Seeking the pleasure of revenge, an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.
Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.
Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her monstrous partner?
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Rivalry by Charles E. Yallowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the interest of full disclosure, I am personally acquainted with the author of this book, and I have not read the second book in the series.
I am not someone who typically loves books that are centred around vampires. I have never had much of a fascination with them, (perhaps this comes from Romanian roots and the eye-rolls that go along with those roots,) however, I feel like the author has created a new and interesting breed of vampire in his Dawn Fangs. They extend the normal parameters that one expects with vampires and I like that they are not all simply humans, but other species as well. They have a range of personalities, which, is nice to see.
This book is not light on action and there is always something happening to capture the reader’s attention. It is a bit gorier than some of the other works set in Windemere, but one should probably expect that when the book is about vampires. I like the various settings in the book and the author does a good job of visual imagery and transporting the reader to a new location each time the characters move on to a different place. There has been quite a lot of character development and some fantastic new arrivals since the first book in the series.
All of that being said, I do have some fundamental issues with this book, as with the other books by this author. I want his characters to take themselves more seriously. I can appreciate a moment of levity here and there when it is called for, but sometimes, I feel like you never get to feel the pain these characters truly feel, because there is usually comedy of one variety or another involved. For me, this takes away from a serious situation and makes it seem superficial, casting the same unfortunate glow on the characters. I want to hurt and feel pain when the characters I have grown to love are feeling it. I want to feel their joy and triumph when they overcome an obstacle or share something special. I don’t always want the two things to be mixed.
It seems to me, that the author is fully capable of producing material that will shock and please an audience and could grow these books into something much bigger than they are. Still, I feel he is holding back. Perhaps is afraid to offend the audience with too much darkness when exploring the depths of his characters? I personally think any author with the talent to write such creative works, should not be afraid to express themselves fully and take ordinary to extraordinary by not worrying so much about what the audience may think.
In any case, there were a lot of good things about this book, and a lot of reasons that you might want to pick it up and give it a read. I, for one, love the tournament style fighting–which is kind of Roman Colosseum with added magic. I enjoyed the suspense of those fights and never knowing what kind of opponent the characters were going to face.
Overall, this is a good book, written by a highly talented author who is good at provoking the reader’s imagination.