Immortal Beloved: Reyn

So the new blog name.

Ah….

I’ll get back to you on that. There are two options I’m at and one of them is just keeping the name.

But more importantly: I have read a book with a barbarian. Granted, not one where he’s in his own historical setting but still. It counts.

Also, there are some big plot points revealed in this in order to discuss Reyn’s character more thoroughly so read at your discretion.

I was not expecting this to suck me in. I felt like the jacket blurb didn’t draw me in. The phrase I see in a few reviews is that they expected it to be a Twilight knock-off. But when I began…wow I could not stop. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan sucked me in. We open on our heroine Nastasya, an immortal. She’s not a vampire or a goddess or any of the usual YA fare. She’s just immortal and possesses a magic that all immortals have that threatens to consume her. Nastasya, having lived for 400 years in now a party girl in London, living an aimless and empty life.

Until there’s an incident with her friends that both disgusts and terrifies her. Nastasya needs to get away. She heads to Massachusetts to River’s Edge, a co-op/commune for wayward immortals. River’s Edge is headed by River, a warm immortal woman. The idea of the home is for immortals to discover the little joys of the mundane in their long existence. They tend an organic farm, rotate chores. Most of them also learn to tap the magic that has always threatened to consume them and use it for good purposes.

Immortal Beloved, the first in a trilogy is very much Nastasya’s story and about her coming to terms with her volatile past and the magic within her. The hero Reyn factors in to some extent–Nastasya thinks he’s an a-hole. Especially since on the first day she arrived he told her she didn’t belong at River’s Edge and she should leave. Which is very irksome because she is also very attracted to him.

This may make you think (a) oh God, love-hate relationship and/or (b) douchey hero. Neither is true. Nastasya’s grappling with her feelings. Reyn is so different from the men she has been around the past decades.

But standing here next to Reyn, I felt the heat of his body, smelled the clean-laundry scent of his clothes, and he seemed–unique, and like he could handle anything, you know? Something in me wanted to wrap my arms around his waist and lean my cheek against his chest, right over his heart. My face flamed at the thought.

Reyn, who I didn’t know a single thing about, gave off an impression of solidarity, of strength and resolves, and it struck me that I didn’t know anyone else who did. Not in my life.

I appreciate that the Reyn component, while important, doesn’t overshadow Nastasya’s journey of discovery. She’s not solely focused on his but every time you start wishing he’d march his sexy butt back in, he does. Because reconciling with who Reyn is becomes a part of her self-discovery.

As for Reyn’s bad attitude towards Nastasya when he arrives and at different parts in the book, there is justification. Yes, justification!! Not to say he’s right but it’s understandable.

Reyn was not always the good, solid person he is. This is where I will be spoiling you. In Nastasya’s past, she lived with her family of immortals in northern Russia. Her family was attacked and killed by barbarians,. The same group also attacked her when she was a young mother and one of the men almost rapes her.

Later in the book, Nastasya realizes that Reyn was a member of that family. Reyn is the man who almost raped her. Which if handled badly, would have had me going all Oh Hell No. But Reyn has changed in the centuries since then, as one of the characters explains to Nastasya.

“No, Reyn was a violent, power-hungry warrior, born into a violent culture where subduing other cultures was the norm. He didn’t rebel against it, didn’t run away from it. He embraced it–the horror, the death, the darkness. But almost three-hundred years ago, he chose a different path and left behind his weapons and armor.

“Since then he’s waged war of a different kind, within himself, against his own nature. He has tried consistently to choose good over dark, peace over violence, life over death.”

Reyn has acknowledged that his past was not good. Because he is a changed man, I’m not going to call him a douchey hero. He’s a redeemed one. As for him being an ass to Nastasya, it’s understandable. Nastasya, at first glance, represents everything he tried to leave behind. He’s afraid she will lead him back into temptation because she’s fresh off her vapid life and he is really really attracted to her.

Not right but understandable. Everything is not alright between the two by the end of the book. That’s okay because it’s part of a trilogy and if they wrapped everything up so quickly I’d be angry. But there is a sort of resolution on Reyn’s part.

I pulled my mouth away, torn and confused and so full of longing that my chest hurt, and said, “Why?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know.” He sounded frustrated and uncertain and dismayed. I felt his heart thumping against my chest. “I just–want you. I want you so bad, all the time. I know I shouldn’t, I know I can’t, I know it’s wrong…but even when you’re pissing me off, when you’re reminding me of pain and despair and torture–it’s there, the wanting. I’m tired of fighting it. I fight so many things, all the time, every day. I don’t want to fight this. Not anymore.”

The book ends with Nastasya unsure if she forgives him, but also knowing that there is something between them romantically that will not go away. I was satisfied with this. I was slightly irked near the end about how Nastasya spelled out her epiphany a few times about how her lessons at River’s Edge made sense and she was more than her past. But combined with this, I was a happy reader when I closed the book. Except for the part yearning for the sequel which isn’t out until September of next year :c

Breakdown

Appearance: tall, blonde and muscular with “topaz” eyes. Referred to as a “viking god” in looks.

Personality: quiet, solid/stoic, inwardly tormented. Has good control but sometimes let’s it bubble over. A little oblivious. Damn sexy.

Best Quality: He makes a conscious effort to turn his life around and become a good immortal.

Worst Quality: His fear of regression can lead to some outbursts or slight douchiness.

Man Grade: A

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3 Responses to “Immortal Beloved: Reyn”


  1. 1 Samantha January 3, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I adored this book, and agree with everything you’ve said. Generally I won’t read a book if it doesn’t have an element of romance to it, but this book was so awesome that even if reyn wasn’t in it, I would still have loved it just as much. Having said that, I still really liked what happened with reyn, but I myself do not like reyn, but I have no issue with him being nastaya’s man candy, but i still think you ranked him a bit high.

    • 2 allyjs January 4, 2011 at 1:58 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the book too and I’m totally with you–I need that hint of romance most of the time in my reading material. I think I ranked him so high because he was rounded and had reasons for his actions, which are always big pluses for me.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. 3 Stephanie Heine January 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I loved this book! It was sooooo amazing to read and I wish it wouldn’t be a trilogy, becauce I want more auf Nasty and Reyn. By the way I’m German and when I’ve read this I wonder a lot! I’m so sad, because the German books are mainly different from the English original. But this wouldn’t change my Reyn-crush. The main fact is, that Reyn never raped Nasty, he wanted to try, but one of his vikings stoped it, when he was screaming after him. Had Nastasya this little child, who took Reyns attention? I’m so confused and sad and now I want to read die originals to know what really happened.
    When i bought this book it took a little time til I found it special. I was the Vampire Diaries type of girl. I’m so happy, that I’ve bought this one. β™₯ And I HAAAATE Incy, he’s that type of boy who is perf for a girls best friend who made it often to hard. At the beginning I favored him a lot and can’t decide who I like more. But Reyns story is so.. interesting and a kind of sth I’ve never read. I enjoyed the short parts of flashbacks, actually all of his scenes.
    I’m so thankful, that I got the chance to read all of this. But it’s 2014 almost 3 years later. You may right back? πŸ˜€

    Lots of greets and fangirl hypes from Germany! πŸ™‚


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