Posted by: Jennifer | November 6, 2008

One Silent Night – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Kenyon, Sherrilyn. One Silent Night. (New York: St. Martins, 2008). ISBN – 9780312947064.

Main Characters: Strykerius and Zephyra

Related Works: This is part of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series. Books in the series include the following:

  • Fantasy Lover – Grace Alexander and Julian of Macedon
  • The Beginning
  • Dragonswan – Channon MacRea and Sebastian
  • Night Pleasures – Kyrian of Thrace and Amanda Devereaux
  • Night Embrace -Talon of the Morrigantes and Sunshine Runningwolf
  • Phantom Lover
  • Dance with the Devil – Zarek of Moesia and Astrid
  • A Dark-Hunter Christmas
  • Kiss of the Night – Wulf Tryggvasen and Cassandra Peters
  • Night Play – Bride McTierney and Vane Kattalakis
  • Winter Born – Dante Pontis and Pandora Kouti – short story in Stroke of Midnight anthology
  • Seize the Night – Valerius Magnus and Tabitha Devereaux
  • Sins of the Night – Alexion and Dangereuse St. Richard
  • Second Chances
  • Unleash the Night – Wren Tigerian and Marguerite D’Aubert Goudeau
  • Dark Side of the Moon – Susan Michaels and Ravyn Kontis
  • A Hard-Day’s-Night Searcher – Rafael Santiago and Celena
  • Until Death Do We Part – Esperetta and Velkan
  • Fear the Darknessshort story about Nick Gautier – ebook
  • The Dream Hunter – Arik and Dr. Megeara Kafieri
  • Devil May Cry – Sin and Katra
  • Upon the Midnight Clear – Aidan O’Connor and Leta
  • Dark-Hunter Companion
  • Dream Chaser – Xypher and Simone Dubois
  • Acheron – Acheron and Soteria Kafieri
  • One Silent Night – Strykerius and Zephyra

Description from Book:

Stryker has sent word and is gathering his forces.

While the world carries on unawares, Stryker, who leads an army of demons and vampires, is plotting an all-out onslaught against his enemies – which, unfortunately for us, includes the entire human race.

To avenge his sister, Stryker prepares to annihilate the Dark-Hunters. But things go awry when his oldest enemy returns. Enter his ex-wife, Zephyra. Just when he thought nothing could stop him, he’s now embroiled in a centuries-old war with a shrew who gives new meaning to pain.

New battle lines are being drawn as the Dark-Hunters rally for a final showdown on One Silent Night.

My Thoughts:

Wow, wow, wow!!! I had so many thoughts racing through my head last night when I finally finished this book that I had trouble calming my mind enough to actually get some sleep. I absolutely adore this world of Dark-Hunters, gods, Daimons, Dream-Hunters, demons, etc. that Sherrilyn Kenyon has created. And, I can say that there was SO much going on in One Silent Night, and I’m wondering about the implications of many things. Obviously, there is a definite shift going on in the overall story. I believe that I read somewhere (Kenyon’s website – or forum) that this series will be divided into four parts with different arcs for the four parts. The first part seemed to concentrate mostly on the Dark-Hunters and Acheron. This part of the series concluded with Acheron’s story which was published in August. We are moving on to the next arc which, I believe, will culminate with Jaden’s story. Savitar will be the character who holds another arc together. The last arc will deal with a character we haven’t met yet (Although, I can’t help but wonder if we met the character in One Silent Night? Maybe not. I had an interesting thought that maybe The Source will be the last character. Of course, we don’t really know what The Source is).

So, I guess that the second arc starts with One Silent Night. I can’t help but think that this next arc will have something to do with the final sentence spoken by either Stryker or Zephyra (I couldn’t quite figure out which one uttered the actual words): “The dawn of the Daimon is here and the end of mankind is beginning” (p.310). This makes me believe that the Daimons may be the main group of characters in this next series of books. After all, the Dark-Hunters were absent from One Silent Night– unless one counts Acheron and Nick (I don’t, but given the mention of them in the book blurb, others might). And most of the DHs we knew are now happily paired off. Then, there are a good number of Daimons and Daimon-related characters that we now know: Medea, Urian, Illyria, Davyn and, of course, Jared. I’m sure there are some others. Regardless, I can’t wait to find out where Kenyon is taking us next.

