Prometheus has been imprisoned in the underworld for 5000 years. Each day he is tortured as an eagle comes and eats his liver, and each night Prometheus heals, only to be attacked once again. The worst part for him is not the daily pain, but being alone, chained in a cave and seemingly forgotten. That is, until he is rescued by Hermes, who is looking for a distraction to keep his father from turning his eyes to him. Hermes manages to sneak Prometheus back out to the human world and urges him to flee. The twins Artemis and Apollo are after Prometheus and determined to return him to their father, and they don’t care who might get hurt along the way.
It has been so long since Prometheus lived among humans, he is totally out of his depth in the modern world. But when he sees a man he thinks is attacking another, Prometheus doesn’t hesitate to step in. As it turns out, Julian Bell is a vampire who was about to feed on a willing donor. And when he realizes Prometheus is in danger, he can’t help but protect him and try to keep him safely away from the twins.
Julian is the head of the huntsmen, the vampires that police their community. He came to New York to help out a friend and is almost at the end of his term of office. Julian has never quite felt settled, but meeting Prometheus has him determined to protect the man. As the two spend more time together, they recognize a connection between them. They could be good together, and they begin falling for one another. But Apollo and Artemis are still on Prometheus’ trail and determined not to give up. And Julian is facing his own crises as rogue vampires look to seize control of the Hunt through force if needed. Now the two men must figure out how to hold off threats from both gods and vampires if they are to find a way to be together.
Prisoner of Shadows is the second book in the Lords of the Underworld series and I am finding these books a lot of fun. I love the way the authors play with mythology and give a twist on the world of gods and goddesses, often with an irreverent spin. This story is set in the same world as the first, but the plots do not overlap, nor do most of the characters. Some of the gods and goddesses that are side characters show up in both books, and we get a super quick cameo from one of the supporting folks from book one, but otherwise this story stands alone completely. While mythology plays a big role in both books, this story has its focus on the vampire world, rather than the magical one of Prince of Death.
So as I said, what I really love here is the new take on mythology and the way the authors take kernels of the stories and turn them around. There is more to all of them than meets the eye, and the legends are jumping off points for building their stories and their characters. I really enjoyed seeing Prometheus suddenly facing a world totally different than the one he left 5000 years ago. There is something so sweet and naive about him when the book first starts, as he really needs Julian to guide him along this strange world. I loved the idea of this super powerful being who is so out of his element and watching how Julian takes care of him. But as the story progresses, we see Prometheus really come into his own, finding the strength and courage to fight back against those threatening him and the ones he has come to love. It is a great journey for him to finding his inner strength and getting control back over his life.
I also really enjoyed the vampire world here and the way the authors integrate that into the mythology. I don’t want to give away how things all connect, but I found it a really clever way to combine the lore of the two worlds. Julian is somewhat of a reluctant leader at the start, mostly in the role to help out a friend. So he has nice growth here as well as he fights for both Prometheus and for the vampires. I loved how both these men had such inner strength and determination to fight for themselves and others. They make a well matched couple and I really liked them together.
So this is a great follow up to Prince of Death and I am really enjoying this series. I am very much looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here and how the authors continue to play with this interesting world they have built.