Dance with the Devil Re-read
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Dance with the Devil Re-read

Spoiler Disclaimer

The following post, written by a guest blogger, is open for you to participate with your comments. SPOILER ALERT! These posts and discussions can include spoilers for the book’s plot. We recommend you finish reading the book before delving any further.

Intro

Welcome to the Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter Re-Read. From the first time Simi used barbeque sauce… to listening to the Howlers play Sanctuary …to Ash (need we say more?!), this is where you can re-live the great moments of the series. Delve into posts written by DH experts and super fans picked by Sherrilyn, talk to your fellow Menyons, and earn points with the Kenyon Rewards Program all while enjoying a walk down memory lane, Dark-Hunter Style.

For you newbies, welcome to your new life because with the Dark-Hunters, it’s more than a series, it’s a world.

We will be reading all of the Dark-Hunter and Dream-Hunter books in 2015. Visit the Re-Read homepage for the schedule and contact us if you have any questions.

Attention Kenyon Reward Program users: if you share this page, you'll receive an extra 150 points! And for even more points, visit the Dance with t he Devil book page to read the excerpt and earn a badge! Commenting below will also get you points, but those points will be added weekly, not instantaneously like the others!

Recap

Dance with the Devil is the exciting third installment in the groundbreaking, phenomenally popular series, the Dark-Hunters. While other fan favorites grace the pages of the book, such as Acheron and Simi, the novel is set around one of the most rebellious, misunderstood Dark-Hunters to date, Zarek of Moesia.

Zarek is born into a world of cruelty. Before his death and Dark-Hunter conversion, he was ordered killed at birth by his own mother. Escaping this fate as an infant wasn’t his friend. He fell into the hands of those who turned him into a Roman whipping boy where he endured years of torture and abuse. To say the least, Zarek has a history that pulls on the reader’s heartstrings and doesn’t let go.

After surviving this terrible childhood, Zarek is transformed into one of the baddest of creatures, the Dark-Hunters, where he joins a group of immortal warrior in a quest to rid the world of soul sucking Daimons. You would think it gets better for him here, however, Zarek isn’t very popular with his Dark-Hunter creator, Artemis, as well as she blames him for the death of an entire village he was sworn to protect. A very angry and not so understanding Artemis, exiles him to the cold and wilderness of Alaska for over 900 years.

Hardened and cynical and with no care for the world or self, Zarek returns to New Orleans after serving almost a millennium in solitude. It’s not a surprise that upon this return, Zarek explodes on to the page with his kick-ass-take-no-prisoners attitude. Even in the darkest of times, Zarek delivers some of the most memorable one-line zingers and witty dialogue of any character in the DH universe.

Artemis is less than amused. Having seen no change in Zarek after his sentence has been carried out, Artemis orders him executed. Acheron(leader to the Dark-Hunters), feeling a brotherhood with him, wants to give Zarek a fair chance to live. He places Zarek’s fate into the hands of a judge, Astrid. She will be forced to live with Zarek temporarily and determine whether or not there is enough good in him to be saved.

Without the luxury of sight, Astrid has to rely on her other senses and her shifter/pet Sasha to determine Zarek’s fate. It’s not an easy job as Zarek isn’t giving her much to work with in the beginning. However, it doesn’t take long for Astrid to peel back Zarek’s layers of pain and realize what a caring person he truly is underneath the tough exterior. Astrid betrays who and what she is and does the forbidden, falling in love with Zarek.

Astrid isn’t alone in her love as Zarek falls in love with Astrid’s gentle, caring spirit, and only wishes he could be worthy of someone as wonderful as she is. Ultimately, Zarek has his much deserved happy ending and goes into the History books as one of the most popular Dark-Hunter characters to date. This book is an emotional roller coaster and in the best possible way. Fans of the Dark-Hunter series do not want to miss this installment in the wonderful skillfully penned series.

Favorite Quote

Zarek: “I don’t suffer from my insanity — I enjoy every minute of it.”

~~

Zarek: “I’m the top of the food chain and well…you’re the food.”

