12 Oct '11

A Rae Review ~ Darkest Surrender – Gina Showalter

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Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain.  For him, nothing stands in the way of a victory.  Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.  Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die.  Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own…steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named.  But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter – the love neither had thought possible…

A welcome return to form for Ms Showalter! I don’t know about any of you, but I felt a little let down by Amun & Haidee’s story.  It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t as good as I have come to expect from the Lords of the Underworld series. 

As we all know Darkest Surrender tells the story of Strider, keeper of the demon of Defeat & Kaia on of the Harpy’s we’ve already met many times.  Strider’s never featured highly on my radar, always coming across as a bit of a muppet, easily goaded into doing silly things & generally being a bit arrogant – but then when you have to be the best at everything or suffer untold pain I guess you have the right to swagger a little ☺

Kaia, I have to confess that I do believe she’s my favourite (a la Brucey on Strictly).  I love all the Harpy’s, they’re all such strong characters, but there’s just something about Kaia that really calls out to me.  She comes across as one tough cookie, woe betide anyone who crosses her! But due to the ‘Unfortunate Incident’ when she was 14, she’s been scarred inside, always a little unsure that she’s good enough, always trying to prove herself worthy & always (in her eyes) falling short of that goal.

Strider in his own way is more like Kaia than you might think.  It’s got to be a lot of pressure to always win, to always be the best, especially when people can goad you, well your demon, into accepting challenges.  Maybe this is why many on the blogs & review sites felt that Kaia & Strider wouldn’t be a good match, with Kaia challenging Strider at every turn.  But with her background, who would be better to understand exactly what it is that Strider goes through. 

I love this book!  I love Strider & Kaia, together I think they make an amazing team & I totally can’t wait to see more of them!  The other thing I really love about this book is how much more of the Harpies world we got to see.  There are some really strong characters in there & I really hope we’ll get the chance to see more of them & their world.  With Paris’ story building throughout, I for one cannot wait until the next installment of The Lords of the Underworld!



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