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