The Basic Story
Darkyn is the story of some vampires who were former Templars or servants and family members of Templars. The word DARKYN is an abbreviation of the word ‘Dark kyn’ kyn or kin. Kin refers to your family members. 700years ago, the Templars went on a holy mission in a strange land. When they came back, they brought with them a sickness that killed them and some of their servants and family members who took care of them during their illness. They were buried, and some of them rose in 2 days as vampires. All Darkyn have a special talent and a scent that attracts human beings to them (imagine the best flowery perfume.). They have learnt to control their hunger and no longer kill their prey. The Brethren are also a group of Templars who hunt Darkyn (they are descendants of the original Templars who sent the other Templars who became vampires to the strange land.). They were not infected. When their fellow Templars rose from the dead, they declared them cursed and burnt them and their family members for having a relative that is Darkkyn. This made the family members of the Darkkyn hide them from the brethren.
The story begins with a little information about Dr Alexander Keller, reconstructive surgeon extraordinaire, with a sympathy for the less privileged. Alex’s parents died when she was very young. Her brother John took care of them. At an age when they were both infants, they sometimes ran away from the horrors of their foster homes and lived on the streets. Finally, they were adopted by the Kellers (a privileged family of means) with whom they lived till adulthood. John became a priest and Alex, a doctor. Alex does not have a good relationship with her brother who she blames for abandoning her. John chose God over his sister and sent her to a boarding school after the Kellers death, while he went to train to become a priest, he did not visit Alex for many years afterwards. Alex loves and hates her brother in equal parts, and this has the making of an interesting relationship.
Alex has been getting an offer for a one-time job in America. She was asked to do a reconstructive surgery for a rich tycoon abroad (who refused to come to her for a regular check-up) for 4 million Dollars. She refused and referred him to other doctors (she fears that he might be a criminal who wants her to change his face.). She is kidnapped on her way from her office and wakes up in the tycoon’s house. Michael Cyprien needs a plastic surgeon who will repair his face. He can no longer use his facial body parts. This is because the brethren kidnapped him and tortured him (they enjoy doing that in the most gruesome manner.) He picked Alexander because of how fast she is with a scalpel. He thinks that she is the only one who can fix his face, despite his ability to heal quickly. He is a Darkyn. He uses her for his surgery but mistakenly infects her because of a mistake from his tresona (The mistake is more of a female deliberate attempt to kill another; jealousy might have been a motivation.). The story tells us about Alex’s change to Darkyn, her search to study the pathogen she believes is responsible for vampirism and her love for Michael.
Lynn Viehl is a great writer and has had me stuck to my seat for days. She weaves a mystery between a mystery. Sometimes I think she gets ahead of herself and weaves a plot, so complicated, that she gets lost in the fantasy of the story and a section of the plot falls apart. For instance the Brethrens’ only female torturer, a Darkyn and the sister of one of the captured Darkyns, who set up her husband, son and brother for capture and years of torture, has too many discrepancies in her story. Is she a 700-year-old vampire, or a human who was sent to a convent and was tortured for years by the brethren who raped her continuously and who she fears How can she fear the torture of a 60-year-old man who has supposedly tortured her for years in an underground cell, when she has been married to Theirry for 700 years and has never been captured during that time?
This does not take away from the novel’s appeal as a paranormal book. It has all the usual elements. The handsome man, strong alpha female(no damsel in distress here) vampires, hot scenes, ancient behaviours (lord, lady and lots of politely gruesome violence) death and family bonds. This is definitely a must read book.