"Styxx" (Dark Hunters): Sherrilyn Kenyon; media source: paperback. Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
We have all met Styxx throughout the other novels, but never got his story, nor completely understand him. I don't know about other readers but I have always wondered what made him the man he was. Who was Styxx really other than Acheron's twin brother? We never seen him for who he truly was, until now. There is so much that happens in this novel that it would take forever to give you a synopsis.
In order to protect her son, Acheron's mother had another goddess hide his unborn body into the womb of a queen. A queen who happened to have already been pregnant which her own child. When the two boys were born, there was a visible difference between the two. One was marked as a god, Acheron. The other was not marked. When Styxx's father seen Ash, he accused his wife of infidelity and disowned Acheron as his son. In doing so he also marked distrust and hatred towards Styxx. Xerxes find ways to punish Acheron for whatever he felt is disrespectful or other things deserving of a punishment. Unknown to him, Styxx felt everything that Acheron felt. Styxx spent his time agonizing over Acheron as kids, even more so after Acheron was sent away to live with their uncle. An uncle who did unspeakable things to Acheron. Styxx quickly learned of these things, when Estes decides to "break Styxx in" he learns exactly how bad things were for Acheron. throughout his lie Styxx gets tortured by various gods in various ways, mainly Apollo who marks him as his own. Then Apollo marries his sister and his life is made even more miserable. Who would have thought that Styxx' life would be seen as miserable.
All the while Styxx falls in love with a beautiful woman he meets by the river, but he doesn't reveal who he truly is and we learn that both are keeping secrets. Throughout the novel he meets up with
her secretly slowly building a life together. He goes to war where he is miraculously the only general to have success against the Atlantians. Throughout the novels gods and men alike pin after Styxx and he can hear those thoughts. Left over residual from being born alongside Acheron? Flash forward a bit. Someone kills Styxx's sister and Apollo is furious and both Ash and Styxx are killed (are they really?) Apolloymi (Ash's dear mother) goes crazy and kill or turns the gods and goddesses of her pantheon into statues. Again a lot happens throughout the novel, too much to give a detailed synopisis of what happens, so I am leaving some things, but that gives you all the more reason to read the novel.
So Styxx dies, but not really cause he can only die if Ash dies and well, Ash can't die. Flash forward a bit more and Styxx is greeted by Dionysus and another god of the Celtic pantheon. Both want Styxx' help to kill Acheron which he gladly jumps at. Of course they are unable to follow through with their plan, but end up angering Acheron and we see just what that man in capable of. As we go on Styxx is miserable with the loss of his beloved Beth and their unborn child, but makes a friend in one of Acheron's warriors: Urian. Off and on Styxx is asked to help Acheron, which he does for various reasons. Through deductive reasoning Simi; Acheron's Charonte demon realizes who Styxx's beloved is and tries to reunite them cause all hell to break loose. Styxx is happy again, he finds out the true reason he can hear the thoughts of those around him, as well who Urian truly is.
There is a ton that happens as I said a few times throughout this, and it is a rather thick book, but it is an AMAZING book. I loved the Acheron focused installment of the series, and I love this one just as much. Kenyon quickly became one of my favorite authors and she never ceases to amaze me. The novel is full of strong emotions radiating off the pages from Styxx. Who knew he was such a passionate character? We didn't really see that in the glimpses of him that we have seen thus far. This story paired with Acheron shows there are always two sides to a story. The twins hated each other for what they thought the other felt and thought, when what they perceived was not the truth. Styxx' character endures so much throughout the novel he becomes a completely different character by the end of the novel than he was in the beginning. We watch as he becomes broken down, but picks himself back up again. He is not the spiteful conniving character we tend to think he is, far from it.
From the moment I picked up my first book from Kenyon I was hooked, I believe I have all her novels including those from the League series, though I am missing some of those. I cannot get enough of her writing, she is simply amazing. She gives us characters that we continuously want more from. After reading Styxx and Acheron, I kind of want a novel on Ryssa (the sister) as well as Urian, among so many others. I cannot wait to get my hands on another one of her novels. If you haven't read any of her novels yet, not just Styxx, do so. You will not be disappointed.