The Impaler's Revenge

Rated 4.56/5 based on 9 reviews
In a world crawling with vampires, Romania is the safest place left on earth. But one day, Liana Cantacuzino, a member of the Little Council, is ordered to bring one in, covertly. Enter Maximilien Hess, an ancient vampire determined to ruin the existing order of things. When all is revealed, Hess's secret changes everything.

The first novella in The Impaler Legacy series. More
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About Ioana Visan

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can't, she writes about it.

After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in "Human Instincts", she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, and then she designed prosthetics in “Broken People” before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.

Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a Romanian short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”.

She received the Encouragement Award from The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

For more information, please visit

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Also in Series: The Impaler Legacy

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Reviews of The Impaler's Revenge by Ioana Visan

melanie marsh reviewed on Dec. 15, 2013

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Impaler’s Revenge is a little bit different from much of what I have been reading lately. When I say “different”, I mean that in a good way. It has no romance, well, maybe a teensy bit, which I am totally cool with. This is more of a political thriller with vampires I think.

There are secrets and tons of questions that the reader gets to try to figure out. The reader is given a glimpse into the political life and relationships within the walls of a vampire free country, where the policy on vampires is, shoot first, ask questions later. Romania, ironically enough, is the only vampire free country in the world. It’s been that way for five hundred years thanks to strict border laws and the large numbers of trained soldiers that would have no problem killing a vampire on sight.

Liana Cantacuzino is a member of the “Little Council” who inherited her position, as has been done since the council was founded by select noble families in order to keep the vampire population under control. Liana takes her position very seriously and keeps most people she interacts with at arm’s length. She obviously has intimacy issues. She is something of a complicated woman who has a trauma in her past that still affects her and her personality.

Liana is given the task of insuring the safety of Maximilien Hess,, a thousand year old Vampire whose presence has been requested by the President of Romania. It is a no questions asked type of situation and Maximilien won’t reveal his secrets as to why he is in Romania. Max (which is NOT his preferred nickname!) is kept under constant surveillance and tight security to make sure he not only behaves, but also that no one kills him on sight. What is the President hiding from the council? The truth can endanger the entire country.

I enjoyed this book. It had an interesting storyline, and realistic characters. I think my favorite character in this story was actually Maximilien. He had a sense of humor despite the fact that the people he was dealing with had an obvious dislike and distrust for him. I think there is a lot more to this character that Visan’s readers would like to learn about. I think he probably has a cool history that would make a great story.

The storyline itself was a good idea. I enjoyed the aspect of trying to figure out what Max and the President were hiding. I didn’t figure it out until the end, which is cool. I did feel like I would have liked to have more of the story a little bit sooner than it was presented. It seemed like the first ¾ of the book was just the characters hanging out and we weren’t given an idea that there was something nefarious was afoot until later. For all we knew, Max was there to help the President pick out some new suits or something (everyone knows Vampires have impeccable taste). All of the best action really didn’t start until that last bit of the book.

I would have liked more back story on Liana as well as Max. They were both very interesting characters to me, and I was just itching to find out more about them and why they were who they were.

The Impaler’s Revenge is the first novella in The Impaler Legacy Series. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a more “grown up” type of Vampire book. Anyone who enjoys a good book with political twist and the added benefit of having Vampires involved would enjoy this book. It’s a solid 4 stars in my opinion.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Lyssa Layne reviewed on Dec. 4, 2013

As I stated before, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this book, but I absolutely loved it! I think it was a nice break from the romance stories I'd been reading. The entire book was very secretive, leaving you to wanting to know more about why Max was visiting. The last couple chapters, the whole book came together and now I'm committed. I have to read the rest of the series to find out what happens!

As soon as I finished this book, I went on to read book 1.5 in the saga, Sweet Surrender which is available for free. This was more of the love story and it also left me wanting to know more, more, more!

