Sunday, April 29, 2012

AdVocated! "Ruins at Dusk" by Kyilliki

"Ruins at Dusk" by Kyilliki
Caius & Didyme, Romance/Supernatural, Volturi, M, WIP
Summary: Of burning pages, Caius and Didyme, and other things that cannot last.

So often we seek out a story with the goal to make us laugh, to make us love, to leave us in suspense, or even to make is cry. However, with "Ruins at Dusk," I am not only entertained, but am left inspired. I find that not many stories are able to have that effect on me.

I am just in awe of this story, in every way and shape possible. Kyilliki is a brilliant author whose command of the written word is unrivaled. Her Caius is multifaceted in his stoicism. Calculating, yet afraid of showing love, as to him it translates to weakness. Didyme is a frail, deceptively fragile thing with a devastating power. Aro is a man who seeks control, and will exploit even his own flesh and blood to obtain it. And Marcus, dear Marcus, is gentle and kind, but his human-like nature separates him from his own kind.

I found this story when I was searching for a Caius fic without Bella as the leading lady. When I saw the pairing, Caius and Didyme, my mind immediately swirled with the possibilities. A mental image of the forlorn Marcus came to mind, grief-stricken over his lover's infidelity. The thought of a love triangle fueling Caius's spite also took shape as a possibility. What if Caius truly loved Didyme, knowing that she belonged to another? I dove right into "Ruins at Dusk" to find my answers, and immediately recognized the writing style. Kyilliki submitted "The Edge of Crimson," a Marcus/Didyme pairing, for our first annual Softer Side of Villainy Contest. Honestly, I felt like a dumbass for not checking out her other stories sooner. Though today I'm adVocating "Ruins at Dusk," I highly recommend you check out everything this woman has ever written. I'm fairly certain she walked out of the womb with the ability to weave a story already mastered.

Her ability to say so much with so little is astounding. This is but a glimpse of Caius's emerging thoughts on Didyme.
Caius watched Didyme, a slender, night-haired catalyst, as she re-shaped the bonds between his brothers. Talentless though he was in that regard, he could sense something cutting the air, sharp as drawn steel while Aro and Marcus silently sparred over the restless hurricane of a newborn, the terrain they owned in her heart.

Her gift, Aro decided, had that unfortunate side effect. Caius wanted to call him a liar. He knew the taste of happiness, the familiar and vivid warmth of it. What Didyme summoned from him was something else entirely.

This was fire, ugly and starved and impossible to stop.

She consumed him from within. Stole thoughts and peace, diverting them into an endless contemplation of her. He couldn't say whether he wanted to touch her, kill her or flee from her.

Touch her won. Every damn time.
This is more a story of measured risks and lover's trysts than your typical love story. In "Ruins at Dusk," love must have a purpose, it cannot simply be.
She found him in a perfectly public corridor soon enough, with uncertain intentions. This difficult, white-haired man startled her as much as ever, unyielding and unforgiving as stone.

There was something to be said for lethal curiosity. That something probably wasn't good, but Didyme could not bring herself to care. Endless thirst and noise had stripped her of caution.

"You are avoiding me," she said, matching his steps. The silver bracelets she had twined around her wrists sparked and sang, unravelling the silence with trills of laughter.

Caius said nothing at all.

"And I don't know why. You see, I'm famously likeable," Didyme grinned, voicing the most honest of exaggerations. It was her talent, Aro had explained, that drew men to her like wasps to rotting fruit, but he was wrong. He had not known her while she was mortal.

"Infamously," he corrected, matching her with a smile as sudden and swift as summer lightning.

"That too."

"I have nothing to say to you."

She could tell that he aimed for calmness, the self-reproach only the lonely could summon, but it came out wrong. Harsh and closed.

"You can think of something, I'm sure."

Prying fingers and meandering wit had worked well in the past, with different subjects.

"Isn't there someone elsewhere whom you can bother?" he said, exasperated.

And then, she caught it. A shadow and a sliver of caution, as though Caius was afraid of over-stepping some nameless boundary. Painful surprise whirled aimlessly in her chest, as she realized that she was already Marcus', though no words and fewer promises had been exchanged.

Didyme wondered if that needled her companion half as much as it bothered her.

"You are a terrible brother," she dismissed, her voice teasing though her eyes remained berry-dark and untouched by merriment.

There was a certain safety in seeing him as a sibling. She found that it displeased her—one brother was more than enough.

"We are family now?"

He nearly laughed, and Didyme knew that she had won herself a tolerant acquaintance at very least.

"Of course."

"That would make you the worst little sister possible," Caius said. His fingers, paler than her own and rougher, tangled in her hair for a heartbeat, but the gesture was so quick that she could have imagined it.

Didyme seems to be overlooked and underestimated, even by her own brother. What draws me to this pairing, and what likely draws Caius and Didyme together, is their mutual understanding. Their exchange in this last excerpt is a back and forth, each phrase a subtle challenge. 

Then, there's Marcus, who you can't help but love. If anything, I get the sense that he is truly the one who is innocent.

Ah, Didyme, decisions decisions, but are they even hers to make? Will Aro bend to Didyme's will if her heart has designs against his wishes? Will Didyme gravitate to the adoring Marcus, or will she succumb to the challenge of Caius? And what of Athenodora? Oh, forgive me. Did I fail to mention that she's in this story, too? *laughs wickedly*


  1. Thank you so much for this lovely review! Reading it was a pleasure- I'm fairly sure your description of my writing is better than the writing itself ;) I'm so, so glad you enjoyed this story enough to share it with others.

    My thanks again :D

  2. It is always our pleasure at The LUV'NV to shed light on the under-loved, amazing stories out there. Thank YOU for writing such an inspiring story. I'm happy to share it with our readers.

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