I was happy to see that Acheron continued to be an important character. I figured that he couldn’t just disappear now that he and Soteria have found their HEA, but I admit I was a bit worried. Happily, he played a critical role – and will continue to play an important role especially in relation to Nick.

I still can’t wrap my head around all that happened in this book. I did enjoy it tremendously despite the fact that Stryker has never been one of my favorite characters. Obvisously, he has been working to kill Acheron for quite some time. We did get to see a new side of Stryker here – his sentimental side, the side of him that loves Zephyra totally. And we learned more about his early life and his relationship to Apollo. I definitely found that this insight into his character made him a more sympathetic character. Then, we meet his ex-wife – who is quite a bloodthirsty character. But, I guess only onw with that nature would make a good companion for Stryker.

The story is primarily wrapped around the relationship between Stryker and Zephyra. Despite this fact, they only spend a small portion of the book together. Fortunately, they had a past history. I say fortunately because if they didn’t, I’m not sure that I would have bought their HEA. While the two are reconnecting, we have War trying to kill Acheron and Nick, and thus, all of mankind; Zephyra releasing Jared to kill Nick, protect Stryker or participate in the culminating battle; Nick dealing with Menyara and his new powers; Savitar running around saving Acheron, offering up words of wisdom and protecting Apollymi; Acheron trying to protect Nick; Apollymi and Stryker having a heart-to-heart (one of my favorite parts of the book); more information about The Primal Source, the Malachai, the Sephirii, Menyara and how they all relate to each other; Stryker and Zephyra’s daughter Medea; Jared and his sad and unfortunate circumstance; and lots of other stuff. This book is jam packed with information which I assume leads into the second arc. It all worked. Yet, the book was rather short – 310 pages with larger than normal print.

One of the highlights of this book for me is the culminating battle where Stryker battles War to get Medea back. War, Ker and Mache kidnapped Menyara and Medea in order to lure Stryker, Acheron and Nick to their deaths. Nick goes to ask Acheron for help – so to does Stryker (urged to do so by Savitar). The three put aside their differences in order to work together to defeat War. Acheron calls upon Kat to help. Sin comes along with her and then Artemis, Athena, Ares and Hades show up. Meanwhile Zephyra goes to Apollymi and then Soteria for help. Zephyra also sends Jared to help protect Stryker. Zephyra’s favor from Apollymi results in the appearance of Simi with Aima, which allows War to be refrozen. I thought this was an excellent resolution to the events of One Silent Night.

The bottom line is that I can’t wait to find out where we are going next. The existence of the Daimons is certainly shifting with the knowledge of the impact of gallu blood on their lives. While Stryker and Zephyra won’t ever be my favorite characters, I do indeed find myself becoming much more sympathetic to the Daimon/Apollite curse – and hoping with them that a cure of some sort is found.

Some questions and random thoughts:

  • Will Nim (Jared’s demon) be Simi’s future hero? I read somewhere that we would meet her future hero in this book.
  • Where is Apollo? For someone who plays such a critical role in the events of the Dark-Hunter series, he is remarkably absent. If I recall correctly, he only appeared in Acheron setting into motion Acheron’s death and the Apollite curse. I can only wonder about what he is off doing while all Daimons, gods, demons and the like continually threaten all human existence.
  • One of the confusing things to keep track of are characters who have bound their lives to each others – or had it done to them. Apollymi bound her life force to Stryker when she saved him after being mortally wounded (by Apollo, I think??). If either one dies so to does the other. Styxx life is bound to Acheron’s. If Acheron dies so to does Styxx, but not the other way around (again, I think). Artemis and Acheron used to bound to each other. If she died, then he would also. This bond was broken in Acheron by Soteria. Soteria’s life is now bound to Acheron’s. I’m not sure if his life is bound to hers. Jared and Nick’s lives are bound together because they are the Sephiroth and the Malachai. Acheron’s life is also bound to Nick because of Acheron’s promise to Nick’s mother Cherisse. If Nick dies, so to does Acheron. Acheron’s life is bound to mankind. If he dies, the world will be destroyed. Apollo’s life is bound to the existence of his Apollite descendants. Apollo’s life is bound to the world. If he dies, the universe will cease to exist. I’m sure there are many others. Most of these life bonds are created by drinking blood from one another. I find it very difficult to keep these things straight. Fortunately, Kenyon usually reminds us when one of these life force bonds are important to the current plot.
  • Did we know before this that Acheron is half Charonte? Why is this important? The information stuns Nick.
  • What is the importance of the Chthonians?
  • We saw a much softer side of Artemis in this book. She is dealing with the loss of Acheron, but still feels compelled to protect him from those who want him dead. She helped the cause a couple of times in this story, and it was nice to see this.
  • I guess that demi-gods are necessarily immortal. I hadn’t realized that Stryker wasn’t immortal.

