Author: Lori Devoti
Copyright: 2009 (Harlequin); 271 pgs.
Series: Silhouette Nocturne # 62; Unbound #4
Who: Heather Moore (witch) and Kerr Vikk (garm)
Where & When: Gunngar
Dark Crusade is the fourth book in Lori Devoti’s Unbound series. Though the books are written to stand alone, the story picks up right after the events in Guardian’s Keep. I would highly recommend reading Guardian’s Keep first to get a better understanding of Heather Moore, the heroine of Dark Crusade. A note about the hero: Lori decided to change the name of the leader of the rogue garm (wolf shape-shifter). See comments in this post. Post may be considered a spoiler.
This story takes place entirely outside the human world. Kerr Vikk and the other rogue garm were banished to Gunngar after their attempts to gain control of a portal. Shortly after arriving, Kerr is picked to be Marina’s protector. The elfin princess and leader of the Jagers — light elves that seemed to rule this world — is on a crusade to rid Gunngar of witches. Kerr doesn’t question the Jager’s mission. He’s responsible for Marina’s safety. Her cause is her business. That changes when realizes someone he knows is in Gunngar: Heather.
Heather helped the garm, not because she believed in their mission, but because she was after power. Growing up, Heather had nothing. She betrayed a friend and mentor in order to gain something she could call her own. As punishment for her part in the rogues’ plans, Heather was banished to Gunngar. Like the garm, Heather had hoped for a fresh start. However, she learns right away that witches are being hunted. Arn, the tavern owner that gives her sanctuary, is very anxious to help her escape Gunngar. Unfortunately, the portal that brought Heather is a one-way, roving entryway. Gunngar’s portal was sealed by the Jagers. Heather’s only hope lies with her being able to persuade the garm to find and open the portal.
At first, Kerr is reluctant to help. His sense of responsibility for the other garm is strong. Since coming to Gunngar, and finally having something to guard, Kerr’s focus has been on doing his duty and certain things have escaped his notice. Heather’s arrival has opened his eyes to the fact that something isn’t right, that there is more to the story behind the witch hunt and the closed portal. Kerr also realizes that his feelings for Heather have grown stronger. The longer she stays in Gunngar, the more danger she’s in, and Kerr is afraid for her safety. He is determined to save both the other rogues and Heather.
Throughout the story, Heather grows as a character. Not necessarily a bad person, she’s just someone who made the wrong choices for selfish reasons. By the end of the book, Heather is willing to sacrifice herself to protect others. Kerr also develops as a person. From the beginning, Kerr has been a noble and trustworthy being, but his mission to find a place where all garm have something to guard has blinded him to the fact that sometimes it’s a good idea to questions others’ motives. Not everything is worthy of being guarded by a garm.
I’m afraid to say to much more about the story, for fear of spoilers. I continue to enjoy this series and the world-building. Heather and Kerr are both likable characters and the romance is believable. Heather finally has something she can call her own — Kerr’s love; and Kerr has something worth guarding — Heather. They have each other and they’re happy.
Lori introduces other characters that I hope to see more of in future books.
Started: 11 March 2009
Finished: 16 March 2009
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