Night Lost

Twilight Fall

Stay the Night
by Lynn Viehl
(Onyx, 7.99, R) ISBN 978-0-451-41266-9
The best Darkyn novel to date finally brings together the numerous plotlines that have cropped up over the years, as well as ties some ends off that have been floating around for a while.

The central characters in this novel are Robin of Locksley (aka Robin Hood, in his human days) and FBI agent Chris Renshaw.  Robin's put in several previous appearances, most notably in Evermore.  Not surprising given his mortal past, Robin remains a thief, seven hundred years later.  Although not too many details are given about his life of crime, Rob's current fancy is a pristine illuminated manuscript that contains the only existing portrait of his love, the infamous Lady Marian.

Chris Renshaw has been tracking the Magician for some time, and knows he'll be salivating over this piece.  So, using her undercover identity as a gallery owner, she relocates to Atlanta and does her best to draw him in.  Which she does, with more success than she had planned.  When she went home with him from a bar one night, Chris was certainly not expecting to see him at the gallery the next night for the opening of the manuscript's display.  She also didn't expect him to be angry that she had left him with just a note before he woke.  And she was definitely surprised when, during a heated exchange between the two of them, the gallery is burgled, its patrons locked behind bars of ice, and Robin's companion gets away with the priceless piece of art.

Both her job and her life on the line, Chris is dragged to Italy to follow the trail of the manuscript.  Though she doesn't believe Rob's story about his immortality and all that goes along with undead life as a member of the Darkyn, Chris isn't willing to risk the manuscript of herself for the man's wild stories.

However, as their adventure becomes more and more outrageous by the minute, Chris is forced to believe that Robin isn't just a handsome, extremely persuasive guy.  And, when they are imprisoned with his lifelong enemy, all three must come to terms with what was, what is, what might have been, and what seems impossible.

Meanwhile, Richard, the king of the Darkyn, is holding an important meeting to determine what action should be taken in regards to the Brethren, the crazy guys posing as priests and attempting to annihilate the Kyn.  Dr. Alexandra Keller makes an important discovery while treating victims of this secret war that could turn the tides completely -- and change the Darkyn forever (and forever is a big deal to a bunch of immortal guys).

Stay the Night is well-organized and fast-moving.  Although not much time is spent going into the backgrounds of Robin or Chris, that does not throw off the story.  However, the complaint must be made (again) that an occasional rehash of previous events would come in handy, especially considering the use of special terminology and resurfacing of many characters from book to book.  That being said, readers will most likely manage okay without such a thing.  It would be advisable to have read at least a few of the previous books to get a feel for Viehl's alternate world and its intricacies.

--Sarrah Knight

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