BOOK REVIEW – Descent of Blood – The Red Veil Series, Prequel
(From an ARC direct from the Author)
A ‘plague’ on both your houses… York and Lancaster.
This is an incredible prequel to a new Vampire series by the very talented, Elizabeth Marx. Narrated by a Vampiric priest, known as Philabe - the keeper of historic records. This book is set amidst the gruesome horrors of the War of the Roses, in 1464. We follow the story of Lady Meridian Neville, as she narrowly escapes from March’s men as they storm her home at Bywell Castle, Westmorland.
Her Father has been tortured and killed, and the only request that he bestowed upon his Daughter, is to retrieve a priceless relic that is buried underground, within a chapel, hidden within the deepest recesses of the keep.
When a second bombardment storms through her Castle, she comes face to face with a renowned Warrior, known as Severian Pearce, and his treaty of men. Fearing for her safety, and the disturbing connection she feels towards the man, she hastily releases an arrow, piercing the Warrior near his heart. A close call… as what Meri does not realise, is that Severian is in fact a Vampire, fighting his own war, in the battle for survival.
Meridian’s blood holds no bouquet, and according to ancient scripts, makes her a rare commodity in deed, for her blood is pure and therefore her ‘human’ lineage is the only one in existence that can join and take a Vampire lover. This prophecy has a name… The Red Veil.
As Severian embarks on his journey with Meridian in tow, with a promise to reunite her with her kin, it becomes apparent that the Red Veil beckons, and therefore it is inevitable that Meridian will soon be his. But Meri has other plans. She wishes to belong to the church, at Montparte.
With further ‘otherworldly’ entities trailing their movements, Meri and Severian have no choice but to protect each other and guard the priceless trinket that she holds dearly within her cloak.
What I adored about this book is that it’s given Vampires back that dark sinister edge. Many vampire related books these days portray them as heroes, but these boys are ‘old-school.’ Ruthless and unforgiving. The war of the roses poses the perfect gruesome backdrop, and as much as I loved Severian, he is still a killer, a force to be reckoned with, and yet his love and obsession for Meri was heartfelt and commendable.
What I thought was a great addition was the narration. It reminded me of a movie in that way, ie 300. I liked Philabe, the keeper. I like the idea of the ‘vampire’ watcher, recording the histories over the aging times and I look forward to his future documentations in the full length novel that is to follow.
Overall, truly excellent. Loved the plot, the backdrop, the narration, the characterisation, the hotter than hell ‘intimate’ moments and the secondary otherworldly characters that could truly make this series a top contender! I also think this book would appeal to both genders.
Severian moved toward her, kneeling in front of her. His voice was pleading when he said, "When I return I mean to make you mine."
"Do not return here Milord." She tried to pull away but some pain she saw in his face kept her eyes locked on him. "I am for Montparte."
"You have my heart Meri and I will not settle for less than an equal measure of yours."
5 Worthy Stars.
(reviewed the day of purchase)