ARC Review: Mark of the Sylph (Demons of Infernum #2) by Rosalie Lario
Half-demon Taeg is on a vital mission to recover a sword that may be able to destroy the book his sister-in-law is bound to, and librarian Maya Flores is his best hope for recovering it. There’s just one problem: Maya hates all demons and is on her own personal mission to destroy Taeg before he can get his hands on the sword. The chemistry between Maya and Taeg is intense, and the writing for their story is superb. This book is a must-read!
- Title: Mark of the Sylph
- Series: Demons of Infernum – book #2
- Author: Rosalie Lario
- Prominent Characters: Taeg, Maya
- Recommended reader age: 18+
- Sexual content level: moderate, somewhat explicit
This book reminded me of all the best aspects of some of my favorite series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Night Huntress, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cross the distinct speech and family bond of the Brothers with the mercenary skill and sex appeal of Cat & Bones with the campy determination of Buffy, and you’ve got a ringer of a story!
The language isn’t nearly as crass as we see from the Brothers, but it’s definitely urban and trendy, and the T-shirts these half-demon brothers like to sport are a statement all their own. With slogans like “Awesome in Bed… I Can Sleep for Hours” and “Real Men Don’t Follow Directions” and “Envy Me” (seriously, where can I buy these T-shirts? Let’s make that happen, Rosalie!), Taeg and his brothers have ample personality, with some to spare. Their cursing is somewhat prolific and pretty inventive… in an amusing and endearing kind of way! I really enjoyed reading about these guys, and I can’t wait to read all their individual books.
Taeg himself is like Han Solo/Indiana Jones meets Bones (of Night Huntress fame)… confident, cheeky, and committed, with a sexy swagger and nonchalance about his dangerous profession. He’s also a ladies man, with the skills to back that up but without the promiscuous, unfaithful attitude. The steamy scenes in Mark of the Sylph are indeed steamy, and fall outside the same-ole-same-ole norm we typically see in “safe” PNR and UF. The verbage is not very explicit and the sex isn’t the focus of the story, so it’s not erotica, but Taeg is definitely channeling a little naughty Night Huntress “Chapter 32” in a few of these scenes. Ms. Lario doesn’t just tell us how skilled Taeg is in bed… she lets him show us (without being obscene, explicit, or feeling icky), and holy smokes is it hot!
Maya, the little slayer librarian, is no joke either. A saucy mix of Buffy’s take-no-prisoners and kill-first-ask-questions-later attitude with Cat’s must-avenge-my-family-and-generally-kick-ass personality (she even drinks gin & tonics!), Maya is smart and (thankfully) lacks that annoying stupid-stubborn streak PNR heroines have all seemed to become defined by. By that, I mean she’s able to make emotional decisions without completely going off the deep end and endangering everything and everyone around her. It took Cat 4 books and a very nasty breakup to learn her lesson, and we all know Buffy continued to successfully wander into random trouble well into her series. Besides that, Maya can fight. Even though she has no supernatural powers or strength, she’s clever, has a healthy suspicion of Otherworlders, and can more than adequately defend herself. She can even pull off a good demon beheading (the only way to kill one) if she has the element of surprise. This chick is spirited, smart, and hot… the perfect combination of attributes for a PNR or UF heroine!
One thing that wasn’t explained well (perhaps it was in the first book, Blood of the Demon?) is how long the lifespan for these supernaturals is. Maya is just a human, no Otherworld blood or superpowers, so how will she be with Taeg long-term if he has an enhanced lifespan? Maybe he doesn’t – I don’t remember anything about that in the story and it bugs me just a little. I want to know that this fantastic duo are going to get to stay together without one of them having to watch the other one grow old and die!
The backstory for this series of books, and the happenings of Blood of the Demon, are skillfully woven into the tapestry of the dialogue and adventure. Even though I hadn’t read the first book in the Demons of Infernum series, I didn’t feel I was at a disadvantage. Ms. Lario doesn’t stretch out the flow of information to an infuriating trickle, nor does she vomit it all up in one bloated scene; the pacing is just right.
Just a hunch…
“You don’t seem the type to care about ancient myths.”
Yeah, she told him that every freaking time. Taeg rubbed his chin, scruffy from three days without shaving, and glanced down at his tattered jeans and T-shirt emblazoned with the words Need a Job… Will Work for Orgasms before giving her an innocent look. “What do you mean?”
So demons are like people, but… not?
“Demons aren’t those evil beings from Hell that you read about in your Bible. We’re actually a race from a different dimension.”
Just like a man…
“You look good,” he told her.
“Did you purposely pick my skimpiest outfits?” She cast a wry glance down her body, clad in skintight black jeans and a red halter top that put her ample cleavage on display and billowed in loose layers below.
F*ck yeah, he had. Had she noticed her pajamas yet? He’d bypassed all the respectable pieces and gone straight for the slinky lingerie. Who knew? Maybe he’d get to see her in them.
Never hurt to be optimistic. Taeg grinned at her. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
If all else fails…
“What do we do now?”
“Now we commandeer a boat.”
“I love that word,” Dagan replied. “Sounds much better than stealing.”
If you liked Mark of the Sylph of the Demons of Infernum series…
If you enjoyed Mark of the Sylph for its kick-ass hero & heroine and quirky sense of humor, you might also enjoy the Night Huntress series starring Cat & Bones (starting with Halfway to the Grave) by Jeaniene Frost. Cat’s spunky “charge forth!” attitude and Bones’s casually lethal confidence are as addicting as their relationship is steamy. Not to mention the plethora of other “World” characters who have made themselves a cozy little home on my bookshelf.
If you enjoyed Mark of the Sylph for the family-close ties between the characters and how they rally around the women (capable as they may be) to protect them, you might also enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (starting with Dark Lover) by J.R. Ward. The Brothers also sport expensive-yet-urban outfits and use a fairly modern slang vocabulary for vampires who are over a century old.
Taeg and Maya have a chemistry that is (har har… but seriously!) hotter than hell; they are damn near combustible! The story is fast-paced but doesn’t rush, and the characters are memorable without competing with each other to steal the scenes. The world of the Demons of Infernum is both realistic and creatively appealing, and Ms. Lario doesn’t break her own rules of engagement to protect a character or story arc. Mark of the Sylph is definitely not the end of this series for me – I plan to go back and read Blood of the Demon and then be first in line for Touch of the Angel and Call of the Siren when they release later this year and next!
Rosalie Lario has the hallmarks of a promising new paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, in the realm of Jeaniene Frost awesomeness, and I enjoyed her work so much (and see such potential in it) that I’ll read anything PNR/UF she publishes. So thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for providing GraveTells with an advanced reader copy to review this book! <3
Rating: Mark of the Sylph
http://rosalielario.com/demons-of-infernum/ (Roslie Lario’s Demons of Infernum website)
http://jeanienefrost.com/books/ (Jeaniene Frost, author of the Night Huntress series, website)
http://www.jrward.com/bdb/ (Black Dagger Brotherhood series website)