I was recently introduced to Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series. If you aren’t familiar with it, let me introduce you to the rich world filled with Greek Gods, mad Titans, immortal warriors, demon lords and angelic beings – just to name a few.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Ages ago, the Greek gods trapped the wild and furious demon lords of Violence, Pain, Disease, Misery, Wrath and more in a box created from the bones of the Greek Goddess of Oppression. She’d died in their escape from imprisonment, but her bones contained enough of her essence to keep the demon lords contained. Zeus entrusted the protection and care of the box to one of his immortal warriors – a woman named Pandora. In doing so, he irked many of his other elite guard who felt they had been slighted by Pandora’s selection (okay, seriously, they were all just pissed and had an Immortal sized temper tantrum about it).
So, in the truest application of team spirit, the group strategized together and set out to sabotage Pandora by seducing her, stealing the box and opening it and thus releasing all of the demon lords trapped within. The Gods retaliated by imprisoning the individual demons in the immortal warriors themselves, driving them mad for a long time – eventually, the men came back to themselves, but they were cursed to Earth, bound to their demons and their curses.
The Darkest Night
This is where the story begins. The first novel, The Darkest Night, is set thousands of years after the Immortal warriors have begun to come to terms with their demons. A human named Ashlyn Darrow travels to Budapest, to the stronghold of the Lords for help with her preternatural ability to hear echoes of conversations. When Maddox, Keeper of Violence, encounters her, he is not sure whether she is human bait (used by humans who want to kill them) or some other form of trouble, but he can’t stay away from her. In turn, Ashlyn is a combination of enamored and terrified of the warriors within the keep, but Maddox’s presence silences the voices for the first time in her life.
This is but the first journey for the Lords of the Underworld that continues throughout a series of novels with the most recent was released just a few weeks ago. There are many Lords of the Underworld, so there will likely be many more novels to come. I admit, I have my favorites among the Lords, as I am sure many of Showalter’s readers would.
In Showalter’s second LoU novel, we learn the tale of Lucien, Keeper of Death and Anya, (minor) Goddess of Anarchy. Anya is easily, my favorite character in the whole series. She is just so much fun. Writing gods and goddesses is always a challenge to an author. How do you make them deified without losing what makes them interesting – thankfully, the Greek gods and the Titans are full of flaws and imperfections.
Anya is fascinated by Lucien and actually does want to help him. Although tempted by Anya, Lucien is cursed by Cronus, King of the Gods, who orders the Keeper of Death to slay Anya. It is definitely rock and a hard place. However, Anya is no shrinking violet and nearly kills Lucien more than once, but is willing to surrender everything to keep him safe – in her own unique fashion.
While I adore Lucien and Anya’s story, the others are just as intriguing from Sabin and Gwen to Aeron and Olivia to the most recent outing of Gideon and Scarlet (which deserves a blog all its own, so I’ll be talking about that tomorrow).
If you haven’t read Showalter’s series, it’s definitely a fascinating tapestry of character flaws, intrigues and wildness. Don’t worry about falling in love with characters and not seeing them again. Although each story is a romance, it also doubles as another entry in the ongoing saga. The Lords of the Underworld are in a war on multiple fronts and fighting to survive as even the Titans maneuver them like chess pieces.
Who is your favorite Lord of the Underworld?