Both books were quick, short reads that left me on the edge of my seat, ready to find out what happens in the next book in the series. Definitely recommend this to everyone, not just vampire enthusiasts.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
Tracy G reviewed on Oct. 27, 2013

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Liana Cantacuzino is a member of the Little Council in Romania, a descendent of one of the old noble families. This book takes place in a time when vampires and humans live together throughout the world. However, Romania has managed to exile all vampires. Until Liana is given the task of escorting Maximilien Hess, a thousand year old vampire, into Romania on secret business with the President. Liana has no idea why the President allowed Max into the country and she is greatly disturbed by this change. She is required to protect and provide for Max. While obtaining blood for Max from the local hospital she meets Dr. Jesse Carver, a cardiologist whose sister was murdered by vampires. Jesse observes odd happenings at the hospital he practices at and brings these happening to Liana’s attention. Suddenly, Romania doesn’t seem as closed off from vampires as it should be.

I loved this book. I loved the new world created in this book. I found the storyline to be unique. I’ve never read a vampire novel like this. I enjoyed all the characters. Max made me laugh when he would call Liana with his “I’m bored.”, he was like a little boy. I was frustrated with her friends and fellow Little Council members, Rodica Ghica and Stefan Sturdza, because they didn’t seem to be very helpful to Liana. They pretty much left her to deal with Max on her own. Jesse seemed more helpful then they did. This book was very well written, the storyline flowed and it was easy to read. Anyone that enjoys vampire stories will love The Impaler’s Revenge. I can’t wait to read more.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
mireilleg reviewed on Oct. 25, 2013

A vampire saga like no other seems to be a real good description for this first installment of the Impaler Legacy. This is not just your average vampire story as so many have sprouted up the past time.

Through main character Liana, Ioana takes you by the hand and introduces you to the world her story is taking place, as well as the characters who are involved. This format luckily does not allow a lot of exposition, because you learn through the course of the current happenings how things came about and what the motives for the main players are.

From the president of Romania, Liana, an important member of the "little council" gets the assignment to pick up vampire Maximilien Hess and escort him into her country. This is a rarity, as vampires are not allowed to enter Romania, thus making it the only "vampire-free" country of the world (which is quite ironic, considering the origins of the Dracula stories) and guard him while there.

Liana does not know what the reason was for this strange assignment, but nevertheless carries out her orders, even tho begrudgedly. Which puts her in the position of having to arrange blood for him with the help of Dr. Jesse Carter - who provides a look into the outside world which does includedealing with vampires - and having to entertain him because he gets bored.

You can tell she doesn't like it at all, and through her interactions with her friends and how they react you learn slowly more and why. In her dealings with Maximilien, you learn the history of the countries history and how the politics work.

It takes almost the entire novel for her to figure out why he was brought into the country, and since that is the main point of this first installment I will not divulge on this, but to say that it makes you really want to know how the story continues.

So be prepared when you start on this one, to have the second one ready, or accessible at least, I actually got out of bed in the middle of the night to download it.

Just as a sidenote, you do not have to like vampires to read this novel - but you don't have to hate them either. So just disregard the current hype and read this because it is a well written story, not because it contains vampires!
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
rox tao reviewed on Oct. 8, 2013

Dupa parcurgerea volumului de povestiri Blue Moon Cafe Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks asteptam cu interes urmatorul proiect al autoarei Ioana Visan, careia ii multumesc pentru sansa de a citi aceasta poveste. De data aceasta, este vorba de o serie de nuvele cu vampiri, insa departe de cliseele utilizate in literatura contemporana.

Mi-a placut enorm de mult modul in care autoarea si-a construit povestea! Incepand de la originea si modul de organizare al Consiliului, secretul surprinzator al persoanelor care il formeaza – membrii ai familiilor nobile stravechi, existenta Pandurilor – luptatori antrenati sa protejeze tara de vampiri si pana la stilul de viata al protagonistei, stil ce imbina luxul, puterea si exclusivismul cu activitati banale, precum sedintele referitoare la aspectul orasului, totul se combina intr-un mod interesant si foarte original. In unele momente, nuvela mi-a adus in minte atat cateva legende din perioada de dinainte de anii ’90, cat si unele profetii care se vehiculeaza in ultimii ani cu privire la Romania viitorului. Amestecul de fantastic si normal se realizeaza armonios, povestea avand indeajuns de multe aspecte de zi cu zi incat sa nu te gandesti in nici un moment ca vreun fir pare fortat sau lipsit de veridicitate, in ciuda existentei vampirilor si a unor secrete total neobisnuite. Iar nuantele inspirate din istorie aduc un plus de farmec intregii povestii.

