Lilith's Paranormal Romance Blog

Reviews of paranormal romance books, especially humorous paranormal romance.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole Book Review - Why Declan Chase is the Worst Hero Ever

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole is the ninth book of her popular Immortals After Dark Series. This paranormal romance series has a lot of humor in it and features various factions of the Lore or the world of the beings from myth and legend such as the vampires, Valkyries, shifters, succubi, witches, etc.

Take note that this is review of Dreams of a Dark Warrior is a spoiler review!

What's the use of a spoiler review, you ask? Well, some people may not mind spoilers. Some people have already read  Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole (and the other books in the Immortals After Dark series) so they may just want to see what other people think of the book.

Last warning - this review contains massive spoilers including the ending of  Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

Okay? Here we go!

Declan Chase is the worst hero in the Immortals After Dark series. Gaah, he is so awful that I feel bad for poor, poor Regin. What is wrong with him? Let me count the ways.

Top Ten Reasons Why Declan Chase is the Worst, Most Pathetic Excuse for a Hero Ever

1.) He is horrifically scarred. Of course, this is treated as not too bad and apparently women still want him but he is seriously ugly and mutilated all over his body. The scarring is quite severe.

2.) He is a drug addict who is willing to suck cock to get his fix.

3. ) In the world of the Lore where your word is a sacred bond, he casually breaks his promises. In this book and the previous book, Demon from the Dark, he promises a witch that he will free her and her child if she does something for him. When the witch returns after having finished her part of the deal, Chase refuses to honor his promise.

4.) His war on the Lore includes children. Yep, he is fine with killing, imprisoning and possibly "examining" children.

5.) He has no regrets about his men killing a mother in front of her seven-year-old child, in fact, he would have done it himself if he had been there.

6.) He is also okay with Thad being kidnapped and tortured.

7.) He is also perfectly fine with vivisection on sentient beings. In fact, he orders it done in Dreams of a Dark Warrior at least once (he orders it for spite) and it is being done all the time in the prison/research facility.

8.) He stabs Regin and twists the blade to make it hurt more.

9.) He tortures Regin and I don't mean sexually. He injects her with a very painful poison.

10.) While it is true he himself did not order the vivisection on Regin, he knew it was going to happen. 
"Though he'd been keeping Regin's exam off the log, he couldn't stall it indefinitely." (Quote from Chapter 23) 
He knew it was going to happen and did nothing permanent to stop it, therefore he is responsible for Regin's vivisection, especially since he was the one who captured Regin in the first place. It wouldn't be so bad if he had at least had a plan in place to spirit her away before she gets cut open but he is too much of a jerk to actually do something to stop Regin from being vivisected.

Declan Chase is a total asshole! Think of the other romantic lead in the Immortals After Dark series. Would Slaine take Carrow to a facility to have her vivisected? Would Lachlain MacRieve stand idly by while Emma was being held for torture? Would Garreth let Lucia be imprisoned and scheduled for open-heart surgery without anesthesia? Hell, no!

Those are the top ten reasons. There is also one last thing and it the most horrifying one of all -

Declan Chase is Lothaire's bitch! OMG, the horror, the horror of it all ...

I wish I was joking about that last one but sadly, I am not. He agrees to have Lothaire bite him whenever and however he wants. Regin saw them together. P.S. Lothaire had an erection! The vampire also told Chase to just go with the flow in case Lothaire called him by a female's name. *sigh*

Why Kresley Cole, why? Are you tired of having hot, protective alpha males as heroes now? Are we going to have assholes as romantic leads from now on?

Even if the hero was that bad, it would have been acceptable if he had redeemed himself somehow. That doesn't happen, IMO. To make it up to Regin, he promises to help her friends but he doesn't actually help them out, nor does he actually do anything else for her. Well, there is exactly one part where he does save her but that isn't much considering any other of her allies would have done the same. It doesn't really cost him anything.

A huge redemption scene with him actually doing something positive to make up for all his crimes or maybe sacrificing something to be with Regin would have been great but nooooo ... all we get is a hero who does monstrous things and it gets forgiven right away for no real reason except that Regin loves him.