Things Learned in This Book:

  • Chtonians rose up from fighting gods to divide world between gods. They police the gods, but have their own issues with corruption and fighting.
  • Stryker has the ability to come and go in Tartarus – a gift from his father, Apollo.
  • War, Ker and Mache are the Machae. They were imprisoned by the gods. They were created by the gods to kill the Chthonians.
  • War was tricked by last of Chthonians and imprisoned in stone. The gods were not strong enough to kill him. Only the Malachai can kill him. He is immune to Chthonians and to powers of gods.
  • Chthonians are human, but with the powers of gods. Only they can kill gods without destroying the universe and return their powers or essence to the primary source that birthed them. Killing gods weakens them and makes them vulnerable to other gods and each other.
  • Ker is personification of cruel, violent death. She can multiply herself into she-demons called Keres. Ker’s powers inspired Apollymi to save the cursed Apollites.
  • Battle or Mache is third Machae and War’s right-hand man.
  • Stryker releases War in exhange for one act against him enemies. He wants War to kill Acheron and Nick.
  • Hades tells us that War will destroy the humans.
  • Stryker uses the sfora orb to spy on Acheron. He can’t see Nick in it. He also can’t see what Nick sees anymore.
  • Savitar and his Chthonian army save Acheron from War.
  • Apollymi can’t kill Stryker because she gave him her blood when he was fatally wounded by Apollo. This bound their lives together. Apollymi won’t cast Stryker and the Daimons out. They are company for her and their presence allows her power in the human realm. When Daimons die, Apollymi’s strength is depleted. Daimon power can help her protect Apostolos. She tells Stryker to protect Apostolos from War or she will kill him and herself.
  • Ares tells the Greek gods that Stryker freed War. Artemis knows that War will go after Acheron, and she can’t bear the thought of his dying.
  • Artemis calls her servant Zephyra and tells her to go kill Stryker.
  • Zephyra calls Medea an abbadonrani. She says that Medea commands demons. Medea is able to stop Zephyra from killing Stryker.
  • Zephrya’s eyes shift from those of a Daimon to vibrant orange.
  • Jard knows everything. He can read all thoughts – only pain can keep him out of one’s thoughts. He is owned by Zephyra. He cries blood.
  • Stryker is 11,000 years old.
  • Davyn is Anglekos – Daimons who only prey on evil humans. Medea can sense this.
  • Stryker and Zephyra were married when they were still human. They were both only 14 years old.
  • Medea’s husband and son were killed by humans.
  • When War touches Nick something happens to Nick. His eyes become laced with red and his skin darkens. War flees.
  • War talks to Stryker. We learn that Acheron is Chthonian. Stryker doesn’t understand the problem, since War was created to kill Chthonians.
  • War tells Stryker that Nick is the Malachai and is the only thing in the universe that can kill him. He tells Stryker that a Sephiroth is needed to kill Nick. Zephyra knows what a Sephiroth is and knows that Jared is one.
  • Sephirii are the guardians and consorts of the first order of gods. They were soldiers who enforced first laws of the universe. Mavromino turned against the Source and wanted to end all creation. He created the Malachai to bring down the Sephirii. Battles ensued. The Sephirii would have destroyed the Malachai, but they were betrayed by one of their own. Orders were given to eliminate all Sephirri and Malachai. The Sephirii betrayer was made to live to suffer for his sins. As such, one Malachai was allowed to live as well. Jared is the Sephiroth in question.
  • Zephyra commands Jared to kill Nick. Nick is new to his powers, so he should be weak and easy to defeat.
  • Jared refers to War as Polemus.
  • Jared has a demon named Nim. Nim is the only real way that Zephyra has to control Jared.
  • Neratiti is the island on which Savitar lives. War cannot get there, so Acheron moves his family there.
  • Savitar tells Acheron that Stryker released War. Savitar had the Charonte really around Apollymi for protection. Acheron asks Savitar to go to Kalosis to protect Apollymi personally.
  • Urian is still spying on Stryker for Acheron. Stryker still feels much angst over his decision to kill Urian.
