Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Prince Jai, a merciless vampire warlord, has taken up a crusade to stop the enslavement of the humans and werewolves by his own kind. He’s heard tales of the time before a comet came and changed the world, and though they may just be stories told by an old human woman, he finds hope in them. After months of killing the other vampires, he’s nearing his goal of taking the king’s throne for himself. It’s the only way to bring peace to everyone, and he won’t stop until he sees that happen.
However, his men are tired, and when one clan proves to be too much for him, he agrees to a temporary peace treaty. To sweeten the deal, Jai is given the use of a blood slave, Ash. Jai detests the use of blood slaves and wants nothing to do with them. But when he realizes Ash could be another weapon in his arsenal, he spends the months training him to be everything his master has ever feared.
Review: I’m a sucker for a vampire story. While I liked this book I can’t say it was great. This book is definitely not your sparkly kind of vampire. Which was one of the reasons I picked up this book. They’re the horrible evil creatures of nightmares. And that’s what starts the revolution of sorts against the vampires. The difference here is the humans make a deal with a ruthless Prince of one of the vampire clans to take out all the other clans that still force humans to feed them. This is a dark story full of violence and gore. The vampire’s also use humans at will for their sexual pleasures. So they eat them and rape them. Humans are tortured endlessly. It’s not all on page but it didn’t need to be to have an impact. I have to give the author credit for alluding to the atrocities these vampires commit on humans without making me suffer through the actual acts. Trust me when I say she paints a very vivid picture.
There were parts of this book I liked more than others. Ash’s character was pretty intriguing. I don’t want to think about all the horrific things he went through. He basically can’t feel pain so you can imagine how awfully he was treated. Ash finds kindness in his Jai when his master hands him over as a peace offering. He’s transformed from a thing to a soldier under Jai’s guidance. Given choices for the first time in his entire life. Jai has made a vow to not consume human blood and he sticks to it. Jai’s character was the one I had the hardest time with. He was supposedly cold and uncaring. Ruthless and viscous. But then he’d be kind and borderline sappy to about his friends and Ash. Then towards the end his was almost sickeningly sweet when it comes to Ash. There were moments when I thought he was saving humans from other vampires because it was the right thing to do. Other times by the author’s encouragement he just wanted to slaughter them all and take the thrown. So I never really got a grasp on his character.
If you’re in the mood for battles and violence you might like this one. There’s plenty of gore. The bad guys are evil and you’re happy when they die. I just didn’t think there was much to like beyond the transformation of Ash’s character. I also wasn’t a fan of the sweet turn the ending took. It goes from interesting to violent to sappy. Just wasn’t for me.