I haven’t read a good vampire romance in a while. Queen of Blood was much better than I dared to hope. It was about a prince and a princess who must choose between their desires and their loyalty.
Published by Alloy Entertainment on June 30th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires
eARC provided by BookSparks
For one hundred years, Seri’s people have lived under the thumb of the Blood, the cruel and mysterious rulers of Athon. Seri wants nothing more than to put food on the table and marry the hotheaded but handsome Rilen come spring. But when a noblewoman asks Seri to be her handmaiden, Rilen insists she move to the enemy’s castle . . . and spy on the newly arrived prince.
Prince Graeme has grown weary of his family’s curse. The Blood are powerful and immortal, but doomed to live in the shadows, flitting from lover to lover, always in search of the mythic Eterna—the one woman who will sate their hunger. Now his father has sent him to the outskirts of the empire to stamp out a rebellious Vidari faction. But when a wild and alluring Vidari girl shows up at court, he finds himself torn between following his father’s orders and following his heart . . .
A war is brewing between Athonite and Vidari, between Blood and man. As uprisings sweep through the land, Seri and Graeme find themselves at the center of a storm with only one choice: betray each other, or betray their people.
This is a new edition of the previously self-published novel Betrothed.
I enjoyed the fact that these people come from very different backgrounds. Despite Seri being a “savage” from the tribe of Vidari, she is fiercely proud of her heritage. Her people have been enslaved for a hundred years to a cursed people called the Athonites. They really brought the curse down upon themselves by being so terrible to the daughters of the Goddess. She cursed them until someone actually worthy would find love in a person called an Eterna. The Eterna is chosen by the Goddess. Those that don’t find their Eterna are doomed to wander forever in the dark, with a hunger that won’t be quenched. All of the Athonites are cursed until they can find a leader worthy of an Eterna.
My description sounds really technical and a bit boring, but this book was anything but boring. The differences between the Vidari and the Athonites was so profound. The Athonites are in power. They have royalty, money, and only one God(dess). The Vidari are poor, enslaved to the Athonites, and they worship four Gods. The Vidari are enslaved near a Athonite ruin of a castle, happy to be far away from the kingdom, but not far enough to be free. When the Athonite Prince decides to take up residence in the ruined castle to keep a closer eye on the Vidari, these two cultures clash.
Seri and Graeme are magical together. From a chance meeting in town to the choosing ceremony, those two have no idea that the Goddess means for them to break the curse. At first, they really don’t like each other. Graeme is royalty and Seri bows to no man. Graeme and his family are of the blood. The author was careful not to use the word vampire throughout the story. These blood are immortal and insatiable. They choose partners based on their ability to satisfy the hunger, but the thirst is never really quenched. Seri and Graeme have this undeniable attraction that just makes them need each other. The Goddess made them choose each other, but it won’t be easy.
I loved that Seri didn’t give in to her desires. In this story, she fights tooth and nail to not succumb to her instant attraction. To her it doesn’t make sense. The goddess that set that desire in motion was not hers and so she needed a lot of convincing. I felt like these two were very different but they both wanted the same things. Unfortunately for them they must either betray their desires, or betray their own people.
I have to mention that there were some sex scenes. (oh my gosh, my virgin imagination) This is not a YA paranormal romance. I really enjoyed a more mature look at lust with vampires (yaas please!), but the scenes were honestly tame enough. This isn’t erotica at all.
I think the characters were well developed, even if the world they were living in wasn’t. The rules for both cultures was well laid out as well. And hey, VAMPIRES! Even though to me it didn’t make sense that the Athonites were so frightened of the Vidari. They really didn’t want to get their hands dirty with those savages. The author did a fantastic job of translating the frustration and wants of the characters, but I would have liked to see more of the terrain. That’s just me. Except for the world building, this was a great read. I devoured it in two days. I would definitely like to see more from this author.