Blood Rights (House of Comarre #1) by Kristen Painter
Publisher: Orbit books
House of Comarre Series
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.
My partner in crime, Chelsea, from Vampire Book Club raved about Blood Rights, and I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Kristen Painter at the Readers n’ Ritas recently, so I was anxious to dive right in to Bood Rights¸ and I’m so glad I did! First off, the cover is just lovely, and really does a good job of giving a spot on visual of Chrysabelle’s markings and her otherworldly beauty, and sets up the mood for the book perfectly. Chrysabelle is a comarre to a noble vampire. In other words, a certain vampire is her patron, and he (or she) owns her blood rights exclusively. When her patron is murdered, Chrysabelle is assumed to be his killer, and she goes on the run, hoping to escape over a hundred years of servitude. She immediately seeks out her “aunt”, a former comarre who won her freedom long ago, and who may be able to help Chrysabelle clear her name. Chrysabelle is no weeping violet, in spite of her career choice. She’s spent her life training in the killing arts, and does a fine job of defending herself at every turn, making pretty short work of anyone that chooses to threaten her or those she cares about. The author did a really nice job of balancing her physical strength along with the vulnerability that comes with over 100 years of pampered existence. She eventually meets up with Mal, an anathema vampire with a curse who has a shapeshifter and a ghost for sidekicks. Sparks inevitably fly¸ but probably not how you think.
From page one of Blood Rights, the author sets up the settings, in Romania and Paradise City in New Florida, to be characters in and of themselves. Keep in mind, this is the future (2067), and there’s a blending of old and new that really serves the story to great effect, but is very subtle and never heavy handed. Little details are sprinkled throughout that really enhance the story’s effectiveness. The push and pull of Mal and Chrysabelle is exquisite from the get go, and Ms. Painter gives us a villain, in the awful Tatiana, to rival the worst of them. Mal is the epitomy of “tortured soul”, and getting through his many layers was a big lure of this story, not to mention the delicious (and dangerous) tension between him and Chrysabelle. Tatiana is determined to become an Elder, now that Chrysabelle’s patron is dead, and she’s willing to go about it any way she can. Greedy and power hungry, Tatiana is a force to be reckoned with, ad you’ll love to hate her. Twists and turns abound, and there were a couple I saw coming, but also quite a few that I didn’t! The author has created an unusual and fascinating “othernatural” mythology that was refreshing, especially since the vampire genre is anything but fresh. Even if you feel “vamped-out” lately, I urge you to give this highly imaginative series a try! You won’t be disappointed!
1. Giveaway is for 2 SIGNED copies of BLOOD RIGHTS by Kristen Painter to 2 winners.
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