Born of Ice (The League: Nemesis Rising Series #3)

Born of Ice (The League: Nemesis Rising Series #3)

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Overview

In the Ichidian Universe where The League is law, most live in fear. We fight back. Welcome to a world where corrupt assassination politics dominate everyone. It's kill or be killed. Welcome back to the future…and meet hell's new breed of heroes.

Devyn Kell spent his life in service to the League until he learned of the double dealing and backstabbing that was costing innocent people their lives. Refusing to play those politics, he became a Runner—someone who makes sure planets get the weapons, medicine and supplies they need to survive. May the gods have mercy on any who get in his way, because he definitely won't.

Alix Garran is a woman on the run from a past she can't escape. Signing on to work for Devyn as a System's Engineer, she finds a cause she can fight for—and a man she can respect. But as Alix's past catches up to her, and Devyn's old enemies turn lethal, they have to fight together…or fall alone, in Born of Ice, the third bestselling League novel from Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312942328
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/01/2009
Series: League: Nemesis Rising Series , #3
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 104,592
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sherrilyn Kenyon has placed more than 50 novels on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her current series include The Dark-Hunters, the The Dark-Hunter manga, Deadman’s Cross, The League, the Dream-Hunter novels, and the Chronicles of Nick.

Fred Berman is a five-time winner of the AudioFile Earphone Award for Audiobook Narration and the recipient of the 2013 Audie Award for narration in Spy the Lie. He has narrated the audiobooks for Robert Kirkman's popular series, The Walking Dead.

Read an Excerpt

Born of Ice


By Sherrilyn Kenyon

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2009 Sherrilyn Kenyon
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5998-8


CHAPTER 1

Nine years later


Devyn Kell is the devil himself. He will not take mercy on you, and he will kill you if he finds out who you are and why you're there. Trust me. I've buried every agent we've sent in after him — male, female and everything in between. Since he can spot an operative three seconds after he meets one, maybe a civ can bust his ass wide open.

Do not fail.

Alix Gerran held those words close to her heart as she entered the hangar bay where Kell's ship was docked.

I don't want to do this ...

But she had no choice. It was either find the evidence to bring Kell to justice or watch her mother and sister die. She had three weeks before the Ritadarion Chief Minister of Justice executed them. And every day that passed, her family sat in a prison cell, rotting.

She was their only hope.

You can do this.

She still didn't understand why Merjack didn't just kill the man if he hated him so much. But the CMOD had been adamant that Kell have a public trial and execution. For whatever psycho reason, an assassination contract wasn't good enough for Kell.

Maybe Kell had run over Merjack's dog ...

We've already taken care of his engineer, so he has an opening on his crew tailor-made by us for you. You are to bring him to justice, alive for trial, or so help me, I'll rape your family myself and then throw you to the class-three felons and watch them take turns with you.

Whatever Kell had done to the CMOD had to have been fierce. There was no other reason for a hatred so strong.

"How did I get in the middle of this?"

But then, she already knew. Her father had been a freighter until six months ago, when his first mate had absconded with all of their savings. With no reserve, her family been forced into smuggling.

Unfortunately, her father had seriously stunk at that career, and had been apprehended two weeks ago and executed within twenty-four hours of his conviction. Because she, her mother and her sister were slaves, they'd been bound for the auction block to pay for his trial and execution.

Until Merjack had seen Alix.

Apparently, she bore a striking resemblance to someone in Kell's past he'd cared about, and that alone had kept her from being sold to a brothel.

So here she was ...

I'm so going to die.

Stop it, Alix. You can do this.

She was getting tired of that worn-out litany. The least the voice in her head could do was not sound so despondent when it said it.

You can do it!

Yeah, now she sounded like she was on drugs.

Swallowing her fear, she headed for bay Delta Alpha 17-4, where Kell's ship, the Talia, was docked.

Just don't let him kill me three seconds after meeting me. It would seriously screw up her already messed-up day.

