Sunday, December 11, 2011
Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter
Series: Royal House of Shadows #1
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Elements: Vampires, Witches, Ogres
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne, Harlequin Books
Release: August 23, 2011
Tagline(s): Once upon a dark time, they were the only hope to bring their kingdom back to the light.
Once upon a time...the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs...and time is running out....
Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina---stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge---and the only woman who could help him.
In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory...but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.
Nicolai is the eldest son of King Aelfric and Queen Alvina; and the crown prince of the kingdom of Elden. Having lost his memory and freedom after the fall of Elden, Nicolai has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina. Knowing only that he must leave Delfina and go to Elden to kill the Blood Sorcerer, Nicolai enlists the help of Jane Parker.
Jane Parker recently regained the use of her legs after a terrible car accident that took the lives of her family and left her scarred. She's been dreaming of a vampire named Nicolai who oozes sexuality. After reading a book about him and his captivity, Jane wakes up in a place she doesn't recognize and Nicolai is very real.
One theme in this book is Nicolai (and to a point, Jane's) memory loss. Nicolai's memory is wiped clean by the evil princesses sexually abusing him. Jane suspects that she's met Nicolai before since some things in his world look familiar, but she can't remember meeting him before she ended up in Delfina. We find out later about who erased their memories and why.
Another theme is Nicolai's burning need to kill the Blood Sorcerer. Before dying, his father cast a spell filling all four of the royal heirs with the need for vengeance. I'm sure they would all feel the need to avenge their parents and kingdom even without the spell, but the spell ensures it. The timepiece Nicolai has tells him how much time he has left to kill the Blood Sorcerer, but having been in the palace of the kingdom of Delfina where time moves slower, twenty years have passed and time is running out.
The plot is told from the alternating perspectives of Nicolai and Jane.
Their memory loss adds the element of mystery to the story. Past events, first meetings, and other memories are slowly revealed as Nicolai starts remembering everything. His powers also start resurfacing as Jane's blood undoes the magic spell concealing his memory and powers. We also learn a little tidbit about Jane that even she doesn't remember. So we're along for the ride as events come to a head. There's even a few surprises to look forward to.
Delfina is ruled by the Queen of Hearts and her vile daughters, Odette and Laila. Nicolai is held captive as a sex slave and repeatedly abused by the princesses. I'm sure if Nicolai wasn't being driven to return to Elden, he would destroy the entire kingdom instead of just it's rulers. The place fills him with so much hate and rage that the only thing keeping him from a full blown rampage is Jane and the need to escape and protect her.
And Delfina is definitely not a friendly place for humans. They are used and abused almost as badly as the servants and sex slaves, if not worse.
My Final Thoughts:
The story and character relationships seem to move pretty fast, but actually started way before the first line and meeting. We just don't know it because the characters themselves don't know it yet. I love how everything just fits together. Some people might think that Nicolai's possessiveness is a major turn off, but it's really not. It seems that with vampire and werewolf/shapeshifter characters that their possessiveness is so not a turn off at all. I think it makes the story and relationship between Nicolai and Jane more intense. I also thought it was cool how Jane slowly (**SPOILER, SPOILER**) turns into a vampire after that first time drinking Nicolai's blood. A lot of other cool things happen because of Nicolai's blood. I just really loved this book. It's a great start to the Royal House of Shadows series.
Chapter 11, Page 161
She's mine. Mine! You will die for touching what's mine.
Chapter 18, Page 249
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I might be a vampire so I don't give a shit. I'll heal.
About this Author:
Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.