In a universe where corruption and deception rule all aspects of life, sparks of rebellion threaten to ignite . . .
As the Resistance leader, Zarya Starska’s only goal is to topple the government that destroyed her entire family and left her penniless. Her biggest asset is a mysterious man known only as Kere. But Kere has a dark secret. Born into a world that is as privileged as it is corrupt, his real name is Darling Cruel – and he is heir to the government Zarya wants to overthrow.
No one has ever seen the real man behind the legend.
No one except Zarya. But when she allows a weapon he designed to be used against his beloved sister, all bets are off. Betrayed by the Resistance, Darling’s goal is not only to reign, but to kill every Resistance member he can find. Zarya must stop Darling’s reign of terror, but can she reach past his insanity to restore the hero who once fought by her side?
Review by Andie from Mythical Cliffhanger.
Born of Silence is the fifth book in The League series. Although I’m reading this series completely out of order (like I do with all of SK series), I suggest you not to. Who were side characters in one of the books will be the main characters in their own (well, some of them), so if you’re reading this series out of order, or backward, it might be a little weird. Like seeing Syn be single, or Darling being homosexual. Or you’ll get confuse who’s who, where are they from, and sometimes there are phrases you won’t understand (and google won’t help you either), because the definition is in a previous book. However it’s completely up to you. Reading them order is not necessary, but highly recommended.
Here’s the (not official) reading order recommended by me:
- Born of Night(#1)
- Born of Fire(#2)
- Born of Shadows(#4)
- Born of Silence(#5)
- Born of Ice( #3 – it’s a good 30 years jump into the future and contains big spoilers the next books, since it’s about the next generation. However, you can read this after BOS, and it’s one of my favorites.)
- Cloak & Silence(#6)
- Born of Fury(#7)
- Fire & Ice(#3.5)
I’m trying to write a mostly spoiler free review about this, but this is the kind of book, where it’s impossible not to include some little spoilers, so be warned. However, not major spoilers are included.
So, this book was a little different from the others in the series. Less sci-fi and action elements, more politics and romance.
I’ve read the first four chapters on Sherri’s Facebook page before the book released, and I was immediately sucked into the story. So it was a very bad idea to read the chapters before release, especially given that KILLER cliffhanger at the end. Nice job, Ms. Kenyon, as always!
So… the story… is FREAKIN DRAMATIC!! Seriously, I think this was the saddest book I’ve ever read. And Darling is the most traumatized hero I’ve ever met. I was a little confused about who’s Kere and who’s Darling, because I didn’t read the previous books and didn’t know that Kere is Darling’s Sentella alter ego. But I quickly figured it out.
Darling (under name as Kere), as a member of the Sentella, is trying to protect innocent victims from the League, while he is also the heir to the Caronese empire. So he basically works against his family.
His uncle is a colossal ASS and tortured Darling since his father died, and took over the empire. Now Darling’s got bored of the constantly beatings, rules and humiliation, and Kere wants blood, so he’s plotting to kill his uncle.
Unfortunately, the Resistance steps in before he could even try to fulfill his personal quest. Because they don’t know he is Kere, who fighting on their side, friend of theirs, they kidnap Darling and torture him for months, until he’s nearly dead. They hate the empire and the League, and Darling is their living punch bag. It takes him months to recover from the injuries and the trauma after his Sentella friends free him.
And here comes the problem. Darling/Kere is now so angry, filled with rage, revenge, disappointment, that he becomes even more worse and cruel ruler than his uncle – no one thought that would be possible. Even his best friend, Maris can’t bring him back from insanity… than Zarya shows up, as the last hope… or would be if Darling wouldn’t hate her the most, because she let her men to mutilate and torture him and almost kill his younger sister.
In some way I agreed with him, because Zarya, despite she didn’t know who is Darling, didn’t care what were her men doing to him. On the other hand, I found it extreme – but from the point of the story and the book it was great – how Darling punished the poor girl and everyone around him. But not only Darling/Kere is a victim of treason. Some of the Resistance members think that it is time to replace Zarya as their leader.
We get real action at the beginning and at the end of the book. Between those it’s more about politics and Darling & Zarya’s relationship. And I loved every line.
Darling is a loveable character and not a typical macho, he’s sometimes insecure. In spite of that he’s also one of the best killing-machine, the balance between Kere and Darling is amazing. Darling is the emotionally weaker, insecure himself, while Kere is the darker, precise assassin. Kenyon did a hellish job merging these two into one person and illustrating it. He’s one of my favorite characters.
I don’t know what to say about Zarya, except, that she fits in the League’s heroines without being a copycat. Every one of them can be found in her; the warrior, the naive, the martyr… We could say that she’s the modern world’s kick-ass Juliet. I liked her.
This is one of the few series, where you love the side characters just as much as you love the protagonists. Okay, yes, obviously I hate the bad guys, but I still love them as villains (does this make any sense?). Anyway, I love Maris, Darling’s best friend and I really want to read his book now. He’s funny, sweet, clever and a good friend.
Also many of the Sentella make appearances; it’s always good to see them together. I love these mini “family reunions”. I can’t say much about the enemies in this book, neither of them is really smart or scary, but each of them is a son of a b*tch (forgive for my vulgar language, but they are) that’s sure as hell.
Favorite character(s): Darling/Kere, Maris
Favorite scene(s): Absolute favorite scene is the first scene with Kere and Zarya!
“Through thick and thin, we’re brothers to the bitter end. And if you’re going to hell, buddy, I’m driving the bus.”
“The world isn’t fair. And no matter how good and decent you are, no matter how much you give to others, someone is always going to hate you for no other reason than the fact that you breathe. You can’t help that. You can’t change people or their minds once they’ve allowed them to get twisted by hatred. But you can change how you deal with them. Never back down, but walk away when you can, fight when you must. Whatever you do don’t give them the power to hurt you. Don’t let them inside you. They’re not worth it. Live your life for yourself. Stay true to yourself and if they can’t see the beauty that is you, it’s their loss. Let the bitterness take them to their graves. Spend your time on what matters most. Being you and appreciating the people who see you for who and what you are. The people who love you, and the ones that you love. They are all that matter. Let the rest go to hell.“
Those who know and love the series will love this one too, and this is a must read! Those of you, who not started this series yet, don’t start with this one, read it in order! Moreover, don’t let the “sci-fi” label hold you back. Every book is amazing! Oh and if you’re a really emotional person, I suggest you to keep a pack of tissue close!