Reign of Darkness is book two in The Prince’s Assassin trilogy and the books are intended to be read in order. This review will then naturally reveal plot points for the series.
“Don’t mistake my motives as good, Nikolas.”
“There’s no chance of that, my prince.”
It’s been a year since Niko has seen Prince Vasili; he tells himself he likes it that way and he has not gone anywhere near the palace. Niko has rebuilt a quiet life for himself, but thoughts of Vasili and his time at the palace are always there. Rumors and gossip are high and Niko also tells himself he’s not interested in what is really going on over there. Until a fire rages out of control inside the palace and Niko doesn’t think; he gets on his horse and rides to rescue the prince.
The dark flame is split between Vasili and his brother, Amir, and that is the only thing keeping the now King Amir from ultimate dark power and Amir has turned everyone against Vasili. With the palace in ashes, Vasili has no option but to flee or certainly lose his life. On the run and headed south, there is no space between Vasili and Niko and, while the men want to and do hate each other, they are also incredibly drawn to the other.
The chemistry between the men is fierce but incredibly complicated. Niko wants to think he can finally trust Vasili, but there is much that Niko doesn’t know yet and when secrets comes to light, Niko will wonder how he let betrayal into his life once more. There is a lot at stake besides Niko’s heart and Niko will once again have to fight true evil while learning secrets kept hidden about his family’s past and how he truly connects to the Caville legacy.
Vasili and Niko. If you are familiar with those names, you will want this book. This is an exceptional book two in a trilogy and I was continually impressed with how good this book is the more I read. While there was betrayal and revelations at the end of the first book, King of the Dark, there are more to be found here. If you follow Nash’s books, the author stays on brand with enemies to lovers and a slow burn love story, while set around and between a royal saga in this series.
Vasili and Niko both had different kinds of terrible lives and as Vasili’s traumas are revealed, Niko doesn’t want to care for him, but these men are destined to walk together. The men are on the move and on the run almost from the moment the book opens. Nash excels in world building and everything here is so vivid and so incredibly well done. The slow burn between Niko and Vasili is so well played, with just enough to keep me hooked with their incredible chemistry and Nash offers up exquisite torture as these men crave each other while not fully trusting the other. The description of watching Niko see Vasili dressed up was an art form and how Niko sees Vasili strikes to the heart of the story. Despite Vasili’s many scars, Niko poetically thinks that he had “never seen anything so fucking beautiful in all his life,” when he gazes at Vasili.
There is a lot going on in this story and to list it would certainly detract from the impact. The goal is to somehow calm the fire that runs in Vasili’s blood. Niko will forever run into danger for Vasili and with all that Vasili has been forced to endure, Vasili remains on the front lines with ultimate betrayal but also with ultimate sacrifice.
Nash’s books are bold and intense with plenty of action, heartache, chemistry, and well-timed banter. The slow burn is intoxicatingly perfect leaving me anxiously awaiting the finale.
“He smiled, and the rest of Niko’s heart cracked wide open. He was doomed. He’d follow this fucking asshole anywhere, do anything for him, and none of it made any sense….”