The romance in Dreams of a Dark Warrior is a bit unsatisfying, too. Since Regin has already fallen in love with the berserker four times before in his previous reincarnations (Aidan, Treves, Gabriel and Edward) then she and we know that it's pretty much a given that she will fall in love with this one, too. It doesn't take much for her to fall for the guy at all.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior isn't actually too bad apart from Declan Chase, that lame and pathetic excuse for a hero. Regin is one of my favorite heroines. She is smart, brave and her mouth has no censor. I enjoyed reading about her although I am sad that her partner is a jerk.

The minor characters are amazing, as usual, and I was quite pleased to see three other pairings. I hope we learn more about them. Nix is as delightful as always. Lothaire was an absolute hoot. Apparently the next book will be his. I also look forward to learning what happened to Lanthe and Thronos.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole - Book Review Final Thoughts

While the romance aspects of Dreams of a Dark Warrior were disappointing and the hero is the worst in the Immortals After Dark series, the book is still wonderfully humorous and overall it is worth reading. For fans Kresley Cole's Lore world, the book brings us closer to the Accession and we learn what the mortals are up to.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark Series, Book 9)

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Kindle Store)

I welcome any and all comments. Please let me know if you also think Declan Chase is the worst hero ever. Flame away if you like!



The physical defects would be easy to overlook (given the great tradition of "Beauty and the Beast" Romances), but everything else is just awful. =(

I don't think I'll be buying this one, but I'll see if I can borrow it from a friend so I can read about Lothaire.


Sorry to hear you hated the hero so much! To each his own, I guess. I still loved the book though Declan is one of the most flawed heroes I've come across... It was kind of refreshing that he wasn't perfection personified. But I totally know what you're saying- it was a little frustrating that Reign still found herself in love with such a monster.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review! :)


Yeah, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your review. Yes...Declain WAS majorly fucked up in the head, but I don't believe you mentioned the reasons for his scars - the physical, emotional AND mental ones. That's A HUGE reason for WHY things happened the way they did.

You're also not doing justice to the reasons that Declan allows Lothaire to feed from him. He feels that it's the only way to get Lothaire to cooperate and he knows that without Lothaire, they're all fucked. Plus, he wasn't aware of Regin's long disdain for vamps.

ALSO - before Lothaire fed from Declan, he warned him that he might get a little "lovey". I think that this is because Lothaire slips into thinking of his mate whenever he feeds. ALL across this series, we have never seen Lothaire feeding...perhaps he does this whenever he feeds or when he's weak, no matter who he feeds from.

I think that Declan will have the chance for more redemption over the course of the series, just as Malkom will garner more respect as the series goes along.

Regin (AND Nix) knew that Declan's greatest penance would come from his regret. AND he DID suffer great regret.

When people who have extremist views (as Declan did) they don't care who they hurt/kill on the other side. That INCLUDES children. Sorry, but that's just the way of it.

If you didn't know any better, that all immortals weren't evil, and your family was brutally killed while you watched and were tortured right along with them, you'd probably have it out for ALL of them too. Plus, imagine if you were brainwashed further by the people who SAVED you? Yeah, he's cruel and heartless, but if you look at it realistically, can you blame him?

I appreciate that Kresley doesn't stick to the traditional MO for an alpha male. I think that's part of the brilliance of the IAD series.

That's my opinion, but I also think that if you're going to do a review and call certain things out, you can't do it flippantly.

Kimberly ("Lilashriel" in the Kresley Forum)



"When people who have extremist views (as Declan did) they don't care who they hurt/kill on the other side. That INCLUDES children. Sorry, but that's just the way of it."

How does that make him less of a jerk exactly? He had his reasons? So what! Every religious extremist and nutjob out there who commits violent acts against children also have their reasons - that doesn't give them a free pass.

As I have stated in the review, all of those would have been redeemable if Declan actually did anything to make up for his crimes. Unfortunately he does nothing which is where things go wrong.

It's not like other IAD heroes have been angels.

SPOILERS for other IAD books:

Compare Declan with Cadeon.

Cadeon handed over his female for rape and slavery. Cad was totally meant to rescue Holly before she got hurt and he goes off to save her right away. Like Declan, Cad had his reasons but he still gets off his ass and kicks ass to save his beloved.

