Heiress of Lies is the first book of the Bloodtruth series by Cege Smith. It's the story of Angeline Robart, princess and heir to throne of Altera. She's spent the last few years away from court, studying and preparing to be a queen. But visitors from home bring the worst possible news: her father is dying, and Angeline must ascend the throne sooner than she imagined. Angeline rushes to get home before it's too late to say goodbye, but someone has other plans for her.
An old enemy has been laying in wait--a terrible race of vampires that everyone believed had been vanquished by the first Robart king. And now they hold Angeline captive, threatening her life and the future of all Altera.
Angeline must find a way to free herself and return home, yet to do so she may have to endear herself to vampire that kidnapped her in the first place. Connor is the enemy, but Angeline has a hard time reconciling that fact with her inexplicable feelings for him. And as her own family's dark secrets start coming to light, he may be the only person she can trust.
The story starts off strong by introducing Angeline and giving us a good look into her character. As a protagonist, Angeline is exceptional. She's immediately accessible as a woman who is strong and sensible yet riddled with misgivings. She's the kind of leading lady you can happily root for, telling yourself, "yeah, that's totally what I would have done had it been me."
Much of the praise for this character's likability is due to the author's skill with words. Cege Smith writes with clarity, subtlety, and sophistication. She's created a convincing portrayal of a young woman caught between intention and impulse. Angeline wants to be clever, controlled, and responsible. But she's also sheltered, vulnerable, and emotional. This tenuous balance lends realism and respectability to her character.
Plus she's smart, and I always like that.
In contrast, I didn't feel much for Connor. He lacks Angeline's complexity, and there's a general sense of weakness just under his surface. I'd say he's as well-written as Angeline is, but he isn't as attractive. He's saved by the fact that, as a duo, they're quite interesting. I really enjoyed the way Angeline's feelings for Connor developed. From early on she's attracted to him, but she tempers that with caution and practicality. Meanwhile he has to contend with just how deep his feelings really go.
As for plot, the first half of the book is a little slow. Then things pick up greatly with a healthy dose of intrigue and urgency. And more intrigue. Sadly, the book leaves off just as things really get interesting. Clever Cege. I definitely need to know what happens next and plan on buying the sequel, The Queen's Betrayal. And then there's the third book, Trials of Truth, which isn't out yet.
This book was received courtesy of the author and LibraryThing Member Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted at Strange Bedfellows: PNR Reviews