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Review: Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter #23)

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Styxx by Sherrilyn KenyonStyxx (Dark-Hunter #23)
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published: Sept. 3, 2013 (St. Martin’s Press)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Candace

Rating (out of 5): 5 stars

This review begins with a personal story. There is one book in my collection that I have not re-read and that is Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron. It is one of my top 20 favorite books of all time, but I cried for days while reading. How could one author possibly torture her most beloved character? Little did I know, Kenyon was just setting up the ball. She spiked it with Styxx.

Acheron was implanted in Styxx’s mother’s womb while she was pregnant, thus the boys were born as twins to King Xerses of Didymos and his wife. Fans of the Dark-Hunter series know that Acheron spent the entirety of his human life being punished with favor seemingly put on Styxx for being the biological son of the king and queen.

Here, we learn differently.  Styxx endured torture of his own and any of his behavior deemed obnoxious by Ash and Ryssa (their sister) was often for their own protection, or his own.   Subjected to 21 years of atrocities and evil acts that no child should have to endure, the brothers’ lives paralleled each other, having loved one woman each, and suffering heartbreak as a result as well. Ash, as you probably know, fell for Artemis and Styxx loved Bethany.

Bethany, who isn’t at all what she seems, provides the only touch the abused prince can bear, gives him love unconditionally and doesn’t hold him to the same standards as others because she is blind. She doesn’t know that her beloved Hector is actually Prince Styxx of Didymos.

The first 602 pages of Styxx are from the past. Kenyon spares nothing in describing the imagery, abuse, love, condescension and heartbreak that made up the first 21 years of the twins’ lives leaving the reader to realize that even a prince can be broken and time does not heal all wounds. Time skips from June 26, 9527 BC to January 3, 2004 AD, but you do not miss a thing.

Kenyon further defines herself as a master in the genre by incorporating our beloved characters from the first 22 Dark-Hunter novels. Timeline-appropriate events happen, letting us see Talon and Sunshine from Styxx’s vantage point. We get Zarek, Sin, Katra, Nick, a few members of the Kattalakis family, Julian, Alexion, Danger, Stryker…and Urian, who Styxx forms a friendship with.

One thing I will point out is that Styxx does not find his HEA quickly. Not at all. Mourning his beloved Bethany and their child that she carried, Styxx bides his time drawing them in sketchbooks.

Be prepared for heartache, tears, sleepless nights, joyous surprises and book hangover after finishing Styxx. This is possibly the best book of the year and if it doesn’t snag the RITA for paranormal romance in 2014, I’ll be very surprised.

Sexual content: Graphic sex

One Night More by Mandy Baxter

6 Responses to “Review: Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter #23)”

  1. cindyg says:

    Awesome review…
    I’m sitting here looking at Styxx’s book and wondering why I haven’t started it yet.
    Maybe I’m a little scared, need to prepare myself for all those highs and lows.
    I only read the last paragraph and my heart started beating out of my chest..
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Cindy

  2. Candace says:

    Cindyg, it was my pleasure. Don’t be scared, but go in with your eyes open. Styxx does not have an easy road by any stretch of the imagination. But I’ll tell you this much, Acheron is no longer my favorite player in the Dark Hunter Universe – he shares that title with Styxx now. ;) Go read, but have tissues handy.

  3. Stephanie Miller says:

    I took me a week to finish this book. I’m still a little numb after finishing it. I loved Asheron and it was my second favorite Kenyon book. Styxx took his place….well, maybe they are tied for second.

  4. Susan H. says:

    Great review- I agree with every word- well, except for the part about Ash falling for Artemis. He never had free will in that relationship as he did with Tory. I’d like to add, also, that I listened to the audio version, and Fred Berman did another exceptional (seems too weak a word) job in the 31 hours portraying multiple characters and accents. Sometimes I would forget I was listening to a single narrator!

    • Candace says:

      Interesting point about Ash and Artemis. The Ash/Artie relationship is completely different from the Ash/Tory relationship. Tory is his heart, whereas Artemis never gave enough of herself to Ash to become that. My interpretation is that he fell for her, because she was hope. Here is a goddess interested in me, someday I could possibly escape this life type of thing.

      And that’s good to know about the narrator. Thank you!

  5. Sarah Berry says:

    This book was by far one of the most heartbreaking of all the series. With Acheron we know that He is sold by his uncle and endures abuse. But with Styxx it is much more graphic. I found myself hoping for his happiness with every turn of the page.

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