Cratus, a god born of War and Hatred, defied Zeus and has paid penance for the last 6000 years. Stripped of his powers, Cratus is forced to live as a mortal, Jericho; his subsistence, a step above slavery rations in addition to an inability to satisfy women. His torture includes sleep where endures nightly torture until death and morning rebirth. His crime was showing mercy instead of dealing death.
Oneroi Dream Hunters, Delphine and Phobos have been dispatched to retrieve Jericho so he can defend Zeus and the gods that turned their backs on them to prevent Noir and his sisters from overtaking the world with their demons. When Jericho sides with Noir, Delphine is charged to bring Jericho back or kill him, failure to do either would result in Delphine facing Jericho’s torture … for starters.
Before Delphine can enact her plan, she’s captured by Noir, imbued with emotions, ensconced in Jericho’s room and gifted to him as payment for leading Noir’s troops. Uncomfortable in his quarters with Delphine and uneasy with Noir, Jericho explores the compound and runs into enemies and acquaintances with much to say as he weighs the scale of his options and actions against his knowledge.
Limited detail of the hero’s tragedy and the heroine being a skilled warrior before meeting the hero, were appreciated variations to the standard series formula. Given Jericho’s loneliness due to the curses, Delphine’s first experience with emotion and their living and partnering situation the conditions were ideal for their almost insta-love.
The outing had a foundation story feel throughout and was decidedly phase two of the Dark Hunter series with heroes and villains aplenty in the wings. While not a stand-alone it’s a good point for anti-Artie fans to resume the series. Tidbits, references and cameos by Dark Hunter favorites make the transition easier. A nice revelation as a new plan’s enacted comes a shock that can slap the reader silly.