~~

Thanatos: “Vengeance is a dish best served cold.”

Zarek: “We’re in Alaska, dickhead. Here everything is cold.”

~~

Acheron: “Forgiveness is the best part of valor…Discretion is easy. It’s finding the courage to forgive yourself and others that is hard.”

~~

Zarek: “I have found my star. She is beauty and grace. Elegance and goodness. My laughter in winter. She is courageous and strong. Bold and tempting. Unlike any other in all the universe, and I cannot touch her. I dare not even try.”

Conclusion For more about the story behind Dance with the Devil, visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's site for The Story Behind the Story, Bloopers, Book Benies and more! Discussion Questions
  1. In this installment of the series, Dance with the Devil, you take a trip into Zarek’s history. What did you learn about history while reading this novel?
  2. We are introduced to the character/shifter Sasha. What did you like about his character and how do you think he was instrumental in Astrid’s job?
  3. How do you think Zarek’s 900 years in the cold solitude of Alaska shaped his character?
  4. Astrid has an unbelievably hard job as a judge. What character traits does she possess that make her good at this job? How? What separates her from the other judges?
  5. If you were to live in the Dark-Hunter universe? What would you say if you ran into Zarek? Acheron? Or Simi?
  6. Simi makes a hilarious appearance in Dance with the Devil. Who and what would she rather eat rather than return to Acheron’s arm?
Contributor Bio
Dance with the Devil Re-read

Kimberly Daniel has held many titles, wife, mother, pianist, author, former teacher, editor, and personal assistant. All of which she has loved dearly. She is currently the assistant to the talented and lovely Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon where she is fortunate enough to live in the Dark-Hunter universe daily and hear before anyone (don’t shoot her please) what is coming up next in the Dark-Hunter world before it reaches the pages. You can keep up with her on her twitter: www.twitter.com/kimmytweetie.

  1. For question 3: I think 900 years alone would harden anyone and make them rough around the edges. If you take into account Zarek’s past, that would just add to the mistrust of anyone who got close to him.

    I think the most heartbreaking thing was when he found out that he could still go out into the sun (if I’m remembering this book correctly) but he had spent all those years avoiding it.

  2. 1. Status is everything and people can be too cruel for no reason.
    2. Always loved shifters!!! Too cool!
    3. You learn to trust yourself when in solitude and condemn the people that left you to that. Even the strongest stone can crack with the right pressure.
    4. She judges not from just actions but motives. Looking at the whole picture can change everything.
    5. Zarek…lets party. Acheron… ur job sucks. Simi…. let’s go shopping!!!
    6. You mean other than people, shifters, or the “heifer goddess”

  3. My answers to the reading questions!
    1. How the class system worked. I mean, I knew how it functioned from school, but it’s different when put into story form. Makes me really glad I did not live in Roman times.
    2. Sasha’s interactions with Zarek are funny as heck. They just can’t get along. As for Sasha’s job…he’s seriously helpful. I can’t imagine how the other judges do their job without their eyesight. Astrid at least has a extra set of eyes and someone to rely on if things get dangerous.
    3. Made him more instinctive. Not animalistic, as that implies lack of brainpower. You can tell he’s intelligent from how he handles living in a frozen landscape alone. It’s just survival is the name of the game and that’s where all his focus is. I suppose that also makes him more anti-social. Not just because he’s been alone for so long, but since his focus is survival; human beings can be the most dangerous animals out there. But something tells me stateing that is redundent…
    4. She has a thick skin; most of Zareks barbs seem to bounce off her. She’s also pretty patient. She pokes and prods, but at the end, she knows when she should stop and let him chill. Astrid’s different because she’s giving Zarek a chance, and she’s adept at playing devil’s advocate. She said it herself- that a lesser judge would have already given him the verdict and left. Instead, she analyzes the data from Zarek’s actions, asks herself why he did what he did, and whether or not it honestly deserves a harsh punishment. That means she’s way more level-headed, and honestly cares about doing her job correctly. She doesn’t want to condem an innocent man, the same way she doesn’t want to let a guilty man run free. Once again, I feel redundent stateing this…
    5. If I were to already be living in the Dark-Hunter Universe, I probably wouldn’t know they exist. So meeting Zarek in a dark alley in New Orleans would immediatly put me on edge; I’d prepare for a fight. For Ash, if I visited Santuary when he walked in, I would ask him why the heck they play ‘Sweet home Alabama’ specifically to alert the daimons of his presense. I mean, you have thousands of songs on planet Earth, But ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is Ash’s themesong. An explanantion is desired. And SImi…I’d invite her out for Korean BBQ. She’s missing out. Not only do you cook the meat yourself, you get to choose all the delicious things to go with…and eat with chopsticks.
    6. She’d obviously want to eat the Heifer-Goddess. But in leiu of that…a T-rex. Simi wouldn’t mind. Or a hippo. I think a hippo would make great BBQ material.

