Synopsis: Fifteenth century Venice is a safe haven for the masterless dregs of the vampire world, a city where they can live without the fear of retribution for violating another’s territory.
Still, there are plenty of ways for a young vampire to die in the glittering city, a lesson that prince turned pauper Mircea Basarab must learn quickly. But there are opportunities, too—in the service of a secretive courtesan, in the bed of a beautiful senator, and in the hunt for an ancient assassin.
As a vendetta older than Venice itself comes to a climax, Mircea struggles to evade the dangers of his current life, to come to terms with his past, and to uncover the truth hidden behind a city of masks…
I love Karen Chance’s books. LOVE THEM! So, this review is totally biassed from the get go.
I’m firmly on Team Pritkin but I really enjoyed this insight into Mircea’s character. It’s a lot easier to understand his actions later from reading about his formative years as a baby vampire. He struggled a lot as a masterless vamp in an unknown world, which made for tedious reading some of the time. He was a little complainy but we’ll forgive him, he’s just too pretty not to! There’s a lot of development of the Consul as well; where she’s from, who she was as a human, how she was made, and how their relationship developed.
The tone and pace are different from the Cassie books. It’s a bit darker, similar to the Dory books, but there are some very humorous moments and action. Though, there is less action than the other books.
The imagery in this book is just beautiful. The dresses, the city, the food, the spectacle of convocation had me wishing I could time travel. It made me think of Victoria Frances artworks quite a bit, as well.
I find myself being way more sympathetic to the vampires now. I was never a big fan of the mages but they annoyed me less than the vamps. It was interesting to see things from their perspective.