Born of Night is the first book in the League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, a science-fiction series about assassins.
In the Ichidan universe, no one is really safe. So the League was formed, a group of ruthless assassins are formed to help create order. They're trained and tortured from a young age, making them more than a little psychotic, and very, very dangerous. None of the assassins can quit the League. They are only done when they die.
Many years ago, Nykyrian Quikiades turned his back on the League when he was given a mission he would not complete. He has been the only one to survive such a rebellion. He went and formed his own group which takes on its own assignments.
His newest assignment is protecting Princess Kiara Zamir, a dancer who suddenly everyone seems to be after. It may be one of Nykyrian's toughest mission, not only because of his troublesome attraction to the princess, but also because one of the original League is after Kiara, a man who is just as ruthless and dangerous as Nykyrian himself.
Science-Fiction assassins with an author who absolutely adores to give her characters awful and terrible pasts. Needless to say, I loved this book. It had space-battles, fist/sword/gun-fights, and that little bit of romance that ties just about every book together.
First of all, Nykyrian is probably my favorite character of the book. He's not terribly chatty and doesn't have a problem killing the bad guys. Kiara, on the other hand, didn't make a good first impression to me. She was a typical "strong" female character, often described as "fiercely independant", which is just a euphemism for "annoyingly stubborn and irritating". As the story continued, though, she gained a little more depth and didn't turn out to be too bad. I suppose her being a dancer also appealed to me, since I'm one as well.
And those are just the main characters. There's also Syn, Hauk, Jayne, and others who complete Nykyrian's team, all of whom are plenty interesting. You don't find out a lot about them (with the exception of Syn, and we still don't get all that many details on him), but you can tell they have pasts and are completely round characters.
The second book in the League series is called Born of Fire, and is about Syn and Shahara. I think it goes on at the same time as Born of Night, but I'm not positive. There's a bit of a complication about Born of Night: It was originally published in 1996, but was then later republished with edits and revisions. Sherrilyn Kenyon has a fantastic site (http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/index.php) which gives you the reading order of all her books, plus interesting character bios. This is awesome for people like me, who love to know little bits of trivia about the chars.
NOTE: This book is an adult novel and does contain adult content.
Another quick note concerning something quite different: from now on we'll also be posting on Wednesdays about new going on in the book-world. New books by authors, book-movies, the occasional author-interview when we can get them. This Wednesday will be featuring an interview with Ann Mauren, author of the Mayne Attraction series.