For romance readers, the DarkHunter saga is our Star Trek. Our Star Wars. Our Ring Cycle. Harry Potter for adults. Shoot, it’s even our Magnificent Seven! And in August, the capo di tutti cappi of the DHs is going to finally be exposed in all his incarnations. DH lovers have been salivating, nee slobbering (myself included) over Acheron ever since he appeared in Fantasy Lover.
Acheron Parthenopaeus is 11,000 years old. And he’s royalty from Atlantis!! How freaking cool is that! The phrase "been there, done that, got the toga" was coined for him. He’s so old, he has sex infrequently — 1 word/not 2. He’s so old, he doesn’t have crows’ feet, he’s got eagle’s wings. He says he’s 11,000 but since he was born on February 29th BBBBC, he’s really only 3½ thousand years old. And frankly, he doesn’t look a century over 5,000. He still has the tips he made at the Last Supper! He knew Venus de Milo when she had BOTH arms. He never goes out with girls his age — there aren’t any! He remembers when the Dead Sea was only sick! He can kick the Olympians’s asses any day of the week with only the air displaced from blinking. He gave the Scandinavian gods the idea to name the days after themselves, just to piss off the Olympians. He goes surfing with a Sumerian god. Walk on water? He invented water! God calls HIM for background checks. One more rebirth and he’ll be tied with Hermes, the Greek messenger god.
And talking about the old days for Ash? "Hey, remember that time that orange ball came up for the first time? I finally stopped tripping on stuff." "Remember when that fish turned into a frog? That was cool." "The blizzards that time? That’s where having a dragon as a house pet comes in handy."
The inspiration for the look of Acheron, the author’s own design, is an Australian actor named Travis Fimmel. He’s breathtakingly gorgeous — a divine physique with gem-like blue-green eyes, super-thick blonde hair, luscious lips that curl into a sweet smile. I could go on and on but the drool would short out my keyboard. Kenyon first mentions him in DANCE WITH THE DEVIL (Zarek’s story). That was my first DH novel. After that, I read another — loved it. Then another mentioned Travis…then another. By my third novel, it had gone beyond Travis and I was utterly hooked on the DH world. Strong men and strong women, fighting side by side, battles of wits and wills. Magnificent!!
Threaded through all of them was the presence of Acheron. He’s a best friend, a father-figure, the annoying cousin you only see at holidays and funerals. Your boss after a bad golf game. The evil dentist in Marathon Man, but without the whimsical charm. The goth loner on campus. Flame and hail. Hellfire and all-encompassing love. He’s so powerful, it takes 2 books to capture his essence.
He’s cursed because, unlike the other gods, he lived as a human for his first 18 or so years. Gods don’t fathom humans. They are simply a more fun species of animal. But Acheron lived as a human, so as a god, he has a soft spot for us. That puts him at a disadvantage because it gets used against him all the time — even though, as an Atlantian god of apocalyptic destruction, he could take out any Greek or Roman god you throw at him. He tries to temper his true nature, but certain practices must be seen to if he wants to hang on to his compassionate side. Certain practices that involve a bitchy, red-haired "heifer goddess" named Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, and apparently, of intrigue. She pulls his strings and makes it hurt.
I don’t know what’s in store for Acheron after his book, but I’m thinking the DH saga might be played out and Kenyon might be moving on to other gods she has developed, like Savitar maybe. That’s fine with me. Series do need to end sometime. With 25 books in the DH series, I sure don’t feel cheated. This has been one of the greatest series in the history of romance novels.
Dark Hunters Reading Order — Excerpt
1. Fantasy Lover, (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2002)
2. "The Beginning", also in the back of Sins of the Night (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2002)
3. Dragonswan, reprinted singly by Berkley (2005) (ISBN 0515140791)
4. Night Pleasures, (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2002)
5. Night Embrace, (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2003) (ISBN 0-31298-482-0)
There are currently 24 stories; ACHERON makes 25 — maybe 26 because it’s 2 novels incorporating his human life and his life as an Atlantean god.
If you’re looking for accounts of Atlantean civilization, there’s Timaeus and Critias and The Atlantis Dialogue: Plato’s Original Story of the Lost City, Continent, Empire, Civilization, both written by Plato.
"Dark Hunters: Mad, Bad & Immortal"
Travis Fimmel links: