This is the primary conflict of the story, the action mostly taking place inside the main character’s mind. It is not a matter of if he should take the throne, it’s when, and most of his family thinks it should be now. However, he ducks their pressures and turns aside their arguments as he agonizes over their future.
His antagonists are the usurpers: dark metaphors for the very worst of real British aristocracy, with the morals and vicious power hunger of the nastiest members of Nero’s court in Rome. Conniving, manipulation, and bloodthirsty coups abound, but all at the relaxed tempo of those who have all the time in the world.
The only bump in this inverted fairy tale comes when the Wicked Queen shows up and tempts Lian with an alliance that would be to his family’s great disadvantage. When he refuses, the conflict takes on sudden, sharp clarity as a physical attack threatens to wipe out the whole court of Anowen. Whether this overt action can force Redmond out of his paralysis, and whether the Queen Mother will accept him as the true heir, I leave the reader to discover.
Reading this book solo was like watching a single episode in the middle of a TV season. I suggest readers start from the beginning of the series.
Recommended for fans of the statelier, more traditional Vampire style. Like watching a film through gauze, with the occasional flash of red, living blood showing through.
I was given an ARC on the Reedsy site to review this book.
(4 / 5)