Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Dark Hunters

Go To

"Let me give you the job descriptions. Me, Dark-hunter. You, Daimon. I hit. You bleed. I kill. You die."
— Zarek summarizes it much quicker.

The Dark Hunter series is a group of books written by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The Hunters noted in the series can be broken down as follows:

  • Dark Hunters: These were created by the Greek Goddess Artemis to destroy Apollites who steal human souls to artificially enlongate their lifespans.

  • Dream Hunters: These are mostly composed of Greek pantheon hybrids, and usually are found in a dimension between human reality and Mount Olympus. They are charged with keeping humans from going insane while sleeping, or to assist others (like Dark Hunters) by accelerating their healing while they sleep.

  • Were Hunters: These are the results of Apollite/animal tampering, resulting in two bloodlines for each animal. The Katagari are predominantly animal; the Arcadians are predominantly human. The primary animals are: Bear, Dragon, Hawk, Leopard, Panther, Tiger, and Wolf.

As of May 2010, there are a total of 28 books and novelettes encompassing the series, along with a Companion Book.

This series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Where do we start? Let's see... Katra, Tabitha, Danger, Delphine, Tory, Cassandra, Zephyra, Samia, Leta... and the list goes ON.
  • Affably Evil
  • All Myths Are True: And how. We have the Greek Pantheon, the Atlantean Pantheon, the Sumerian Pantheon, the Egyptian Pantheon, various Native American supernatural entities, voodoo (sort of)... vampires, vampires hunters, shapeshifters (kinda), 2012 prophecies, demons (lots of them, and multiple kinds), zombies... what's next, Sherrilyn?
  • And I Must Scream: If a Dark Hunter dies without getting their soul back, they become a Shade. They're eternally hungry, eternally thirsty, and in eternal pain. They exist as ghosts, wandering the world invisible to all but Acheron, and whenever anyone walks through them, it's a fresh burst of agony. Some Shades have existed for millennia. Thus far the only characters to become Shades and not suffer for eternity are Alexion (the first Shade, altered to make it less horrifying by Acheron) and Danger, Alexion's lover, who got the same deal from Ash when she died.
  • Advertisement:
  • Animesque: The OEL adaptation of The Dark Hunters is written by an American, drawn and lettered by Americans, and reads like a typical American indie comic, but it goes for a mangaish look and for some reason it's read from right to left. Decide for yourselves whether you like it that way.
  • Animorphism
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Paying out literally mountains of gold and jewels for years takes an impressive bank roll, and gives one to the payee.
  • Arc Words: "Over, under, around, or through. There's always a way." Appears in most every book though usually not until at least half way through.
  • Atlantis: Where Ash grew up. It was destroyed by his mother Apollymi, The Destroyer.
  • Author Appeal : An inordinate number of characters are into Goth fashion, Buffy, and using food during sex play.
  • Badass Longcoat
  • Badass Normal: Arguably the whole point of Blood Rite Squires.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: This happens many times.
  • Bash Brothers: The individual Dark Hunters are each trained to kill Daimons. Although they cannot stand together without draining each others's powers (thanks, Artemis!), there is still kinship between them.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Everyone. Yes, even the bad ones.
  • Being Good Sucks: Some characters have this ideology.
  • Big "NO!": Happens mostly when the heroine is injured or dies and the hero goes all "NOOOOOOO!!"
  • Break the Cutie: Repeated. Ash being the epitome. You name it, he suffered it.
  • Bullying a Dragon: This trope is both lampshaded and subverted. A specific example: Ash can pretty much destroy... well... everything, but keeps getting in ridiculous situations by being manipulated by others.
  • Butt-Monkey: Acheron. Ahem... literally. Even when people try to HELP him.
  • Celtic Mythology
  • Christmas Episode: A short story were Gallagher experiences his first Christmas after becoming a Dark Hunter.
  • Classical Mythology: The pantheon is about what you would expect from the Greeks.
  • CloudCuckooLander:
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Liza, the squire. An old sweet lady who will offer you tee, and if you have luck, she will give you one of her beautiful dolls... that are actually like retractable swords. Yeah. In general, either the female character turns out to be a kickass, or someone the hero or heroine knows turns out to be a know-it-all about mythology
  • Depraved Bisexual: Most of the gods have very few compunctions about the gender of their lovers and, true to their source myths, do not give a solitary damn about anything or anyone besides themselves. Including whether or not their lovers are willing.
  • Deus ex Machina: With literal gods. Now where'd that conflict go?
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: They are strong men. They don't want you to feel sorry for them. Maybe.