She passed numerous freighters and fighters, the majority of which were outdated and barely legal for flight. Typical, really. Most of the people who visited the Solaras station were outlaws, grifters, prostitutes, fringe dwellers or pilots who needed the extra hazard pay that was offered to anyone dumb enough to fly through the Solaras system. Money for them was every bit as tight as it was for her.

But as she rounded a corner, she froze at the sight of what had to be the prettiest ship she'd ever seen. Her jaw dropped.

What I wouldn't give for something like that ...

It was absolutely stunning, with gentle lines and no sharp angles anywhere on her. Painted a dark vermillion with gold highlights, she dominated the hangar. That ship was definitely a lady who shamed every single spacecraft that was docked here. For that matter, she shamed every ship Alix had ever seen outside of ads and online catalogues.

Letting out a slow, appreciative breath, she forced herself to not even dream about that one and started looking for the Talia.

It's probably a rusted-out tanker or freighter no better maintained than your father's ship was. You're definitely going to have your hands full keeping her in space.

Just let Kell not be as disgusting as my father's crew.

That was the worst part about runners and smugglers. They were a low-hygiene bunch. It was like a badge of honor for them to out-stink each other.

Look on the bright side — at least this way you don't have to sleep with his smelly hide.

True. With this mission, she only had to find or fabricate evidence to convict Kell before he killed her.

Go, me!

Pushing that frightening thought away, she counted off the bays as she passed them. "One ... two ... three ..." She stopped as she came even with the ship that had caught her eye.

No. It couldn't be.

She double-checked the numbers and sure enough, it was.

The Talia.

Whoa ... A rush of excitement went through her until she remembered that she wasn't really here to work. She was here to either frame or apprehend a vicious felon.

A killer.

"Dammit, Vik. How can you not know what's wrong with this thing? Can't you commune with it or something?"

She hesitated at that deep, rumbling voice that sounded like thunder. Lightly accented, it sent a shiver down her spine. Her heart pounding, she peeked around to the back and froze dead in her tracks.

If she'd thought the ship was something, it was nothing compared to the group of men who appeared to be its crew ...

Oh. My. God.

The one who'd spoken had to be a good six foot four in height. Built in perfect proportions, he was lean and ripped. Broad shoulders tapered down to narrow hips and what had to be the finest butt she'd ever seen in her life — she could bounce a credit off that.

Or break a tooth biting it ...

His black hair was cut short, but the front of it fell down into a pair of eyes so dark they blended perfectly into his pupils. Dark brows slashed parallel to sharp cheekbones, and his jaw had a becoming tic in it.

Oooh, that was totally lickable, too.

Power and strength bled from every pore of his body. An image that was perpetuated by the black Armstich suit hugging every dip and curve of his muscles and the holstered blasters that were strapped to his hips.

Yeah, this guy meant business and was ready for trouble.

And the men with him were no different. There was one, a Hyshian by the looks of him, to his right. A few inches shorter, the Hyshian was no less ripped. His black hair fell in long braids to the middle of his back. He seemed to be around the same age as the first man she'd noticed.

Instead of black, he wore dark brown with even more weapons strapped to his body. His long coat was sleeveless, showing his bulging arms. Thick gold bracelets encircled both of his wrists and one thin band wrapped around his left bicep — a mark of marriage in his world.

Yeah, he was every bit as deadly.

The third she suspected was a mecha. A good two inches taller than the one who'd spoken, he had dark blue hair and lighter blue skin. With his skin tone, he looked like a Rugarion, but their lips and eyes were black instead of the darker blue his were. As with the others, he was absolutely gorgeous. Well-muscled and perfectly sculpted.

He also seemed remarkably peeved — something impressive, since it was hard to get emotional programming perfected in an AI.

The mecha glared at the one who'd spoken. "My name is not 'Dammit, Vik' and I find it ironic that you think I can commune with all metal beings when you can barely communicate your point of view to your own parents. And they birthed you. I did not give birth to this ship. Last time I checked, I was male and that would be impossible on a multitude of levels."