Declan captures Regin for torture and vivisection. Does Declan plan to rescue Regin before she gets hurt? Nope. He just leaves her there knowing she is going to be cut open without anesthesia and her internal organs examined while she is conscious and suffering.

Declan fails as an IAD hero because he does nothing in the end to redeem himself except regret. Pretty lame, IMO.


But remember - DECLAN is not necessarily the hero in this case - Aidan is. I know at the end in a sense it is Declan, BUT - Declan's redemption lies more with discovering who he is and accepting it. And you have to remember that creatures of the Lore are extremely violent. You don't think Regin has ever killed/tortured someone in all her years? Regin comes to know the reason for Declan's "revenge" and I think once Declan accepts he is a berserker, he doesn't necessarily have anything to redeem for.

I also don't agree with a character having physical scars a reason not to be a romantic hero. That's just my opinion though :)


No worries, I'm fine with people liking stuff I don't like. I personally did not like Chase at all but the other parts of the book were great.


I enjoyed your review and concede some of your points. I was much more enamoured of the Aidan we met in the prologue than the Declan that we had for the rest of the book. This was absolute not my favorite of the IAD books (For me, that would be AHLNO or DFTD.) But I still loved it.

While his drug addiction and willingness to do anything for a fix are disturbing, those things are a direct result of his inner conflict as a berserker. He was miserable; he didn't know why; he was trying to dull the ache of missing a part of himself. Do I think he'll be shooting up or sucking cock now that he has Regin? No way.

The real problem is what he did at the camp. I don't think he'll be forgiven for everyone for that, nor do I think he should. But I understand what drove him to that. I believe he regrets it. And while that doesn't make it ok, I can understand how Regin can forgive him... especially since he is more than just Declan: he is also the sum of his previous incarnations.

I wouldn't advise any IAD fan to skip this book. It may not be your favorite, but it continues to build toward the ongoing Ascension storyline. And it sets up Lothaire's book, which I can't wait to read!


Lilith - I agree! It would be boring if we all wrote the same reviews :)


I have been reading the Amazon reviews and threads. It seems that many other people were not happy with Chase, too.

"I, too, liked this book but had a very hard time warming up to Declan. It didn't seem like he really regretted hurting anyone but Regin. I kept hoping he would somehow redeem himself by making some great sacrifice. But he never did . . . "

from Amazon customer discussions


I can see why you would have issues with Declan. You make a great case why he didn't work for you. For some reason, the way Kresley wrote him and why he acted the way he did worked for me. Him being scarred and a drug addict didn't bother me, although I would have liked to see at the end his rehab and recovery from the drugs he's been addicted to for years. I felt that part was too pat with his HEA.

Also, I did want him to suffer more for what he did to Regin, but maybe because he's suffered through all his past lives from being apart from Regin was punishment enough on his end?

And he wasn't the one to give the order for Regin's final torture.

For some reason I found myself forgiving him for what he's done, but again I wanted him to get his ass beat a bit more and get down on knees and grovel for what he did to Regin.

Maybe this is KC's way of showing that one of her heroes has big faults? I can see some of these issues arising in Lothaire's book because he's so evil.


"For some reason I found myself forgiving him for what he's done, but again I wanted him to get his ass beat a bit more and get down on knees and grovel for what he did to Regin."

Yeah, that's the problem.


I think Declan Chase is redeemable, and I think what happened to him, not just the annihilation of his family and subsequent torture and brain washing is sufficient to explain his actions. I do think the weight of past reincarnations, horrific deaths even though not remembered also played a part in his behaviour, hence the drug addiction and never feeling right in himself.
I do however agree that Cole unusually got the balance wrong with some of this book. Regin was too dampened down, the book would have benefited from some time with the couple on their own (escaping from the compound maybe) as the motley crew and Lothaire's behaviour although intriguing was distracting from them and their relationship development. Regin should have had some form of revenge on Chase. She should have kicked some serious ass. He should have made more amends, rescueing someone, or performing some feat to redeem himself as well as feeling great remorse.
Find it hard to understand why people were so struck with Aiden though, he was hunky yes, but would have always bossed Regin around. Declan and Regin together some how works, remember she never fell in love with Aiden or any of the reincarnations, only Chase, but this could have been explored in more depth. I think their relationship wasn't developed enough.


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