  • Door Stopper: The book Acheron tops out at over 500 pages.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Acheron revolves around this trope. The titular main character is abused by men and women alike, but a particularly dark subversion occurs with his initial love interest, Artemis. Her wanton and sadistic abuse of Acheron is treated throughout the entire book as being completely unacceptable. She also lampshaded this trope several times with a few of Acheron's lines.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Specifically, the idea that Men always want it and so cannot be raped. So horrifically averted in every way possible, Some scenes have been known to sicken even the most hard core readers. The fact that it happened to children only makes it worse. So much worse.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Acheron, Nick and, allegedly, Tabitha.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everybody now...! No matter how abused, misguided or misanthropic.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Ohhh, come ON. Dark and Troubled Past, Check. Troubled, but Cute? Check. Sexy voice? Absolutely.
  • Eternal Love: All god/were-human relationships are resolved. Mortal? No problem! Now you're immortal AND have some cool supe powers!
  • Fur Against Fang: The Weres and the Dark Hunters aren't the friendliest neighbors, given that the Weres are cousins to the Daimons the Dark Hunters kill.
  • Granola Girl : Sunshine, again.
  • Heartbroken Badass
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    • Everyone.
    • Except for Valerius... he found it 'barbaric' to put it in his terms.
  • Hellgate: The boltholes used by the Daimons.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Simone from Dream Chaser. Also, most of the kids, like Marissa Hunter, that the heroes and heroines of past books are shown to be popping out in their continuing cameos, since about 50% of the pairings are Dark/Dream/Were Hunter & ordinary human woman. And the doozy: Nick, who previously just thought his dad was a convict but in recent books has discovered was some powerful being from whom Nick's inherited supernatural abilities of world-changing/destroying power..
  • Idealized Sex: They are romance novels, after all.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The way to kill a Daimon is to stab them through the chest where the 'ink stain' of human souls resides. One "pop" and they get turned into golden powder.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One:
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zarek, Sin, Aidan, Xypher, Stryker, Jericho, Nick...
  • Jerkass: Many characters, some more that others. Nick is a good example, although he has an excuse... right?
    • Nick has I deal with a lot of these. First there's Stone, who harasses him for his low income and also goads him into fights in order to get the rest of the school to think he's a delinquent and have him kicked off the football team. There's also Nick's first principal, who's view of Nick and his family isn't very different from that of Stone. His next principle isn't very different, and the second coach blackmails him into stealing things from the students at his school.
  • Jerkass God: Artemis being a really good example. Zeus can count in, too. And Apollo, of course. And... well, gosh, there are a lot of them in this series, too many to name.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Acheron can change his hair color at will. So far it's been black, brown, green, purple, platinum silver, and black with red streaks, among others.
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • Mama Bear: Literally, with Nicolette Peltier. Apollymi also goes out of her way to protect her son Apostolos aka Acheron
  • Motive Decay: (Not sure this is exactly the trope I'm looking for for this): Artemis, (rather impressively actually) over the course of half of a book manages to go from a genuinely nice character in a tough situation who's trying her best to understand someone to a brain dead socially inept abuser. ... uhm... by the end of the first half of the book she's very little like the character you're supposed to like a couple hundred pages ago.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If you're a Daimon or an Appollite, the mention of any Dark Hunter's name should create this. Otherwise it falls under Names to Trust Immediately.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Can apply to many characters.
    • Ash gets whipped raw by Artemis every time he gives a soul back to a Dark Hunter.
    • Jericho (Cratus) was doomed to centuries of crude torture, because he saved a baby he was supposed to kill. This baby turned out to be Delphine, who ended up being his love interest.
  • One-Winged Angel: If Acheron is pissed beyond all hope of redemption, he turns blue, gets black horns, nails, and lips, and basically rips the ever-loving everything out of most everyone. Bonus points for the ability to end the world should he go visit his mother in Atlantean Hell.