Ceea ce nu m-a incantat foarte mult a fost faptul ca personajele raman cumva la distanta, nu ajungi sa le cunosti indeajuns, sa le patrunzi in minte, sa te simti atasat de ele. In ciuda faptului ca de multe ori gandurile protagonistei sunt destul de directe, lipseste totusi apropierea dintre cititor si personaj. Am fost surprinsa de aspectul acesta, intrucat in celalalt volum al autoarei, Blue Moon Cafe Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks, au existat cateva personaje pe care le-am simpatizat din primul moment si care au devenit tot mai interesante pe masura ce am inaintat in poveste. Totusi, am apreciat relatia protagonistei cu prietenii ei, Rodica si Stefan. In ciuda faptului ca nu sunt foarte multe scene in care sa fie evident cat de stransa este relatia acestora, autoarea reuseste sa iti transmita aproape fara sa iti dai seama cat de mult inseamna prietenia lor.

Un alt aspect care m-a surprins in mod placut este modul in care eroina il percepe pe vampirul Maximilien Hess. Liana a fost invatata de cand s-a nascut ca vampirii sunt creaturi destul de rele, ce nu trebuie sa paseasca pe teritoriul tarii. A reusit sa treaca de acele idei preconcepute – la un moment dat se povesteste chiar o intamplare din Londra ce implica o relatie de amicitie cu unii vampiri – si il trateaza indeajuns de politicos, iar mai apoi chiar familiar pe Max. Se simte o anumita chimie intre ei, fara a fi insa exagerata. Totusi, am fost uimita sa descopar ca in ciuda acestei familiarizari si a unor indicii care sugereaza vag la un moment dat posibilitatea a ceva mai mult, Liana isi pastreaza intacte impresiile despre vampiri. Da, unii dintre ei sunt in regula, insa protagonista este foarte constienta de diferentele dintre ei si oameni si de barierele care despart cele doua categorii. Oricat de mult s-ar acomoda cu prezenta unui vampir, Liana nu ar avea nici cea mai mica ezitare sa il ucida daca acesta ar face vreun pas gresit.

Sunt putin nelamurita cu privire la cadrul temporal in care are loc actiunea si la modul in care functioneaza societatea din lumea prezentata in aceasta poveste. Nu am inteles daca evenimentele se petrec intr-un viitor ipotetic in care existenta vampirilor este cunoscuta de toata lumea sau daca intamplarile au loc in prezent, iar vampirii, Micul Consiliu si Pandurii sunt un secret pentru majoritatea oamenilor, actionand din umbra si fiind asadar o taina impartasita numai de cateva persoane. Desi inclin sa cred prima varianta, mi s-a parut ca exista indicii pentru ambele, asa ca mi-as fi dorit sa descopar cateva detalii care sa imi clarifice acest aspect.

Bile albe:

- O abordare originala a povestilor cu vampiri si combinatii interesante formate din legende din trecut, ipoteze si preziceri din viitor si probleme din prezentul cotidian.

Bile negre:

- Portretele parca prea vagi ale protagonistilor. Tinand cont de faptul ca numarul de pagini al acestui prim volum nu este foarte ridicat si mai ales ca e vorba despre o serie, este posibil ca personajele sa fie „finisate” in cartile urmatoare, insa mi-ar fi placut sa am o imagine mai complexa a acestora inca de la inceput.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
Alina Popescu reviewed on Sep. 5, 2013

I like me a little politics in my vampire stories, it seems :) I love Ioana's twist on vampire novels, making Romania the only vamp free country in the world. It's interesting to watch the political game, the hate between races, the reactions of the main character when everything she's ever considered to be her reality is challenged by facts she was unaware of. I saw some reviewers mentioning she was a little cold and hard to relate to, but I had a soft spot for her nonetheless. Someone in her position would automatically maintain a safe distance between herself and the rest of the world. Readers should at time feel that distance. Plus, her past perfectly explains her reaction.

