January 17, 2012

Review: Flesh and Blood by Kristen Painter

January 17, 2012
Flesh and Blood (House of Comarré #2)
by Kristen Painter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: November 1st, 2011

My review assumes you have read the first novel in the series, Blood Rights, as this review will include spoilers if you haven’t.  This is a series where you have to read in order or you will miss integral parts of the story.  Also, if you haven’t read my review of Blood Rights, then click here to read.

Author Summary
Those born into the comarré life produced blood in rich, pure, powerful abundance...

With the ring of sorrows still missing, and the covenant between othernaturals and mortals broken, Chrysabelle and Malkolm’s problems are just beginning. Chrysabelle still owes Malkolm for his help, but fulfilling that debt means returning to Corvinestri, the hidden vampire city neither of them is welcome in.
The discovery that Chrysabelle has a brother could mean reneging on her promise to Malkolm, something that might make him angry enough to loose the beast living inside him. And fulfilling her vow could prove devastating for Chrysabelle — especially when you throw in power hungry witches, dead fringe vampires, and the Kubai Mata.

My Thoughts
Flesh and Blood is the second installment of the House of Comarré series.  The story picks up two weeks after the last ended.  And it really really picks up… The plot is thickening, side stories are taking place, new characters are introduced, motives are unraveling, and uneasy alliances are made.

The Ring of Sorrows
The ring is deemed to have unfathomable power.  In the past, it was guarded by the Kubai Mata (a secret organization that is part Freemason, part Templar, part Cosa Nostra) to safeguard against evil.   It was stolen by Chrysabelle’s former patron Algernon supposedly on behalf of the Castus Sanguis (founders of the vampire race), for the power it can yield.  Algernon hid the ring in a necklace given to Chrysabelle, without her knowledge.  So Chrysabelle is in possession of the ring now.  And it seems everyone wants it! 

This book has a lot going on...
·      There are attempts to retrieve the Ring of Sorrows by Tatiana/Castus Sanguis & the Kubai Mata.
·      Chrysabelle and Malkolm struggle with their relationship and priorities with everything going on.
·      There’s a new bad boy in town, Creek, who’s a member of the Kubai Mata sent to retrieve the ring from Chrysabelle.
·      Doc has a much larger part to play in this novel with his own dilemma. 
·      Dominic struggles to get over Maris’ death as his life becomes entwined with Doc’s from unfinished past business.
·      New characters Aliza and her daughter Evie are witches that play a role in Doc and Dominic’s conflict.

Castus Sanguis
The Castus Sanguis are the fallen angels that created the noble vampire race.  They know the ring was stolen from the Kubai Mata and they want its power to create a new race of othernaturals - one that will be more powerful than any today. Tatiana is working for them to retrieve the ring believing they will make the vampire House of Tepes (her house) the most powerful of all the Houses and she will lead the noble vampire race.  Tatiana is even crazier than she was before believe it or not.  She kills on a whim and nobody is safe around her.   Despite her ruthlessness, in the last book, the angel Michael said that Tatiana wasn’t the biggest bad… This still needs to be unraveled but if she isn’t the biggest bad, then I can’t wait to see who is! 

Kubai Mata
The Kubai Mata wants to retrieve the ring to safeguard it against the evil that would threaten the human race if it fell into the wrong hands.  They have sent in an agent, Creek, to find who has the ring for sure although they suspect its Chrysabelle, and to devise a way to get it back.  These guys seem a little suspect or shady to me.  Or perhaps they are the good guys.  I’m not sure yet. 

Mal and Chrysabelle 
If the relationship between Mal and Chrysabelle wasn’t complicated enough with her adjusting to no longer being a comarré, and the voices in his head, it gets more so with the arrival of Creek.  Even though Creek knows he’s there on a mission, he starts to have feelings for Chrysabelle.  Also, from reading her mother’s journals, Chrysabelle discovers she has a brother.  So now she has to decide what her priorities are – help Mal with his curse, find her brother or kill Tatiana. 

See, this is what I love about this series…you don’t know and anything can happen!!

Other Storylines
Doc and Dominic have larger roles in this book.  We find out about their history and what caused the animosity between them.   I felt bad for Doc in that situation.  He sure did draw the short straw in that case.  Involved in Doc’s story is more power-hungry women – Aliza and her daughter Evie.  

There was a lot of time spent on developing the other storylines.  So much so I was starting to doubt how or if it was all going to come together or if the main characters were being overpowered by the supporting ones.  However, Painter brilliantly brought all these different storylines together and delivered them in the cleverest way.

There were resolutions to some storylines however not in all.  Thank the goddess because this series is too good to end yet.  There were great leads in to the next installment.  I find myself wondering what isn’t as it seems…what is Katsumi up to? Did she really have a change of heart?  What are Aliza and Evie up to?  Who else is on this quest for power that we don’t know yet?  Who’s going to end up protecting the ring and who wants only the power it can yield?  What friendships will suffer because of it?  Why doesn’t Dominic want it?  Who has Tatiana’s hand?  What will happen to Doc after going through the smoke?  Oh, the suspense!!

Bottom Line
I liked this book more than the last with all its intrigue and suspense.  I will definitely read on to find out who is honest and who has ulterior motives.  I love it when I read a novel and am challenged in trying to figure out what everyone’s angle is.  With this series, you start questioning everyone.  I really look forward to reading the next one – Bad Blood.  

Happy Reading!!

4 Bad Boys – Really Enjoyed It!!!!

See my review for House of Comarre Book #3 - Bad Blood

1 comment:

  1. More intriguing than the first? That's very cool. I have to find the time to fit these in.