Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

It's been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix survived the French Revolution. Now she's made her way back to the living, and must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who turned her into a vampire and left her buried for two hundred years.

That's if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

So, I could hardly put down Hearts at Stake, the first book in the Drake Chronicles, and when I finished it I found myself picking up Blood Feud within minutes.

Blood Feud picks up the story within days of where it ended in Hearts at Stake. Major changes have occurred both in the royal court and the Drake family, all of which they are handling in true Drake fashion. I really like the Drakes, and it was great to see some more of their interactions - they are all strong and loyal, but each has a distinct personality. Harvey's cast of characters are certainly a drawing point for this series.

This novel focusses on Logan, and introduces Isabeau, a vampire of the Cwn Mamau tribe, also known as Hounds. Having mostly kept to themselves in their caves, raising and training fierce dogs, they are shunned by the more 'refined' vampire society. The narrative is split between Logan and Isabeau's points of views, and it was great to have the first-hand insight of a Drake brother, especially Logan. He is sauve and charming - and knows it - and is instantly drawn to Isabeau. He sees what the readers are privy to - that she is a warrior, but still also a vulnerable young lady. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to Isabeau's time as a human during the French Revolution. It gave the narrative an interesting and deeper twist, ensuring its uniqueness amongst the series - as well as the magic of the Hound's, which further distinguishes them from other vampires and builds upon Harvey's unique creation.

Harvey has also delved deeper into the vampire society she has created, with not only the introduction of the Hounds, but some backstory to Montmarte, the Host, and Hel-Blar, some of the different vampire 'tribes', as it were. The Hel-Blar, vicious, monstrous vampires, are especially chilling. As is Greyhaven, Isabeau's cruel maker, who's psychopathic nature resounds throughout the book, though his appearances are minor.

Harvey's world is varied, which only adds to the fast-paced nature of her books. I'm pleased that some of the plot elements (I don't want to give away any spoilers!) that began in the first book were ended here. The Drake family has many enemies, both human and vampire, so there's certainly plenty to keep the action flowing in further books. I've already ordered the third in the series, Out for Blood, and I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival!

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