  4. Zarek is one my favorite characters in this series. He has the biggest heart while still being an a** due to how he was treated by others. I love his attitude and outlook on life and people. Astrid brings out the best in him. He even does his best for Simi. To bad he couldn’t fry Artemis, she really needs an attitude adjustment.

  5. In this installment of the series, Dance with the Devil, you take a trip into Zarek’s history. What did you learn about history while reading this novel?

    A: Nothing new, I am a huge history buff, but in a strangers eyes, i’d say. life may be harsh now, but history was harsher. Also, the justice system sucked. There wern’t any trials or anything, so even innocents or guilty dont really have a chance. expecially if you were a slave.

    We are introduced to the character/shifter Sasha. What did you like about his character and how do you think he was instrumental in Astrid’s job?

    Answer: Sasha is awsome and hilarious. I love how his complaints were empty threats, and he has one wicked sense of humor, as do most characters. He is instrumental in astrids job, because hes her protector, her eyes, and a good companion.

    How do you think Zarek’s 900 years in the cold solitude of Alaska shaped his character?
    Astrid has an unbelievably hard job as a judge. What character traits does she possess that make her good at this job? How? What separates her from the other judges?
    If you were to live in the Dark-Hunter universe? What would you say if you ran into Zarek? Acheron? Or Simi?

    Answer: Well he already was hard, and mistjudged being a slave, and half-roman,w hich arn’t liked really by the others. And given his past hisotry, Being in the cold and alone didn’t help much. but by then he was used to doing things himself.

    Astrids character traits, are strong sense of justice, and good judge of character though she has flaws, before Zarek she never judged anyone as innocent because before him all them were murders, theifs etc. Giving her a cold outlook and not very optimistic. It seperates her from other judges, because unlike the others who show there emotions and judge how they will. She is very closed emotionally not letting them influence her thoughts and judgments.

    If i lived in the universe. I”d Probably run from zarek. be confused by acheron, and love simi, I’d love to go shopping and eat bbq with her.

    Simi makes a hilarious appearance in Dance with the Devil. Who and what would she rather eat rather than return to Acheron’s arm?

    Answer: BBQ and the Heiffer goddess Artimis.

  6. This was one of my favorite books. I started off feeling a bit wary because Zarek wasn’t the most soft (not the right word) character. He has a lot of edges but that added to the mystery of him and the heartbreak that was his life. I almost cried during this novel and it was filled with sadness, humor and happiness. It was a very nice book that made Zarek one of my top dark-hunters.

