Published: October 1, 2011
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(available as Kindle/Nook editions)
ARC provided by publisher for a fair and honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré — a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
The story focuses on three main characters. The first is Chrysabelle: a vampire’s comarré, which is a sort of blood geisha, a woman purchased and owned by a vampire for her beauty, social skills, grace and above all, purity of blood. She’s left her owner and is being hunted because her patron has been found dead.
Next is Mal, a tortured vampire: cursed and misanthropic (or would that be misvampiric?). He’s one unhappy undead man.
Finally there’s Tatiana: an egocentric princess of the vampire class who’s blood-lust is only outdone by her power-lust. She’s willing to do anything to get what she wants and unfortunately what she wants most in the world is a ring she things Chyrsabelle has.
Set in a vaguely dystopian future where othernaturals have coexisted next to humans for millennia, these three characters collide as their individual quests force them to do things and trust people that are uncomfortable to say the least.
I loved the way that even though this story is written in the 3rd person, the perspective clearly switches throughout the novel, bringing intriguing insights into not only the glittering othernatural world but into the mindset of a woman bred to exist for no other reason than bleed for her patron and a vampire driven nearly insane with ghosts from his past. I also loved that this is not just a vampire story. This world is filled with all sorts of paranormal creatures: shape-shifting were-animals, demons and sprites, witches and ghosts and the door is clearly open for everything and anything else in between. And is there drama? Politics, sexual tension and FULL ON CRAZY motivate these characters to do insane, enthralling things, moving the pace of the story along at an energetic clip.
Now, I can hear you thinking it….oh, first book in a series? I’ll wait for more to come out before I dive in. BUT WAIT!!!
Yes, this is the first book. And it comes out in October. And the next book? Comes out in November. Yup, one month later. The third book? JUST ONE MONTH AFTER THAT!!!
The fact that Kristen Painter was able to crank out the first 3 books in such short order is an amazing testament to her skills as a storyteller and the urgency in this story itself. It’s as if it’s pouring out of her and onto the page. And she didn’t do it by setting up all these open plot points and questions and leaving the reader hanging with a huge cliff-hanger at the end. Rather, she’s built a world so big, with issues so complex that the first book ends both with the satisfying resolution to the major plot points but those solutions raise new questions that make you itch to read the next book.
So do yourself a favor and pick this book up! You won’t be disappointed!!
I give it 4.5 out of 5 books
Now go and get lost…in a book!