Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl

Stay the Night is a poignant romance about the sacrifices people make for true love. Wait, Stay the Night is an action thriller with lives on the line and no confidence of success. Oh, no, Stay the Night is a tale of betrayal, of a revenge served cold...

Stay the Night really is another of Lynn Viehl's wonderful blends where it is everything I've listed above and more, adding in shifting politics, political machinations, and a little medical science among other aspects. This novel is a fitting end (or waypoint) in the Darkyn tales. It is as strong as the strongest of them, leaves some gateways open but nothing gaping so far that I was dissatisfied, and pulls together the main concerns of the series so that it feels like the right things have reached their conclusions. One of those conclusions is a real emotional kicker, and something I didn't imagine Viehl would manage in such a short time, but she does. I can't say anything more than that without serious spoilage, but I wanted to note that I was impressed.

The main story in this novel belongs to Robin of Locksley, that green tunic'd archer who has been a lifelong love of mine. I openly admit to having a soft spot for Robin, whether as presented by Errol Flynn, in the Disney cartoon, or in various books and comic books. Viehl's incarnation is only the latest in a long line of Robins for me. I have even classified the men in my life as Sherwoodian...or not.

I came away from Evermore just a smidge disappointed in his role, mainly because he didn't get a fair shot. There was a chance at him finding peace and happiness, only to discover that had never been in his cards (yes, a slight spoiler, but if you haven't read Evermore, do. You will never guess why I said that until you read the novel). This time, it's his story that has the center stage, and he deserves everything he gets...both good and bad.

I really enjoyed this novel, but I find myself at a loss in explaining why without going into too much detail or on at too much length. Go back to the beginning of this review and you'll have as much as you need in order to know that it's worth picking up and enjoying, despite the cover coloration that Viehl so detests. I have been lucky in that the color doesn't appear quite so lurid in my yellow study.

I regret that this is the last of the Darkyn series, not because Stay the Night fails to wrap things up, but rather because there are things Viehl didn't get a chance to explore, and new stories that are opened up even in this one that I don't know if she will be able to resolve in the new, related, series that's coming out. Viehl is planning some ebooks on her site that will continue the characters and give me a Darkyn fix for all that they're likely to be shorter. These may also provide the rest of those hinted at tales.

Meanwhile Viehl's already charging off into the shared world series, exploring something that was begun in the Darkyn books and yet did not get the full focus. I look forward to seeing this new step, especially with the teasers snuck into Stay the Night, for all that I'll miss Alex, Michael, and the other Darkyn.

The Darkyn are dead, all hail the Kyndred.


jjmcgaffey said...

A Robin Hood vampire story? Arrrrgh. I don't _like_ vampire romances, and this is the last one so I'd have to read the whole series (yes, I would. This is me). But it's a Robin Hood! You (and Lynn) are wicked, mean, vicious and cruel.

Mama Rose said...

I haven't had time to keep up with Sheila's blog, so I didn't know this was the last one. I've almost finished it and if I hadn't known I could trust you not to spoil, I would have waited to read your review. I saw that she was starting, and set up in this book, the new series. I'm disappointed, though, that we won't be getting two simultaneous series' in this world because I see so many more story possibilities here.

Oh, well. On to the Kyndred. I never thought I'd be a fan of any vampire worlds/stories. Then my son shoved Buffy season 1 into my hands and Sheila wrote this series. They're nothing like each other, but both appeal to me in some way.

Margaret said...

YES! I knew I could get you to read Lynn's stories :). Evermore is the first of the Robin ones, but to be fair, Lynn is very good at making her books standalone even if they're in the same world, so unlike some, you don't HAVE to read all of them first. Bet you'll want to though :D.

And yeah, I was surprised it was the last one too, but... She is intending to keep the Darkyn side live in ebooks. And we can always hope her publisher will ask for another one.

Unlike both of you, I've always had a bit of a fascination with vampires, though I'll admit until Buffy, vampire romance was either a joke or gross depending on my mood.