Review: The Darkyn Series (Pt. II) by Lynn Viehl

This is part two of my overall Darkyn series review, you can read part one here LINK. But to recap, I’m combining these reviews so I’m not reviewing books I read in early August clear through September, and because I read the books quickly, having read and enjoyed them originally quite some time ago. There may/will be minor spoilers, which are unavoidable, but for the most part, I will avoid discussing plot points specifically.

The review will be brief, it will be honest, and it will focus on both the individual books, and the ongoing plot/character development that they bring to the series. The books contain content that could be problematic if you are sensitive to topics like racism, homophobia, transphobia, violence, torture, sexual assault, or child abuse. Despite the heavy issues included in these books, they are basically paranormal romance, so if you don’t like that, these books also might not be for you. Disclaimers aside, let’s talk the last two books of the series*.

Twilight Fall’s cover is nothing incredible, but I hate the cover of Stay the Night. It’s creepy, the soft focus makes it seem like a weird photo shoot, and I don’t like it. I would have preferred the weird contacts to this

I didn’t expect my review of Evermore to become a standalone review, and I didn’t expect to go so long before posting this, so I apologise for that. Renovations and moving got on top of me, and I haven’t been feeling well for those and a couple of other reasons, some of them purely physical (moving heavy furniture isn’t great when your back is already an issue).

So! Without further ado, this is what I thought of Twilight Fall and Stay the Night.

Twilight Fall was a good addition to the series, in that it revisited the character of Jaus from book two and gave him a happily ever after. I liked Liling’s character, but it definitely felt like both she and another character (I’m leaving him vague because his identity is a pretty big plot point) play into Asian stereotypes in a way I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for caring women with traditionally feminine traits, but having an explicitly submissive character be Asian seems more like racism than a character trait.

I liked the plot of the novel, it both progressed the series storyline (and set up the spin-off Kyndred series) and was a unique entry in the Darkyn series. I liked that both Jaus and Ling’s backgrounds were important here, and I loved the way the ending subverted my expectations; especially where things leave off with John. His fall from grace over the course of the series adds a lot to the books, and I think the reveal at the end of Twilight Fall helps things seem a lot more logically consistent. All in all, a great entry for the series and stand-alone book.

Stay the Night was also pretty unique, and I’d forgotten some elements of the twist at the end, and found myself genuinely surprised again by how things turned out. I’m not the biggest fan of Robin as a character or his chemistry with Christina, but I do think the book is still an enjoyable read. I like the way Alexandra has fully come into her own in the society she entered in book one, and I think Stay the Night has several great full-circle moments for a number of characters.

While the main plot of Stay the Night is a little convoluted at times, and I think it would have been more impactful had the apocalyptic threat been alluded to earlier, I liked the way everything wrapped up at the end. Stay the Night is a solid end to a good series that makes for an enjoyable, easy read. I think fans of Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series; Shelly Laurenston’s Pride novels or Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series will find plenty to enjoy in the Darkyn series.

*There are spin-off series. I have read them, but I didn’t re-read them. If you’re interested in looking them up, though, they are the Kyndred and Lords of the Darkyn series.


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