The Vampire’s Kiss
Published 2007 323 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
A dark and brooding creature of the night, William Cuyler Thorne has spent five centuries mourning the deaths of his beloved wife and son. In that time, he has also grown into Savannah’s most powerful vampire, attracting rich, beautiful women and commanding fear in all who dare cross his path.
Now he seeks revenge. For it appears that his wife and son are not dead, but rather undead, having joined a malicious clan of European bloodsuckers – and that same group has now captured Renee, the young daughter of his dear friend, a voodoo princess. Leaving his suave sidekick, Jack, to hold down the fort in Savannah, William travels across the Atlantic to save Renee and settle the score.
While jack is left to contend with his seductive ex-girlfriend and a rebellious band of werewolves, William must confront his own defiant temptress and an even more sinister threat. For the evil vampire lords will do much more than retaliate if William rescues Renee and her magical blood: They will wreak havoc across the land.
The Vampire’s Kiss is the third outing for Raven Hart’s Savannah Vampires, Jack and William. While this novel is part of a series it also works very well as a stand alone story too. The author uses letters from both William and Jack at the start of the book provide the story so far and these set the scene for new readers. Any details not included there are artfully supplied within the rest of the story, allowing new readers to catch up with events so far without making them feel like they have waded through pages and pages of back story.
I hugely enjoyed reading The Vampire’s Kiss. Its mixture of horror, humour, romance and magic is skilfully blended to give both vampire fans and fantasy fans an entertaining read.
Fantasy fans have Jack and Jack’s story line. Jack is a true son of the South, while dying on a civil war battlefield he was turned into a vampire by William, who admired Jack’s humanity. Even after all his time as a vampire Jack has managed to hold onto his humanity and his character is written to be humorous even when he is dealing with zombies, delinquent werewolves and the fact that his girlfriend is a Mayan goddess. The goddess part isn’t so bad - it’s just that kissing her leads to spontaneous combustion which isn’t a good thing even for a vampire….
For vampire fans there is William. William a much older, and more powerful vampire. Driven by his rage he is more the inhuman vampire of classic vampire mythology - although he is unwaveringly loyal to the few humans and vampires that he cares about.
The Vampire’s Kiss is written in first person both from Jack and William’s perspectives, which gives greater insight into the motivations of both their characters. It also allows for the novel to follow two completely separate plot lines for most of the story.
William spends the course of the novel in London, tracking down a kidnapped child that he cares for. Although it soon becomes clear to him that Renee’s kidnapping is all part of a larger plan by the ancient vampire lords to gain enough power to take over the world. Incidentally this would be bad for William since he is their public enemy number one (due to his previous efforts to thwart their evil plans.)
Jack spends the novel being run ragged in Savannah. Jack is looking after his sire’s business interests while he is away from home and soon becomes involved in trying to stop werewolf drug pushers selling meth amphetamine to a vulnerable woman that he has been left to protect. Jack and his strange assortment of friends are soon up to their necks in the swamp and knee deep in werewolves as it turns into a dog fight (literally) for pack leadership.
Fast paced, exciting, humorous and magical - The Vampire’s Kiss is recommended reading for both vampire fans and fantasy fans alike. Even better, The Vampire’s Kiss is part of a series so after devouring this novel there are still more of William and Jacks adventures to read about!
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