Published 1999 314 Pages
Introduction to the Dark Series
Because there are so many books in the Dark series and they all have the same basic premise I thought it would help to give you the background for the novels first before getting into what is covered by each particular book. So here we go….
Deep in the Carpathian Mountains a hidden race of people are slowly dying out. The Carpathians are not human but some kind of sub-species; they are gifted with incredible powers such as an increased ability to see at night and an acute sense of smell and sharp hearing. They also are immensely strong and have the ability to shapeshift at will, talk to animals, are telepathic and can control the minds of humans. As well as this they can live for just about forever.
Along with these gifts the Carpathians can do magic and command the earth and weather. Whilst they need to feed on human blood for their strength and powers, a true Carpathian would never harm a human by doing so. They rest by day (because the sun burns them) and hunt by night so it is easy to see why ignorant humans could mistake them for vampires!
Whilst the Carpathians are blessed with longevity they are also cursed with falling birth rates amongst their kind and a shortage of females means that most males never find a mate. Males who don’t find a life mate are condemned to lose their emotions, eventually the absence of feeling become too much for them to bear and they can either face the sun or turn into a vampire for real. Once a male turns vampire he starts to kill humans and Carpathians alike and must be destroyed before he kills too many people or calls too much attention to himself.
There is only one life mate for any Carpathian male and if he is lucky enough to find her, their souls join as one and the whole ‘face to sun or turn into an evil vampire’ thing is avoided. They recognise their mates by having their emotions return, feeling overwhelming desire for that person and an overriding compulsion to bond with them. Every Carpathian male has a desperate need to find his mate.
Synopsis of Dark Prince
Mikhail Dubrinsky is Prince of the Carpathian race. As their leader he is one of the oldest Carpathians and has held out against the loss of his emotions for as long as he can for the sake of his people. Finally unable to hold out anymore he decides to seek the sun and end his existence.
Raven Whitney is a psychic who helps the US police track serial killers. After her last difficult case she travels to the Carpathian Mountains to find the mental peace and solitude that she craves. She telepathically hears Mikhail’s loneliness and anguish and reaches out with her mind to comfort him.
Mikhail tracks her and finds that she is human. Filled with an overwhelming desire for her he recognises her as his life mate and immediately set about trying to make her his.
Unfortunately Raven isn’t the only foreign traveller staying in the town, vampire hunters have arrived looking for vampires to kill and they are not too choosy when it comes to deciding who is and isn’t a vampire. Raven can sense their evil intentions but will she be able to stop them in time or will she fall pray to their evil plans too?
Dark Prince is the first novel in Christine Feehan’s Dark series. When I first read this book back in 1999 I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Yes, really – it was that good! I’ve just re-read it for this review and now I’m not so sure about it. There are a couple of things bothering me now that I didn’t notice before.
It gets off to a flying start with the two central characters meeting on the first page. The sparks fly and the romance that follows is generally riveting and spellbinding. Mikhail treads a fine line between being protective of his mate and overbearingly controlling. On the whole he manages to just about stay on the right side of the line. Although his constant use of the endearment “little one” does seem a little patronising to Raven.
Raven is a character with an independent streak. Obviously that is going to cause a lot of the conflict between the two characters. Unfortunately for Raven when she does exert her independence she ends up nearly being killed and having to be rescued. Personally, I did find this somewhat irritating as now days I tend to prefer my female protagonists to be able to take care of themselves more.
Okay – gripe over. I think that if you enjoy vampire romance and you should love this book. When it was published it was completely original and if the story seems a little tired now you have to remember that it has been much imitated since then. And most of the imitations haven’t been as good!
Recommended reading for romance fans who prefer their leading men to have bite.
LoveVampires Review Rating: