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Twilight Fall    by Lynn Viehl order for
Twilight Fall
by Lynn Viehl
Order:  USA  Can
Onyx, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Darkyn Lord Valentin Jaus may be immortal but since losing the love of his life to another man, he's merely been existing. Nothing intrigues him and while he remains Suzarain of his Chicago territory, he could easily hand off the majority of his responsibilities to his loyal tresori. Valentin's lassitude vanishes however, the day he encounters gardener Liling Harper at a private health care facility he sponsors.

Liling enjoys brightening the days of the facility's patients with regular flower deliveries. Those same patients swear that Liling's soothing touch takes away their pain, but she brushes off their glowing claims. Secretly however, she realizes that she is putting herself at risk by sharing her special gift. The insidious organization whose unauthorised genetic experiments created her and a host of others has been searching for her for years. They'd be only too pleased to force her return and have her continue their evil work. But Liling would rather die than submit. Once she meets and bonds with Valentin Jaus, however, her life takes on a completely new meaning and she will do anything to protect him from those intent on reclaiming her.

The strength of Twilight Fall (and Lynn Viehl's entire Darkyn series) has always been in her characterizations. Valentin Jaus is no exception. Introduced a few instalments ago as a secondary character who suffers heartbreak and a crippling injury, Viehl finally gives him his own story and the opportunity to find true love with Liling. Both leads are well matched in that each feels incredible guilt over the damage they've caused others - in Valentin's case, it was accidental, but for Liling it was through brutal manipulation by her creators.

Those who've already discovered the Darkyn novels, will probably agree that this paranormal series ranks among the top ten. If you haven't yet sampled the books then it's not too late to start, particularly if you're partial to rich, multi-layered characterizations, an exciting story arc, and a one-of-a-kind mythology to which Viehl continues adding new and often surprising twists - especially with relation to the Brethren and the sinister turn they've taken in their quest to destroy the Darkyn.

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