Can't wait to see what happens in part II :)
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Sheila Gallagher reviewed on May 31, 2013

It is illegal for vampires to be in Romania so when President Stanescu asks Liana Cantacuzino to meet one and bring him to Romania she is less than hospitable to him. She does not know why he is coming to Romania. She does what she must to protect him but does not like it. When it is discovered there is a new, stronger vampire being developed she finally finds out why Maximilien Hess was brought to Romania in Ioana Visan’s The Impaler’s Revenge, book 1 of The Impaler’s Legacy.

Ioana Visan builds a world of vampires living amongst humans, except in Romania. She gives us the information about her world on a need to know basis. As Liana gives the history of the Little Council and vampires in Romania to Maximilien we learn along with him. I also learned why Liana has the feelings she does. This is good world building. I know enough to understand this world but I have not gone through big, long explanations.

I like Liana. She is not haughty nor is she a kick-ass broad. She is somewhere in between and that makes her likable. She is also aware of the power and prestige of her position on the Little Council. She can do much. I also liked Maximilien (do not call him Max.) He knows what is at stake but will not tell Liana until he realizes that they do not have much time if they are to avert a world-wide crisis. When they team up, it gets interesting. That is also where book 1 ended. I am anxious to see what happens next. I know what I want to see happen but I do not know if it will.
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
Kate reviewed on May 21, 2013

I really enjoyed this book! The story flowed and kept my interest so that I didn't want to put it down. The characters are interesting and the story develops well. There were some nice twists to the plot (which I will not discuss as I don't want to put in spoilers) and nothing is as the characters think it should be. The main character, Liana Cantacuzino, starts out having a certain very black and white viewpoint about how her world should be but learns that all is not as it seems. The character development in other characters develops realistically as well which can maker her life interesting. I look forward to reading the rest in the series.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Diana Gavrila reviewed on May 10, 2013

After reading “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks” I knew that I won’t be disappointed by Ioana Visan’s new novella, “The Impaler’s Revenge”. The story is interesting and very different from what I was expecting when I first heard about it. The heroine, Liana Cantacuzino, is a tough, capable and intelligent woman, who can handle herself even in the presence of a powerful creature such as a vampire. She is open-minded and despite her own beliefs she can make necessary decisions so that her country can be saved from the coming danger. I would have liked to know more about her feelings and fears, but I’m sure I will find more about that in the next parts.

Our dear vampire, Maximilien Hess, was charming and quite funny sometimes, so except for his craving for blood he might have been a great guest and friend. The relationship between him and Liana was exciting to follow. I knew that Liana hated vampires because of her roots, but she can compromise that in behalf of everyone’s safety. This makes her a great character and someone we can understand and be friends with.

We also have Dr. Jesse Carter, who seems to be accustomed with vampires and helps Liana to find blood for Max. They share the antipathy for the bloodsuckers, so they easily connect. He is exactly what Liana needs when everything changes, someone to take care and support her. I can't wait to read more about them.

I’m very proud of the author, because she wrote this story about vampires in such a personal manner. It was the time for a Romanian to tell our side of the story, because after all the myth about vampires is part of our culture and history and not many know about that. So I’m really glad she did it.

What I also enjoyed were the similarities between Romania nowadays and the country I read about in “The Impaler’s Revenge”, which is awesome. The resembling is great and it gives an air of veracity, including the fantasy side. I would gladly live into a universe where we are the tough guys. Finally! :D

In the end, I want to say that I can’t wait for sequel and anything written by Ioana. If you haven't read this book yet, you should. You won't be disappointed.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)

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