The other man laughed. "What do you think, Dev? Can we make a mod on Vik so that he could give birth?"

The mecha scowled at him. "Careful, Sway, I could easily lock you in your room again ... accidentally, of course."

The Hyshian pulled out a blaster and angled it at his head. "I knew it, you metal bastard."

The man he'd called Dev let out an irritated breath before he disarmed the Hyshian. "Are we just going to stand here taking pot shots at each other? Or can we focus our collective ADD on getting us off this shit hole?" Sway glowered at him. "Look, no one wants off this hole worse than I do. I'm open for suggestions, Captain I-Can-Do-it-Myself. Do you have any idea what's sending off a warning?"

Dev gave him a droll stare that sent a chill down her spine. "Yeah, the malfunction system that won't let us launch."

Vik snorted. "I suggested we hire a new engineer, but someone ignored me." He slid his gaze to Dev.

Dev grimaced. "And what was I supposed to do? Shit one out? In case you haven't noticed, there's not a plethora of engineers here."

"Plethora?" Sway mocked. "What kind of girl word is that?"

Dev went for his throat, only to have Vik come between them.

Vik shoved the Hyshian back. "Sway, do not bruise the sacred entity. I don't want to get dismantled because you desecrated the magic seed. Now both of you behave like you're actually grown men."

Alix scowled. It was like watching a group of kids on a playground.

Deadly, scary kids, but ...

You have to get in there and get on his ship.

I don't want to go.

Just do it.

Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to walk forward. Please don't let them shoot me.

"Excuse me, scary people. Your rear stabilizer's down."

Three pairs of eyes turned to her with an intensity that was absolutely terrifying. She had to fight the urge to run.

Instead, she held her ground as she faced them.

* * *

Devyn froze at the sound of the husky female voice that reminded him of a soft, cool caress sliding down his naked spine. Without conscious effort, his mind flashed on an image of what the woman who possessed such a voice must look like. His body roared to life at the prospect of spending some time with her.

Suddenly, the idea of staying on this stifling station for a little longer seemed appealing. A sly smile curved his lips as he turned toward the woman of his dreams.

His smile faded as an electrical shock jolted him and he saw the face of a woman he hadn't seen in years ... The last face he'd ever expected to see again.

It's not her.

She's dead.

You killed her ...

No, this wasn't Clotilde. While they shared very similar features and coloring, Clotilde had been tiny and short. The woman in front of him was almost as tall as Sway and built for battle. Her body was well-honed and strong. Not to mention she looked like a lost puppy — something Clotilde had never been. Even first thing in the morning, she'd always been dressed to perfection. Always in complete and utter control of every situation.

Except for the night you killed her ...

He shoved that thought away before it ignited his temper.

A faded red cap covered the woman's head, shielding her eyes from him. Her pale blonde hair fell over one shoulder in a thick braid hanging to her waist. She wore a baggy brown battlesuit that had seen far better days. Even her boots were scuffed and worn out.

"What did you say?" he asked her.

An intriguing blush spread across her cheeks while she kept her head down as if looking at his feet. She pointed to the rear of his ship. "Your back stabilizer is down. I think that might be what you're looking for."

Devyn was grateful someone knew what was wrong with the damned thing. He moved to check on it.

"Are you Captain Kell?" She followed a step behind him while the rest of his crew exchanged wide-eyed stares.

Worthless bastards ...

Devyn slammed the stabilizer plate back into its original position and locked it down. Suspicious, he turned to face her. He'd learned a long time ago to be extremely cautious of people who came looking for him, no matter how harmless they might first appear.

Especially someone who looked like Clotilde.

"And you are?"

She extended a small hand out to him, her features stern and determined. "Alix Gerran. I heard you were looking for a new engineer, and I'd like to apply for the job."

He took her hand and noted the calluses there as he shook it. She might not appear much older than an adolescent, but her hands told him she was used to hard work.

Normally, he wouldn't consider someone so young for a member of his crew, but right now he'd take on the devil himself so long as he could operate the flight checks and get the Talia back into space. "You got any experience?"

"Well, I was born on a freighter and worked on one since I was old enough to hold a wrench." She shifted the backpack on her shoulder and lifted her head with an arrogance he found admirable for her age. "I know how to run preliminary flight checks, keep logs, and I can fix any engine malfunction with a piece of string and a drop of sealant."

Devyn arched a brow. For some reason, he didn't doubt that last boast in the least.

He leaned against his ship with one hand and narrowed his eyes on her. "My last engineer was killed in battle. I don't run from fights with anyone. Ever. You sign on with me, you have to share that one basic conviction. You got a problem with that?"

She met his gaze unflinchingly, and he noticed the strange dark blue shade of her eyes — very different from the hazel green pair that haunted his nightmares. The fire inside that intrepid gaze said she was a scrapper, too, and wouldn't be scared to face whatever hell was thrown at them.

That was something he could respect.

"I don't have a problem with it."

Devyn pushed himself away from his ship, pulled a cloth out of his back pocket, and wiped the grease from his hands. "How old are you, anyway?" He didn't want to assist a young runaway.

"Twenty-seven," she answered without hesitation.

He raked her slim frame with a scowl. He wouldn't have placed her at any more than sixteen. "You got any ID?"

She reached into her back pocket, pulled out a small wallet, and handed it to him.

Devyn studied the picture and the birth date. He had a good eye for forgeries, and this ID was either the best he'd ever seen or authentic. Deciding on the latter, he handed it back to her. "You're a long way from Praenomia."

She shrugged her thin shoulders. "My birth was registered there, but I've never spent more than a few days on a planet in my life."

"Then you're used to recycled water and air."

"And bad food, boredom, and stuffy noses," she added with a wistful sigh.

"Then why do you want to sign back on to a ship?"

She put her hands in her pockets and looked up at him with probing eyes that struck a long-forgotten chord inside him, a chord he'd hoped was forever severed.

She's not Clotilde ...

Still, that part of him that hated the bitch wanted to lash out at the woman in front of him. Luckily for her, he had enough control to stop it.

"It's home to me, and I have to make a living. I don't know how to do anything else."

That was one reason Devyn understood. Something about the dark tranquility of space seemed to comfort even the most troubled of souls.

Even his own.

He scanned her competent stance. She seemed honest and capable enough. At worst, she had to be better at maintenance than his current crew of incompetents.

Speaking of, he looked at them to see what they thought of her.

Vik gave him an agitated stare. "I would voice an opinion, but since you never care what I think, I won't waste the energy."

He looked at Sway, who shrugged. "Nera's only four days away. We can give her a try, and if she's not as good as she claims, dump her ass off there. If she annoys us before we get there, we can always toss her out an airlock."

Devyn looked back at her to see her horrified gape. "The job's yours if you want it."

But at this point, he wouldn't be surprised if she told him where to stuff it.

A puzzled look crossed her face. "Don't you want some credentials or references?"

He shrugged. "Most people don't have any for this kind of work. You spotted the stabilizer with hardly any effort. Hell, I've wasted almost half an hour looking for it." He looked back at his crew. "And don't get me started on how long Team Worthless over there spent with it. You obviously know something about ships."

Sway made an obscene gesture at him.

