Disclaimer: David Lee Summers is an online friend. This said, I have endeavoured to be completely objective in my review of this novel.
- It reads like a combined Mary Renault and (adult) Rosemary Sutcliffe novel crossed with Anne Rice novel
- It covers about 2000 years from Classical Greece to the Renaissance and so tends to jump centuries at a time
- I enjoyed reading it
This novel is the prequel to Vampires of the Scarlet Order (despite the latter being book one in the series and this being book two).
Truth be told, if I did not know better I would have sworn that David wrote this novel just for me. I grew up with quite broad tastes in books, but some of my early interests were novels about Classical Greece (think Mary Renault especially), late Roman Britain (as in Arthur’s time), Byzantium, the middle ages, and Vlad the Impaler (Daracula). Then here in one volume a story that encompasses them all!!! Luxury. The novel is choc full of action. It has a bit of mystery at the beginning. It also throws in some sex for added spice.
The plot is one of those ones that follow three characters as they get to form a lasting relationship, itself being the origin story of the Scarlet Order. David’s own blurb best describes the plot:
Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.
Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books, after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.
Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, but then, she must pay the highest price of all . . . her human soul.
An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.
Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, rogue vampyrs, and their ultimate nemesis—Vlad the Impaler.
If I were to identify a problem with the plot is that it left me wanting to know more about the gaps. You see the story covers a good 2,000 years of history and there are gaps several centuries long. I would really love to see David revisit these gaps later with maybe an anthology of short tales.
Generally I felt that the pacing was spot on. Plot lines were not rushed through. Significant events were given an appropriate amount of attention. I know this sounds contrary to my issue with wanting to know more about the adventures of each of the characters, but he did get it right.
I really enjoyed the tenacity, vitality and eroticism of the characters. David also goes to great lengths to ensure that the reader can engage with the characters. I think that was why I really wanted to get to enjoy more of their adventures. They were well written and I think only once did a feel a bit of discord between the character and their actions (me thinking “would they really have done that in that situation?”).
I read the kindle version and the formatting was perfect.
So, as they say, do yourself a favour and have a read. :)