The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter is her latest entry into the Lords of the Underworld series. I just recently began reading this terrific series by Showalter thanks in part to the recommendations of several wonderful readers at my local Barnes and Noble’s Books that Bite club. As I said in Showalter’s Mad About Romance entry, Gideon and Scarlet’s story needed more space to discuss – so let’s discuss.
The Darkest Lie
Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding—or bedding—her. But he wants to…almost as much as he wants her.
But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free. A future with her might mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer—and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love….
Scarlet is the daughter of the Titan Rhea and a human lover. Rhea was carrying the child when she was incarcerated in Tartarus along with the rest of the Titans. Needless to say, Rhea doesn’t win any mother of the year awards. While in Tartarus, Scarlet suffered tremendously at the hands of her jealous family members including her mother, her aunt and her stepfather. As it turns out, a seer told Cronus and Rhea that Scarlet would be the death of them. So – like all good power trippers, they tortured the girl mercilessly until their attacks on her made them age.
When the Lords of the Underworld released the demons in Pandora’s box, the demon Nightmares was placed inside of Scarlet. In many ways, he became her ally as they worked together to torment those that needed it and seek a little revenge on those that hurt Scarlet.
As the keeper of Lies, Gideon cannot say the truth without experiencing excruciating pain. But when Aeron and Olivia capture Scarlet and bring her to the dungeon of the Keep, he is inextricably drawn to her. She visits him in a nightmare and orders him to come and see her. There, he discovers that Scarlet is his wife and that he’s apparently forgotten all about her and more.
Intrigued, despite himself, Gideon takes Scarlet away from their Budapest Keep to try and get to know her better and discover the truth. She frustrates him by deliberately misinterpreting his “lies” – but the two begin to learn more and more about each other, becoming lovers once more and eventually confronting the Titan Mnemosyne about Gideon’s memory loss.
The Lie Story
First and foremost, my hat is off to Showalter for the way she managed to write Gideon in this novel. I cannot for the life of me imagine how tough it was to write a character who cannot speak a truthful word. If someone is beautiful, he calls them ugly. If he loves someone, he must say he hates them. Worse, if he hates them, he tells them how much he loves them. It’s enough to give even a sane person a headache or a Titan to demand how anyone puts up with him (one of the funniest moments in the book, personally).
This book required a certain intensity to read, because it was so damned tough in places, yet it made it all the more magical for those moments of true connection and understanding when after a while, I didn’t just have to read and translate, I was actually understanding Gideon speak. More than that, this love story was different in many ways from all the others before it – adding a depth of darkness to the passion.
The Continuing Tale
As with all the other Lords novels, this book continues to delve into the war that the Lords are fighting against Galen’s hunters and more. The pairings the Lords are making continue to strengthen their cause, bringing new allies into the fight while eliciting new wounds and new injuries. There are so many unanswered questions and tempting moments of speculation – including Sienna Blackstone’s bond with Wrath and will she ever be able to reunite with Paris? Are Galen and Legion truly a match made in hell? What will happen when Ashlyn gives birth? (Poor girl has been pregnant for six books already!)
The next novel in the Lords of the Underworld series is The Darkest Secret, Amun’s story, due to be released in March 2011.
What did you think of Gideon and Scarlet’s story?