    1. We think our life is now in developed countries is so hard but we don’t realize how much harder life was back then. There was no real justice system. The guilty can go free while the innocent are condemned. Power and wealth ran the world a lot more back then. The Romans had a strict daily schedule and no action went unpunished. The poor war bartered like coins which doesn’t really happen in developed countries.
    2. He was the eyes of Astrid. He gave her the outer appearance of character and their actions. He was also her companion so that she didn’t feel bored or lost in the human world. He also played devil’s advocate which helped to warn her of danger but to also keep her target in focus.
    3. He was alone for 900 years, without food or water for months at a time. Isolation like that leaves a very lasting effect on a person. Also, the feeling of being misjudged never left him. He thought he was worthless and evil for his whole life and never had a single person tell him differently. He faced all of these by himself and it caused him to be this jaded character. And it made him quite antisocial. But it also kept him innocent. He learned to be himself even though it was the hard way. And he would became more cautious but took every chance at happiness he could get.
    4. She isn’t vindictive or cruel. She is just and wise. She keeps her mind focused on the task and does her best to judge who the person truly is. And she isn’t a pushover, she has an inner strength that is astounding because she can withstand the pressures of being a judge. This is probably helped because she has Sasha with her to calm her down and to give support. She didn’t take the easy way out and judged everyone to her best ability. She isn’t pressured by the people around her.
    5. Hi, nice to meet you. Then I would go on a rampage of questions and jumping around cause I be thinking, Ha knew you existed! Probably would go up to Zarek and get fascinated by his claws. Comment on Ash’s hair and ask him how he got so tall. For Simi, I would go pit out with her. I love eating so I think it’d work out. And I would buy them all a present for making my day come true :D
    6. Artemis!

  7. Artemis is such a bitch! It’s going to take A LOT to make me like her. Anyway, 900 years alone, it’s no wonder Zarek is the way he is, Especially with everything he’s been through. This is just another way Mrs. Kenyon’s books prove that with time, love can heal even the most tortured of souls.

  8. This is one of my favourite books in the series – I have re-read it so many times! I really love Zarek and I hope he makes future appearances in the series. His story is very compelling.

  9. Though not my number one story, Zarek is one of my favorite characters because who doesn’t like his snarky replies?

  10. I love this book and I was wondering if it would get to be a manga? That would be pretty awesome!

  11. 1. I wanted to throat punch everyone of these jerkfaces for looking down their noses at a child. grrrrrr especially his own family. I always remember when he last his money he wanted to buy bread with. heart broken for the child he was.
    2. I didn’t really care for Sasha at first. She needed him to be her eyes and I learned to respect him.
    3. I would be just as angry and bitter as well. No one should be alone like that. Ever.
    4. She doesn’t take his bs but She definitely has a heart and seems more humane then her sisters
    5. Zarek…. don’t punch me in the face but I’m hugging you. ASH…..I don’t think the things I would say to ash are apropros for this thread. Simi….let’s shop
    6. Heifer goddess

  12. “If you were to live in the Dark-Hunter universe? What would you say if you ran into Zarek? Acheron? Or Simi?”
    I’d say “Please don’t eat me” ^^;

    I actually thought Zarek was pretty nice for being in the cold solitude of Alaska for 900 years.

  13. I absolutely love this book. I put plenty of quotes from it on my walls. As for the 3rd question, 900 years of isolation would have made him unused to people and kindness, and made him misunderstood.
    Love him to death.

  14. Favorite quotes from Dance with the Devil.

    “I don’t suffer from my insanity — I enjoy every minute of it.”

    “I have found my star. She is beauty and grace. Elegance and goodness. My laughter in winter. She is courageous and strong. Bold and tempting. Unlike any other in all the universe, and I cannot touch her. I dare not even try.”

    “Forgiveness is the best part of valor…Discretion is easy. It’s finding the courage to forgive yourself and others that is hard.”

    “The Simi is environmentally sound. Eat everything except for hooves”

    “Hopeless implies that at one time there was hope. And that’s another word I don’t understand. Hope only exists for people who have choices. [Zarek]”

    “Vengeance is a dish best served cold. (Thanatos)
    We’re in Alaska, dickhead. Here everything is cold. (Zarek)”

    “Wake up, Astrid. Your psychotic criminal is playing with knives. (Sasha)”

    “Are you up? Dressing? (Astrid)
    No. I’m pissing on your rug. What do you think I’m doing? (Zarek)
    I’m blind. For all I know you really are peeing on my rug, which is a very nice rug incidentally, so I hope you’re kidding. (Astrid)”

    “I just want to be warm. Just once let me be warm. Is there no star capable of sharing its fire with me? (Zarek)”

    “I assure you, princess, if you saw the real me, you’d run for cover. (Zarek)
    Only if I knew you’d be waiting under that cover for me. (Astrid)”

    “One day I’m going to find a way to rid you of that beast resting on your arm. (Artemis)
    (He looked at her over his shoulder.)
    And one day I’m going to find a way to rid myself of the beast resting on my back. (Acheron)”

  15. 1. There was no real justice system and whoever had the most money was the innocent. The guilty can go free while the innocent are condemned. They had a very strict way of life, much more than today. And anyone even highborn could be sold and bartered like coin.

