he is from Nissilum and wants to help reunite her with Luca in order to prevent him from marrying Lila whom he happens to love himself. Jane is unsure if she can trust Soren after his initial deception but is swayed by the thought of being with Luca again.
Celeste and Cadmium incarcerated Raphael on his return to Nissilum for his actions in the Dark Heart Forever. He has been released and supposedly cured of the ‘madness’ that had been inflicting him. With Cadmium seriously ill, Celeste has hopes that Raphael will step up and fulfil his duty as ruler of Nissilum. Raphael however still seeks answers to his father’s disappearance and uncovers some startling discoveries that reinforce his beliefs that Nissilum’s rule is not what it seems.
Jane and Soren return to Nissilum. Raphael is surprised when he sees Jane and intrigued by Soren whom he sees as a kindred spirit. Luca however is shocked when he sees Jane with Soren and struggles to keep his emotions in check for the sake of his family. Jane’s only true ally is Luca’s sister Dalya. Jane has further reservations about Soren when she meets his one ally in Nissilum, the vampire Vanya, who Jane almost fell victim to in the previous book. What dark secret is Soren hiding and what are his true reasons for being in Nissilum?
I really enjoyed this sequel and thought it was better than the first book. The plot moved along nicely with lots of suspense and twists that I didn’t see coming unlike the first installment - Soren being the son of Gabriel and Vanya for example. That Gabriel certainly has a lot to answer for although he’s as yet to make an appearance – something that will hopefully be remedied in the next installment?
The development of Jane’s character throughout the book was pleasing. She’s more mature and emotionally stronger in this book. Vanya was a surprising revelation too. I found her quite creepy in the last book but we see a wonderful zealous and loyal side to her in this book. Her ironic dry sense of humour as well as the scene where she dresses Jane up as a vampire made me laugh. Soren was a pleasant addition to the book as well. He had his secrets but he also had genuine reasons for keeping those secrets. In the end his intentions were honourable. Also how cool is the fact that he’s half angel half vampire!
One of the highlights of the book was the chance to explore Raphael’s story and perspective. I found myself understanding his motives and even liking him. I respected him for doing the right thing by Soren when he had every reason to see him as a threat.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how the author will develop further in the next installment Dark Heart Surrender - especially with regards to Raphael and his new personal mission to find his father in the mortal world. It will be interesting to read how Luca copes with the mortal world now that he has decided to join Jane there.