I’m definitely a little late to the party when it comes to Lucy Blue’s medieval vampire series. Starting with the third book was not the wisest decision, but once I got my bearings, I became completely engrossed – which shows Ms. Blue’s talent. Too bad she lost her contract with Pocket. *
Roxanna is a vampire princess with a major grudge against Lucan Kivar, bad guy extraordinaire. Kivar made Roxanna what she is and she has sworn to take him to task for it. There is only one way to destroy Kivar and that is with the Chalice, a mystical item created by the gods. If Kivar gets his hands on it first he will have ultimate power, so she must find it quickly. For her own protection, though, Roxanna’s tutor put her in a bottle (think I Dream of Jeanie) in the Scottish Highlands with the hope that fate would help keep her safe.
The bottle is found by Sir Gareth, who was summoned by his grandfather to his ancestral home. Along the way he and his traveling companions are struck down by brigands and everyone is killed except Gareth, who is seriously wounded. Before he passes out he sees a beautiful woman, a woman who brutally attacked the brigands with the strength and savagery of ten men. Roxanna takes Gareth to a nearby shelter and nurses him back to health with the excuse that she will use him as a blood slave; she needs all the strength she can get in order to find and defeat Kivar.
But then Roxanna falls for Gareth. Gareth is equally smitten and hardly flinches when she shows him exactly what kind of monster she is. He wants to help her end her curse – but she believes that anything between them is hopeless, and abandons him. He vows to find her, though first he has a family obligation to attend to…which leads him back to Roxanna.
So much plot, so little time. This is just the tip of ice iceberg as far as summaries go. The main players in the previous books are important characters in Dark Angel. I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy having all the loose ends wrapped up, and they are done so very nicely. But that leads me to my main issue. Being new to the series I was just flat out lost in the beginning and I still didn’t feel as if I had the whole picture by the end. If I had read the first two books, I probably would commend Lucy Blue for not forcing backstory on us, but, as a new reader, I needed more information.
Roxanna is intriguing in her effort to find a cure for her curse and dealing with being a foreign ex-princess in a land that doesn’t give much of a hoot what her title is. Gareth’s interaction with the family he hasn’t seen since he was a small boy is equally interesting. He is faced with taking charge of his mother’s clan when all he wants to do is remain a loyal knight to his English lord. But, while Gareth and Roxanna are noble main characters, I felt the romance to be a bit lacking; the words were there and in the right places, yet I didn’t feel them as much as I think the author intended. I actually was more interested in a very small secondary romance that really choked me up.
I wouldn’t let either of those issues stand in the way of Dark Angel. A stand-alone it is not, so I encourage anyone interested to read Demon’s Kiss and Devil’s Knight first in order to truly experience the whole story. However, the action and the intrigue made this book and I’m sorry there won’t be a next offering from Lucy Blue.