  • Organization with Unlimited Funding: Artemis pays each Dark Hunter in a wheelbarrow-sized load of gold and precious jewels each month, which then has to be converted into normal currency. Multiply this by the number of Dark Hunters and the thousand years this has been going on, and you come up with some serious wealth.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • They burn in sunlight and have fangs, but they don't need blood to survive.
    • Appollites are to die painfully at the age of 27, due to a curse from The Greek God, Apollo. They have fangs as well, and must feed from each other until they die. To circumvent this early death, they can choose to "go Daimon" by taking human souls into their bodies. This makes them targets of Dark Hunters.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Papa Bear: Bubba from The Chronicles of Nick. He's not just some redneck maniac. He was originally a wealthy married man. When his wife and child were killed bay robber, he had a massive Freak Out, quit his job, started his store, and began giving self-defens lessons and to prowl the streets in search of anyone else who would take innocent life.
  • Power Nullifier: The metriazo collars to the Weres; low voltage electricity prevents Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Prophetic Names: Acheron. After the River of Woe. Let's see here. When he was born, his mother and father both denied him due to his silver eyes, a sign of him being a gift from the gods. They both utterly despised him, and he just couldn't understand why. It was made especially worse since he looks exactly like Styxx, his brother, who neither parent has a problem lavishing affection on. He's then taken away to become a prostitute, where he's raped, beaten, drugged... The list goes on. And that's only the start of things... May the gods have mercy on you indeed.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The so-called gods don't care, but the author herself makes it perfectly clear that the act is repugnant and disgusting.
  • Resurrection Revenge: This is the way the Goddess Artemis gains the titular warriors who work for her in the fight against the Soul Eating Daimons. After a person dies, at the moment of there death they can make a call to her so that they can return to life as an extremely powerful and immortal supernatural being. They can then kill the person who wronged or killed them. In return for this, they become Dark hunters who then help her to protect humanity.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Apollymi.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Katagaria's main form is animal; the Arcadians, human.
  • Shirtless Scene: Every book, with tons of detailed description.
  • Single Line of Descent: Despite the line originating in Atlantis, which is several thousand years ago, somehow Apollo has exactly two descendents in the modern day. And they're mother and son.
  • Single Mom Stripper: Cherise Gautier, Nick's Mom, particularly in Chronicles of Nick: Infinity. Watch what you say about her in front of Nick, especially since she's now dearly departed.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness:
    • The Dark Hunters look like vampires, and they can even drink blood, but they are actually pretty friendly, especially given that they protect humans.
    • Daimons have their friendly moments, too.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Julian Alexander spent the majority of his life viewed as a Lust Object by women, and hated by other men because of it. Being the son of Aphrodite, it makes sense.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • From Acheron...
    • Asheron...
    • ...and later Ash... note 
    • The Dark-Hunter Ravyn.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Ash. Apocalypse, anyone? Nick, after unlocking his Malachai powers.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome
  • The Big Easy: The majority of the books are set in New Orleans.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: An affectionate parody; Acheron, the Atlantean god-turned-vampire warrior, has "Sweet Home Alabama" for his theme music.
  • The Power of Love: To the cavity-forming degree.
  • This Was His True Form: When a Were-Hunter falls asleep, faints, or dies, they go back to their base form.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Ash. Most recently Seth
  • Unreliable Narrator: Both Ash and Styxx spend much of their lives believing that they were the victim while their brother had it all. As they narrate the books that bare their names, the reader ends up believing that to unless they read both.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Dark-Hunters get a monthly salary of a pile o' treasure, which funds their huge houses and expensive cars.
  • Vampires Own Nightclubs: Daimons and Weres certainly do.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Or as Ash says, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". Heck, his life pretty much revolves around this trope, to a point that everyone identifies this as his Catchphrase.
  • * Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Weres. Unless they are zapped with electricity; then they phase in and out without control for several minutes.
  • World of Badass: we have to explain?
  • You Cannot Fight Fate: The opening prologue of The Chronicles of Nick is dripping with this.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: