Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lord Of The Abyss, Nalini Singh

Title: Lord Of The Abyss
Author: Nalini Singh (author website)
Release Date: November 22nd 2011 by Harlequin
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star

Lord Of The Abyss is a rather quirky retelling of Beauty and the Beast. For grown-ups. Grown-ups who prefer their fairy-tales with a bit of hot sauce. I love Nalini Singh (she’s like caffeine and chocolate: addictive, and I know can’t be good for me), but I really wasn’t sure what to expect going in. So I'm really not surprised I thoroughly enjoyed it.

From Goodreads:
Once upon a time... the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs... and time is running out...

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

I seriously have no idea how to summarise this one... it’s a bizarre little tale. On a dark, stormy night, Liliana turns up at the gateway to the abyss. Micah, the guardian of the gateway to hell, is intrigued. Used to fear and unquestioning deference from the people around him, this strange little creature talks back, argues, and isn’t afraid of him. Well this almighty beast of a man likes a gal with backbone... but as it turns out, this girl is the daughter of the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, and she’s here to help Micah overthrow him, and return his kingdom to its former glory. Problem: Micah’s hiding a 'beastly' secret. That, and he doesn’t remember who he is.

Firstly: Lord Of The Abyss is actually the fourth book in a four-part series, each written by a different, powerhouse of a romance author, but works as a standalone. Though I haven’t read the prior three, the story was fun and easy to follow.

Once Upon A Time...

Lord Of The Abyss isn’t a complex story. It’s a sweet one, a fun one, with, as all good fairy tales do, a moral twist (more on this later). The book actually reads a lot like a fairy tale. There is, of course, the obligatory Once Upon A Time, and Happily Ever After, but it has a very fairy-tale tone, present in the light, humorous, knowing narration, which carries through to the two main characters. Despite having seen his fair share of horrors, perversions and wickedness, Micah came across as very... while not naive, perhaps a little childlike. Lilianna is a little more wordly, but still has a touch of that inherent innocence and inner-purity that all good Snow Whites, Cindarellas and fairy tale heroines possess (having said this, she's scarred, ballsy, brave, and fiercly intelligent. Do NOT cross this lady). I enjoyed this, and it’s one of the things that makes Lord Of The Abyss so fun and unique. But the whimsical tone seemed, on occasion, a bit odd in contrast with what at times is a very *ahem* ‘grown-up’ (read: explicit) tale.

Pretty On The Inside:

Seriously, I kept picturing Lilianna as
something like this, but dantier XD
Now, as I mentioned, all good fairy-tales have a moral side, right? Just ask Disney. The Lion King has the Circle Of Life/Animals are People Too; Aladdin eventually learns to put other people’s needs, and happiness before his own, and wishes for Genie’s freedom; in Beauty and the Beast, there’s more than meets the eye/it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Wait, did I mention Beauty and the Beast? Well, in Lord Of The Abyss, yes, we have Micah as The Beast, but Lilianna’s a bit of one, too. She’s hook nosed, shaggy haired, and one of her legs is shorter than the other. Others consistently remind her she’s a crone. And she knows it. But Micah, golden surfer-boy gorgeous (most of the time), doesn’t even notice. And as he starts to love her, Lilianna learns to love herself, learns to believe that maybe she is beautiful, because Micah sees her this way. It's sugar-sweet, and I loved this.

The Verdict:

Fairy tale aside, Lord Of The Abyss doesn't shy away from being very hot and very steamy. Despite the slightly sinister sounding name and intimidating man-titty on the cover, Lord Of The Abyss left me with a silly grin and a happy sigh. Well, actually, I lie. I turned the last page, kicked my cat off my lap, and went ‘Aaaaaaww!’ No sighing involved. A fun, quirky, (very) adult twist on the much loved fairy tale, Singh fans will enjoy this quick little read.

Want It?

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  1. I haven't actually read anything by Nalini Singh before but this one sounds awesome. I always love a good retelling of fairy tales. It's nice to see that it's the girl who is unattractive this time around as well.

  2. I've only read Nalini's 'Guild Hunter' series, but I love her. You've definitely got me interested in this one.




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