The world of vampires is real… and the main protagonists Julian Harrow and Christian Thorn are going to prove it to you in Raythe Reign’s Ever Dark.
Ever Dark is one of the flagships of Raythe Reign’s work, and one that’s appealed enough that it’s the newest serial to be turned into an audiobook, available on YouTube and Raythe Reign’s official website. In it, we’re introduced to a premise that fits like a glove in the gloomy, hallow world of vampires. Julian, our dark-haired and lean protagonist has spent most of his life trying to prove that his parents didn’t die in a car crash, and were in fact killed for discovering the world of vampires. He’s joined by his best friend Christian, a sceptical ally to be sure, but one that will risk anything in order to help his friend.
However, the two won’t just discover a new and exciting world but love too. Julian discovers he is fated to be with the Vampire King Daemon, despite his hatred for vampires fuelling the majority of his life. Whereas Christian, a much more logical-thinking man in comparison to his friend, finds himself getting closer to the Exiled Vampire Lord Balthazar. The focus on two couples instead of one is a huge change from Dragon’s Reign, which only focuses on one couple.
“They are incredibly different, which is part of the fun.” Raythe Reign, the creator of Ever Dark, tells us when asked about the difference between the two couples. “Daemon and Julian are more my “action” couple. They take chances. They’re wildly passionate, ready to embrace the unknown, and are eager for adventure. While Balthazar and Christian have both been egregiously hurt by those they should have been able to trust. They’re my “wounded” couple who either claim they don’t need the complication from love in their lives, but they’re deeply romantic in the end.”
With two different couples come two different ways to appeal to an audience, as well as unique ways to feature the vampire world from an outsider’s perspective. While both couples are deeply romantic, the way they contrast is significant and plays a key role in the ever-changing twists of Ever Dark’s story.
Despite it being a gay vampire story, where tragedy usually runs rampant through both genres, Ever Dark guarantees a happy ending – and we promise that isn’t a spoiler. For Raythe Reign, the reason is simple: it’s a requirement for the romance genre, and it guarantees readers there will be solace at the end. “It’s not a romance if it doesn’t have a “happy ever after.” It’s literally a requirement to have that if something is to be classified as a “romance” otherwise it might be called a “love story” or something else. Romance readers will come on a super bumpy ride with you if they know in the end that things work out. They want to know that from page one.”
That doesn’t mean there won’t be strife. Vampires have always been known as predatory creatures, with fangs ready to chow on down no matter who you are, and it just so happens the protagonists have more than enough baggage to weigh potential relationships down…So, it’s no surprise then that Ever Dark consists of over 100 chapters, and that the audiobook version will be encompassing that. The reason is due to the serial nature of Ever Dark, where chapters are written, published and commented on by readers from around the world, all while waiting for the next part. This lets readers feel part of the writing process and, as Raythe explains it, their comments (what they like, what they don’t) helps them in making sure the story flows out in a way that appeals.
As for why vampires? It’s simple. “Vampires have always been associated with sexual freedom. That judgement about desires is something very small and mortal, if you will. That if you live forever, you’ll realize that the boxes the human world likes to put us in are just constructs of society. They aren’t real and they don’t reflect the truth of us.”
Readers and listeners who find themselves itching for something new in the vampire world, but with a gay twist, can find out more about the Ever Dark series via YouTube and Raythe Reign’s official website