  • Jared and Acheron are friendly. Jared tells Acheron that Nick is the Malachai and that he has to kill Nick. Acheron did not know this.
  • Menyara explains to Nick what has happened. She tells him that his father was a demon who preferred prison because it allowed him to hide from those who wanted him dead. She calls Nick Ambrosius. She is the one who bound Nick’s powers. She tells us the Malachai were created to fight against purity and caring and that each Malachai is allowed to father one son.
  • Menyara tells Nick that he has the means to reclaim his soul and return from the dead and be reborn. She tells him that he know has the power to kill Acheron, but that he should think hard and reassess his goal.
  • Zephyra is part demon. She allowed a gallu to feed on her and convert her to a demon. She then killed the gallu which returned her self-control and gave her the powers of the gallu. She did this deliberately to save Medea from the curse. She got Jared from the gallu. Becoming a demon allowed her to summon a broker to barter for her daughter’s soul. Medea is still Apollite, but she does not have to feed on humans to live. Zephrya traded her soul for Medea’s, and thus, their souls are tied together.
  • Jared can’t kill War because Jared was created to protect the Primal Source. War is of of the primal source. War would have to threaten the primal powers for Jared to be able to kill him.
  • Nick’s true form is blood red skin covered with ancient black symbols and black hair with red streaks.
  • Menyara is really Ma’at, an Egyptian goddess who upholds the order of the universe. She is the goddess of truth and justice. She has been watching over Nick. She gives Nick a staff and tells him he must learn to fight.
  • Acheron tells Jared that he is honor bound to protect Nick with his life and that he will die if Nick does. Jared replies that Acheron is a Chthonian who must maintain the balance of the universe. Killing the Malachai should be part of this balance. Acheron reminds Jared that it is part of the universe’s will for the Malachai to live as long as the Sephiroth lives. Jared wants to die. Acheron mentions that if Jared kills Nick then Acheron will dies and the world will die also.
  • Savitar knew about Nick’s true power, but wouldn’t tamper with fate by telling Acheron. This is why Savitar could not train Nick. If Savitar had trained Nick, he would have unlocked Nick’s powers. Nick’s shields/bindings were firmly in place and could only be lifted by one who drew power from the Source. When War went after Nick, the power’s protective instincts kicked in coming to life. Acheron wonders why he didn’t awaken Nick’s powers when they fought. So, Acheron draws his powers from the Source too. Savitar isn’t sure, but believes it might have been because Nick’s latent powers knew that Acheron would not truly hurt Nick. Thus, Nick didn’t need his powers to protect him from Acheron.
  • Once given a directive, only Jared’s master can stop him.
  • Zephyra convinces Stryker to drink the blood of a gallu demon, take her soul and to then kill her. This gives Stryker the demon’s powers and makes him immortal.
  • War and Ker refer to Nick’s Malachai as balance. He is a very different Malachai that most others – especially his father. Nick’s mother was a good person and raised Nick with a core of goodness.
  • Apollo treated Stryker’s sister Satara worse than he treated Stryker. This was one reason that they were so close. Stryker was never good enough for his father. This is one reason that Stryker hates Apollymi. He always felt that he wasn’t good enough for her either – because she still always preferred Apostolos/Acheron.
  • Menyara knows why Jared betrayed the Sephirii. She tells him that Source is still not appeased regarding Jared’s betrayal.
  • Hades releases Medea from Tartarus because he owes Acheron. Hades tells Acheron this act makes them even. Hades couldn’t have kept Ma’at/Menyara because her soul didn’t belong to him.
  • Menyara tells Nick that he is part human and part demon. He needs Acheron to teach him how to function. Nick doesn’t understand because Acheron is a god. She tell Nick that before Acheron was a god he was half human and half Charonte – and that only Acheron has the power to help Nick. Nick is shocked by this. I’m not sure of the importance of this revelation.
  • Davyn reveals that those Daimons that drank gallu blood can now walk in daylight.