Alix smiled, and he became entranced with a dimple in her left cheek.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Copyright © 2009 Sherrilyn Kenyon. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Born of Ice (League Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 343 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Alix Gerran has three weeks to save her mother and sister from execution by the Ritadarion Chief Minister of Justice Merjack. To free them, she must find evidence of treasonous activity by Devyn Kell, the son of the notorious couple Sharara Dagan and C.I. Syn (see Born of Fire). Merjack warns her every agent he has sent to bring Kell in to stand public trial has come home in a body bag. Alix obtains a position as an engineer on the same ship that Kell is a doctor. Once in service to the League as an assassin until he had an epiphany; now a Runner he smuggles supplies to those in need of basic sustenance in order to survive. . If she fails to find proof, Alix is to plant the evidence needed to legally hang Kell. However, she is not only attracted to him; she admires what he and other crew do for the downtrodden. He is falling in love with the new ship employee, but knows she hides something that he fears will make her his Achilles' heel. The third League tale is a fast-paced exhilarating romantic science fiction thriller that showcases the offspring of the heroes of previous tales (see Born of Night). Filled with action and plenty of humor, fans of the saga will enjoy this fine finish as Kell meets his equal in Alix. Readers will enjoy this strong rewriting of the Ichidian Universe even if Merjack a bit over the top of Olympus Mons with his degree of hatred surpassing the hottest sun. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be amazing. The only thing I'd change is the order of this book. It would be better placed at the end of the series.
Anonymous 11 months ago
love+this+series+
Anonymous 11 months ago
Good job!
BrynDahlquis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the first two books of the series, mostly because by this point, the plotline is getting old. The instant love/lust-at-first-sight, the absolutely awful pasts (which I love, but it's getting predictable), the one character who thinks of him or herself as lower than dirt, and the other character who is, luckily, filthy rich.There's also so many characters with complex back stories mentioned in the book, and it's hard to keep track of unless you've memorized all the family trees of all the characters way back from Born Of Night.All this said, I still love it. Nearly impossible to put down.
nursewidener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good end to a pararomance series. The characters are well defined the plot is one you can follow even if you don't read the book for a period of time and then pick it back up, within a few pages you can quickly remember not only the characters in this book but the ones from the previous 2 books. I would read this series again in a couple of years. Recommend it if you enjoy easy enjoyable read.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book three of the League series skips a generation, following the oldest son of C.I. Syn and the tracer Sahara Dagan. For Devyn Kell, a life of privilege didn't translate to spoiled rotten. He and his crew run desperately needed supplies through League-barricades to war-torn planets. When he has an engineer, that is.Alix Garran is desperate - if she doesn't get off-planet on Devyn's ship her mother and sister will be sold. Her families only chance is hiring on, and betraying Devyn Kell - the only problem? He's a man worth trusting... even loving. Trust, love, friendship... not exactly the most original plot, but the characters are likable and the crew members exchanges are a riot.
AngelLocke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Devyn is a man with a bad name and then you find out he's a caring yet lethal hunk. I loved this story. All of Kenyon's Born of series are great. If you haven't read this and are contemplating it... get to it!! It's GREAT. Kenyon is a master story teller and isn't afraid to let it get seriously steamy.
vampiregirl76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Born of Ice tells the story of Devyn Kell former League soldier and civilian Alix Garran. Devyn is always one step ahead of The League. While Alix, is sent to bring him in alive in order to save her family. With the past and their enemies catching up to them, they'll have to stick together if they want to survive.This is the third installment in The League series. On first seeing and hearing Devyn, Alix is mesmerized by him. She is at a total loss for words at his yumminess. Devyn is likewise attracted, but also haunted because Alix reminds him of someone he use to know. Shockingly Devyn isn't the tortured hero compared to the hero's in books one and two. This time it is our heroine that has the horrendous past. And I have to say Alix really deserves to wreak some vengeance.I loved this book, so far Devyn is my favorite League character. There is just something about him that pulls you in. He is dark and mysterious like the rest, but very sweet too. As always another action packed adventure from Ms. Kenyon. She has one of the best imaginations. I love spending time in her worlds. There is never a dull moment.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining story; however, it lacks the dramatic flair of the previous two books of the series. Specifically . . . The chemistry between Devyn and Alix fell flat. I get the instant attraction -- by all accounts Devyn is a nummy treat and who wouldn't want him. But the transition from lust to love is largely absent from the story. In fact, the whole romance element seems to take a backseat to the good vs. bad guys conflict. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless you picked this book up hoping to read a love story. If you did, you didn't get it.Another reason why this book doesn't work so well: Kenyon just doesn't seem as interested in her female protagonists as her male ones. Alix's tortured past lacks the obsessive and excessive angst found in Syn and Nykyrian's stories. If you reflect on Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series a moment, you'll likely find the same is true there, as well. Where Syn and Nykyrian are intense and larger than life, Alix is mechanical and contrived. So . . . if the author has relatively little interest in her characters, why should I pay any more attention?I suppose what I'm really saying is this -- "Born of Ice" reads as a League-Lite book, like a tacked-on conclusion to a trilogy added for contractual purposes rather than a burning need to tell a story. Which is a shame, because any story focused on Devyn -- the product of Syn's parentage and Nykyrian's tutelage -- should have been epic. Instead, we must settle for "entertaining".
windlover26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this one better that the other two and I'm sad to see she hasn't come out with another book.
dragonfairy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sherrilyn Kenyon continues her tale in the Ichidian Universe in Born of Ice. Here we get to follow the story of Devyn Wade Kell, the son of CI Syn and Shahara Dagan. I really enjoyed this novel. Devyn was a great character to adventure with, and you got to see how Nykyrian (now the emperor) and Syn were doing. Kenyon wrote a great story that had its own twists and turns and was very satisfying to read.
wrighton-time on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon takes us to the Ichidian Universe where we meet Alix Garran. Born a slave and used by her fathers men as entertainment she is suddenly thrust into center stage when her father dies and she along with her little sister and mother become slaves of the state. To save her family she is forced into service with her goal to infiltrate the life of Devyn Kell, either find or fabricate proof of miss deeds or her family will be sold and even worse her younger sister raped. Alix has skills as an engineer and is snapped up quickly for use on Devyn's ship. What she finds is that the people she is now working for are not what she is used to. She has value and is respected. She finds herself extremely attracted to the mysterious Devyn, but is conflicted because it is imperative that she save her family. As she ingratiates herself into his life, she meets his friends and confederates and finds in them all a sense of honor. Really not knowing what else to do, knowing that she will be killed if they find out she is a spy, she continues on her task. Devyn comes from a highly respected and feared family. Little does Alix know that while Devyn too is attracted to her he has learned in the hardest way possible that trust is a hard fought condition. When Devyn's father finds out that Alix is a spy all bets are off. Follow along on a journey where all is not what it seems and friendship and love are everything. Sherrilyn's characters sizzle on the page, they are in turns handsome and strong but also deadly and dangerous. The women are as strong and determined as the men and hold their own in a world full of assassins. As with all her League series, the characters are mouthwateringly attractive and extremely dangerous as well. Just the thing to escape into fantasy. Because of the complexities of the interactions of both friend and family this is a great book to read over and over. Each time it is like finding a new friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wish this author could write a single book where the primary character hasn't been raped, doesn't despise the opposite sex and doesn't make every male character interaction look like a couple teenage prep boys pretending to be thugs. If you've read one of SK's books, you've read them all because only the names change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my favorite authors. I have read almost every book she has written and loved them all. This one was no exemption. I loved it. Her writing style is amazing, it kept me eager to continue. I just bought "Son of no one" and I cant wait to read it.
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Great read!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read :)
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thirsty_for_more More than 1 year ago
Sherrilyn Kenyon has once again done herself proud. I have yet to read one of her books that I could actually put down without reluctance. Unknowingly Kenyon has helped me lose 40 pounds by reading her "PAGE TURNERS" while on the treadmill. I got hooked on her books and have read everyone I can get my hands on. Born of Ice dared to not disappoint. I have yet to read one of her books that I'm not craving more for the characters she introduces and then sure enough she puts a book out expanding on the lives of the next excitinng characters. I await her next piece of work with impatience. A must read for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NeatoNetto More than 1 year ago
Once again Sherrilyn Kenyon takes you from the first page to the very last, left me wishing that it really wasn't the last page. All of her books make me so I can hardly wait to read the next page, wanting to hurry to the end. When I am finished with each book I always hope the next one will be as good, Kenyon never disappoints me each book is as good if not better than the last. My pocket suffers with every new Kenyon Series because I find myself having to get the first one and each one that follows, it is great entertainment worth every single penny!