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Dark Awakening (Dark Dynasties, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Castle demonstrates considerable skill in crafting a tale that offers readers a conflict-ridden forbidden love interlaced with political intrigue and betrayal . . . The author's world-building is intricate and cohesive . . . plenty of action . . . I like Castle's voice and look forward to reading more of her work."―USAToday.com on Midnight Reckoning

"Rising star Castle is sure to please with an exciting new series. Passion and loyalty collide as the hero is forced to re-evaluate the choices that have driven his life."―RT Book Reviews

"Castle's world-building is superb and leaves readers wanting more."―Romantic Times

"[Dark Awakening] grabs you from the first page and the next thing you know you've been reading for several hours immersed in Lily and Ty's world. I adored this story, was sorry it ended so soon and have put the next in the series on my wishlist already. Fans of the paranormal romance, urban fantasy and vampire genres should put this on their wishlist."―BittenByParanormalRomance.com

"I am always thrilled when I find a new spin on the vampire mystique, and Dark Awakening certainly fits the bill. An amazing story of ancient dynasties, class divisions, curses and blood feuds, this book has opened new and exciting views into vampire worlds...The problem with such a new and detailed book is there is so much information I want to impart, but the most important thing I can say is READ THIS BOOK."―You Gotta Read Reviews

"Castle is a rising star! Call Of The Highland Moon thrills with seductive romance and breathtaking suspense. This is an author to watch!"―Alyssa Day, USA Today bestselling author on Call of the Highland Moon

"Ms. Castle continues to show the depth and honor of the Scottish heritage. This book defines all the parts that I enjoy for a great read. I look forward to Ms. Castle's next book in this series and wonder what new horizons she will cross..."―Romance Junkies on Dark Highland Fire

"Castle put a fresh spin to her vampire series that I hadn't seen before. The world building was superb and I found myself captivated from the very first page. I HIGHLY recommend this one and found this to be a total and complete book seduction. Yay! I've got another author to add to my ever growing list of favorites. I am so looking forward to the sequel."―SeducedByABook.com

"Kendra Leigh Castle has set the stage for a phenomenal new vampire series which will take the paranormal genre by storm. DARK AWAKENING has one of the most interesting and well-thought out vampire hierarchies that I have encountered in a vampire novel. Vampire novels just don't get any better than this!"―FreshFiction.com

About the Author

Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of three previous paranormal romance novels: Call of the Highland Moon, Dark Highland Fire, and Wild Highland Magic, Dark Awakening, is the first book in her Dark Dynasties series. She lives in Maryland with her husband, their three children, three high-maintenance dogs, and one enormous Siberian cat.

You can learn more at:


Twitter @KendraLCastle


Browse more selections from author Neal Stephenson.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609418379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609418373
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kendra Leigh Castle is a RITA award-nominated, multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Raised in the far and frozen reaches of Northern New York, where her love of curling up with a blanket and a good book came early, she penned her debut novel as a Navy wife living in the Nevada desert. Since then, she has managed to continue working in her pajamas while moving around the country. Kendra currently makes her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of pets. She drinks too much coffee, stays up too late, and loves to hear from her readers, who make this crazy job worthwhile.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 18, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Dark Awakening" is a mix of new ideas, old ideas, and cliches, but at heart, it's a love story of two emotionally scarred people who learn to trust, to hope, and to love.

Lily has trouble connecting to people and getting close, as does Ty, though for different reasons. She was adopted but her parents treated like her like an accessory. Or they did until her psychic powers manifested and then they tried to commit her to a sanitarium. She learned to stuff her abilities deep down inside but she's not close to her adoptive family and has no memory of her biological family. She does have a recurring nightmare where she dreams of a fire and death. The dream changes over time but it always scares her, so much so that she's afraid to sleep.

Ty is a vampire, a hunter, and a shape shifter. The vampires in Castle's world are ordered by Dynasty and by caste. Ty's caste, the Cait Sidhe, are a blend of vampiric and Fae blood and able to shift into cats; they are considered the lowest form of vampire. The Cait Sidhe are called lowbloods, or more rudely, gutterbloods; the other dynasties are highbloods. The Cait Sidhe are indentured servants at best, and in the worst, situations, slaves. Ty has a measure of respect and freedom as a hunter for the Queen of the Ptolemy Dynasty who absorbed his people into their own. Still, Ty has not been a free man in hundreds of years and has been abused, mostly emotionally, and neglected, and serving at the whim of his queen, whom he desperately believes has some good in her. He needs to believe that, in order to survive.

Ty and Lily meet when he hunts her for his Queen. The Ptolemy Dynasty is under attack and the Queen believes that a human Seer can help find the one responsible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Schreiner on July 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dark Awakening comes across as a very cookie-cutter PNR. The heroine is unaware (to some extent) of her abilities and meets a dangerous hero, who just happens to be a shapeshifter and introduces her to the world of vampires. Then we meet the hero's friend, who is definitely not to be trusted - but guess what - at the end he really is a good guy (who happens to be book two's hero). Not much in the way of surprises or fun twists. With that being said, the world did interest me enough where I wanted to finish the book. There is a vampire queen, and spies and lots of people who you aren't sure you should trust. The first 100 pages are much better than the remaining part of the book. I also have to say the romance falls very flat for me. I liked both the hero and the heroine, I just never believed that they fell in love. The sex scenes felt like they were there just because this is a paranormal romance book, not because it felt like that is what should happen next between the couple. This one didn't quite grab me.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Heather BookSavvyBabe on September 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
*2.5 stars*
I am a long-time paranormal romance fan. I love the darker nature of vampires, werewolves, and the hidden underworld mixed with romance. I was looking forward to reading Dark Awakening, but sadly, this book just did not work too well for me. Lily is the heroine who has no idea who or what she really is when she is suddenly thrust into the underworld and vampires are out for her blood. Ty is a "low-blood" vampire, a Cait Sith who can turn into a very large, very deadly black cat. Ty is sent to collect Lily, but once he finds her, he is concern for her well being. Ty and Lily's attraction grows as they try to find out what Lily really is. The closer they come to finding the truth, the more danger they face.

This review is tough for me to write, I really debated where to place it on my rating scale. I am giving Dark Awakening 2.5 stars because I feel pretty neutral about it. I don't just "not-like" the book, but I don't really like it either. I like the characters well enough, but I felt that Ty was pretty whiny and self-depreciating. I understood that he was a slave, but after awhile I wanted him to start being proud of who and what he was. He never fully accomplishes that. The romance between Ty and Lily was pretty run-of-the-mill. It was expected, and not really challenged too much. I didn't feel too much chemistry between them. Theirs was instant attraction that grew, and it was pretty straight forward.

In Dark Awakening, there is a definite caste system in the vampire world, which gave the world in this book and intriguing twist. However, the main focus on the caste system in Dark Awakening was to identify Ty and the other Cait Sith's as "gutter cats," and to emphasize that the other vampire castes were so much better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the first time he sees Lily in the moonlight, catshifting vamp Ty is captivated, but when moves in for a little taste of the beguiling Lily, he finds tha Lily is more than she seems - and she is just what he has been hunting for, a Seer. And as much as Ty wants Lily, as a servant to the queen of a powerful vampire house he has no choice but to complete his hunt and deliver the Seer into the dangerous vampire world knowing full well that queen will never allow Lily to be his.

I am really not a super vamp fan, so on my first attempt at reading Dark Destiny I read the prolog and it didn't grab me. But, I am trying to start attacking my TBR pile and doing a "choose it or lose it" on some of the numerous complete (or nearly complete) series languishing there and the two books of Castle's series was the least daunting choice. Well even though my reasons for picking this back up were dubious, I have to say that in giving it another chance, the first real chapter was really good and the rest just kept on getting better.

It is hard not to go into too much detail but I thought that the world that Castle created was interesting with a smattering of mythology, and a caste system running through the different vampire clans. The mindset that goes along with having been a victim of those prejudices plays a key part in the story because it defines the characters - especially the leading man, Ty, and several of his 'blood' brothers as well - and it sets up the 'obstacle' that the staring pair have to overcome to be together.
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