Read first November 5, 2008

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Responses

  1. Wow – excellent summary!

  2. […] One Silent Night – Sherrilyn Kenyon […]

  3. […] One Silent Night – Sherrilyn Kenyon […]

  4. Everybody follow this, it appears that Acheron is:
    (1) An Atlantean-raised Greek,
    (2) A god,
    (3) The final fate,
    (4) Chthonian,
    and NOW he’s (5) half Charonte? *RME*
    Come on!

    How is that possible? Archon and Apollymi are Atlantean gods to whom the Charonte were subject; even they his 6 week-to-term body was transfered to the queen of Didymous, the Atlanteans themselves are still his parents (remember the reason he is able to give life AND take it are because of his parentage). Now you could argue that since he and Styxx are twins, his human body was of the gene pool offered by Didymous king and queen. Hmmm… so that would mean the one of them was Charonte in order for Ash to be half. Great gods!

    On one hand, it means:
    (1) Ash gets to remain a part of the main storyline because he’s part demon (which is great cuz I totally want to marry him!);
    (2) It totally explains why he turns blue and none of the other gods change color or have horns;
    (3) It totally guarantees that Ash and Nick will have to make up; and
    (4) It explains why Ash can barter with Jaden.

  5. The significance of Acheron’s newest revelation:
    Hold on to your seats:
    Acheron is:
    (1) An Atlantean-raised Greek;
    (2) Who is an Atlantean god;
    (3) Cursed to be the final fate;
    (4) Who, because he was born mortal is by definition, a Chthonian;
    And NOW he’s also half Charonte?

    OK now we are getting a little ridiculous. The only way this could POSSIBLY be is that Acheron was the biological son of Archon and Apollymi so he has the power to “give life and take life” but he is genetically the human son of the King & Queen of Didymous, hence why he and Styxx are twins when they have different parents. In which case, one of the Didymous crew (sorry, I don’t think they had a last name) one of them had to be Charonte. Which means Styxx must also be half-Charonte. Is everybody following me?
    The good thing about this development is:
    (1) It explains why Ash turns blue and has horns like a Charonte when in his true god form;
    (2) It explains why he and Jared have interaction since Jared only deals with demons and Halflings;
    (3) It gives an opportunity for Nick and Ash to ‘kiss-and-make up’;
    (4) It means Ash can be an integral character in the next arc since it is obviously focusing on demons (which are going to now include the Daimons) vs. gods;
    (5) It would mean that Ash is an archdemon, which was discussed in “Acheron” is when someone is born of a ‘union between a god and a demon.’ So Ash is therefore an ultimate power.

    Yeesh. Good thing he’s humble.
    What next?

  6. Nicole, I will admit that after awhile I stopped trying to follow exactly what Ash was – especially when Kenyon seemed to hint that Nick might eventually be as powerful, if not more. All very confusing!!

  7. can some one explains jareds betryl and his relationship to jaden

  8. Sadly, not me. I kind of wish that Jared and Jaden had names that didn’t start with Ja. I admit that I got confused when we first met Jared – thinking they were the same person. I’m guessing we will find out more in future books.

  9. HI,!!! I just had a thought…. um could it be possible that Archon’s not really Ash’s dad and Apollymi had an affair with a Charonte?

  10. Rachel, I guess anything is possible!!! I so need to read all of the books in this series again from the beginning. Maybe that would help.


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