    2. He was kinda of like the yin to her yang until Zarek came along. He was the harsher one of the two and had the most emotion. He was her protector and eyes and gave her the outer personality of someone.

    3. He was alone for almost half his time as a dark hunter. He wanted to be accepted and thought he would be because of everyone’s own way into becoming a dark hunter. He thought they could share a common feeling of being wronged. Isolation and the feeling of being misjudged would leave a very lasting effect. And no on told him that he wasn’t worthless. He taught himself how to handle it and couldn’t accept any happiness or kindness.

  16. Zarek is a total badass. I just love his character. Astrid is a total doll, love her! Is sasha going to get his own book?

  17. 4. She keeps her cool in every situation and doesn’t let the prejudices of others influence her judgement. She does her best to be impartial and uses all the time she is given to properly judge the person. She has an inner strength that is very strong because she can held herself up to the pressures of being a judge.

    5. Shower them with questions. Stare at them to make sure that their real and maybe pinch them as well to see if their real. Then just spend as much time as possible with them.

    6. Artemis I think.

  18. I am not sure why I like Zarek he is so grumpy to put it mildly, however, he always comes through all the while complaining LOL!

  19. Quotation-Sherrilyn-Kenyon-dance-devil-Meetville-Quotes-69130

    “Vengeance is a dish best served cold. (Thanatos)
    We’re in Alaska, dickhead. Here everything is cold. (Zarek)”

    “Wake up, Astrid. Your psychotic criminal is playing with knives. (Sasha)”

    “Are you up? Dressing? (Astrid)
    No. I’m pissing on your rug. What do you think I’m doing? (Zarek)
    I’m blind. For all I know you really are peeing on my rug, which is a very nice rug incidentally, so I hope you’re kidding. (Astrid)”

    “I just want to be warm. Just once let me be warm. Is there no star capable of sharing its fire with me? (Zarek)”

    Written in my real home, I couldn’t help but love this novel :D

  20. 1.In this installment of the series, Dance with the Devil, you take a trip into Zarek’s history. What did you learn about history while reading this novel?
    This one is very interesting because you have mythology mixed with modern society. It is nice how a little of Alaskan history is told in this novel as well.
    2.We are introduced to the character/shifter Sasha. What did you like about his character and how do you think he was instrumental in Astrid’s job?
    He was funny I loved how he helped with the animalistic instincts and working as her eyeballs.
    3.How do you think Zarek’s 900 years in the cold solitude of Alaska shaped his character?
    He is not “society” ready really at all. it seems he adjusted well to being alone with no one. he really didn’t have any possessions either. just lived off the land.
    4.Astrid has an unbelievably hard job as a judge. What character traits does she possess that make her good at this job? How? What separates her from the other judges?
    she truly judges based on the person and doesn’t allow politics of the gods to get in the way of her decision.
    5.If you were to live in the Dark-Hunter universe? What would you say if you ran into Zarek? Acheron? Or Simi?
    Hello.
    6.Simi makes a hilarious appearance in Dance with the Devil. Who and what would she rather eat rather than return to Acheron’s arm?
    the heifer goddess.

  21. This book hits the home button. I have hi lighted many lines in the book. Just love this book

  22. Oh I am SOO telling! lol No but sleuoisry, you gotta read them before March! They’re sooo good. Even my husband who sleuoisry hates reading read them and loved them. :] The thing that put me off from trying the Dark-Hunter series for so long was the length of the series. That can be intimidating and I tend to read smaller series’ that I’m not so behind on first. lolMy recent post

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