January 8, 2012
Blood Rights (House of Comarré #1)
by Kristen Painter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 1st, 2011
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré — a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
When a novel has a glossary of terms attached, I’m in heaven. I know I’ll be delving into a brand new world the author has created and that the experience will be refreshing. Like all new worlds we are introduced to, it takes some time to get used to it. There are plots within plots and I found it a little overwhelming at times, so I’m going to try and summarize here for you.
This story introduces us to Houses of noble vampires led by a Dominus, and the comarré/comar (the term used for a special breed of women and men that are born and raised to feed their enhanced blood to the noble vampires after they purchase their ‘blood rights’.)
Being fond of vampire history, I found it delightful that the noble houses in this novel included names we have heard of before - House of Tepes, the descendants of the Romanian ruler Vlad Tepes, House of Bathory, the descendants of the Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, House of Paole, the descendants of the Serbian outlaw Arnold Paole, House of Rasputin, the descendants of the Russian psychic and healer Grigori Rasputin, and House of St. Germain, the descendants of the Count of St. Germain. (I’m making an assumption that Ms. Painter meant to do this and I apologize if I am mistaken but its very cool if she did.)
The Lord of the House of Tepes is murdered and the evil and ambitious Tatiana has designs on his position and eventually the role of Dominus. She is quick to blame his comarré, Chrysabelle, for his murder given the fact that the weapon used could not have been wielded by a vampire and Chrysabelle has motive for wanting him dead.
Chrysabelle is forced to run and find a way to prove her innocence and meets Malkolm, an anathema vampire (one who has been disassociated from the noble race). Realizing the danger she is in and the difficulty she will have to prove her innocence, she tries to convince him to help her solve her patron’s murder.
Malkolm is a cursed vampire. When turned, it was impossible for him to feed without killing his prey, no matter how much he tried not to. A curse was placed on him so that his body was marked with the names of every person he killed and their voices taunted him driving him to the brink of insanity many times. He refused to feed on humans, drank animal’s blood and at times resorted to chaining himself when the urge to kill became too strong.
He wanted to be left alone in his misery, however, when Chrysabelle insisted the House of Comarré would know a cure for his curse, he agreed to help her find the murderer. So the deal struck.
There is quite a bit of mystery surrounding the comarré. They have more knowledge of vampire lore than most vampires (including Malkolm), are trained to have exceptional fighting skills, are much stronger than they let on, and are not the docile creatures the vampires believe them to be. In their quest, Chrysabelle must reveal some of these secrets. Malkolm starts to wonder what other secrets the House of Comarré are keeping and if they have an alternative agenda.
I found Chrysabelle to be a fabulous heroine. She’s levelheaded, empathetic, and all around likeable person. She becomes very protective of Malkolm and at times rushes into danger to defend him. Malkolm is also a great hero. He’s strong but not over-bearing. Not to mention hot!! He admires Chrysabelle for her fighting skills instead of trying to be the alpha protector. They make a very good team. There’s lots of chemistry between the two that I hope will flourish throughout the trilogy.
There are great secondary characters – Doc (a shifter) and Fi (a ghost) that are incredibly loyal to Malkolm, and we are introduced to various types of demons. There is quite a bit of time spent developing the villain Tatiana’s character. I found this to be essential to the story as we need to understand her crazy hunger for power and the lengths she is willing to go to possess it.
There were a few times that the pace seemed a little slow but then I think it was necessary for Chrysabelle and Malkolm to work through their hesitations and trust issues and it was more believable that they didn’t just jump right in to a deal to work together.
Once I figured all the stories going on, I really enjoyed this book and really look forward to reading the next one – Flesh and Blood. Like I mentioned above, there is so much going on that I was a little overwhelmed at times and I hope my summary above will help you enjoy it more. Stick with it readers, its worth it!
4 Bad Boys – Really Liked It!!!!
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See my review for House of Comarré Book #2 - Flesh and Blood