I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blood Rights by Kristen Painter
is a Urban Fantasy
This edition was published by Orbit on September 1, 2011 in paperback and has 381 pages.
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First in the House of Comarré urban fantasy series set between two vampire factions in an alternate Earth.
The primary purpose of Blood Rights is to establish the world in which Chrysabelle lives and introduce the primary characters and their motivations. It’s violent and tense with a tentative romance and sadness with the typical plot line of the antagonistic girl and boy who discover each other’s good qualities and fall in love.
I still haven’t a clue as to what Chrysabelle was hoping to achieve in New Florida or why she sought out Mal’s services when she didn’t want them.
For the most part, while I enjoyed the different take Painter has on the vampire world, I felt more like I was reading a D movie at the end. I can’t believe their tiny group composed mostly of battle-skilled supernaturals could have been so stupid about their invasion of Tatiana’s castle; the whole Fi capture was just too lame. I felt as though Painter was more interested in hurrying up and establishing her cast of characters with their primary conflict as quickly as possible. A poor ending to a good start.
On the run, Chrysabelle flees to New Florida after finding her Patron, Algernon, in the hall of his manse, his head removed. An impossibility as any vampire who is killed would normally be reduced to dust. Tatiana, one of the vampire nobles within the House of Tepes, wants her blood, literally, in revenge for Algernon’s murder but more importantly, she wants the ring she believes that Chrysabelle took with her. That ring is an important part of Tatiana’s plans to gain power.
New Florida should be safe. It’s far enough away from Corvinestri in Romania and her aunt is here in New Florida. Aunt Maris will know how she should proceed. Until Aunt Maris is no longer there. Kidnapped. Taken by enemies.
Chrysabelle is a comarré, a human bred for her blood, sold to the highest bidder amongst the vampire nobles. She is a status symbol any vampire is proud to flaunt. Chrysabelle herself was sold at the highest amount ever paid for a comarré. Her Aunt Marissa is a comarré who got away. Rennata is the head of the comarré house in Romania, the Primoris Domus.
There are three classes of vampires: noble, fringe, and anathema. Noble vampires were created by the Castus Sanguis, “the ancient ones who’d fallen from heaven”. They also created the varcolai (shapeshifters) and the fae. The fringe are descended from Judas Iscariot; they are lesser in class but greater in number than the noble due to the chaos of the End War. Anathema are vampires who have been exiled for crimes against the vampires.
Malkolm Bourreau is anathema. He committed the greatest crime any vampire can when he drank to death the vampire who sired him. He had good reason for his young daughter and wife, Shaya, were drained when he was Turned. He currently lives aboard a freighter in New Florida. Doc is a cursed varcolai no longer able to fully shift except into housecat form. Saved by Mal, he feels a responsibility to stay with him. Fiona is a ghost killed by Mal, his curse dooming her to remain within his presence. Hey, it’s not so bad. She and Doc are in love.
Another anathema, Dominic Scarnato is a blackmarket dealer in drugs primarily in Paradise City, New Florida. He is also Maris’ sometime lover; the man for whom she fought the libertas. Mortalis works for Dominic and is a shadeux fae while Solomon is a cypher fae.
Preacher is fringe. Turned by himself on a battlefield during the End War; he is not affected by religious symbols or holy ground and he is able to daywalk. He hates Mal.
Algernon was the owner of Chrysabelle’s blood rights. An Elder in the House of Tepes. Lord Ivan is the Dominus or king of the Tepes with Tatiana at his side. Mikkel is a noble vampire of the House of Bathory; their skill is in black magic. All are vampires of whom to be extremely wary.
The cover certainly seems accurate wit the back view of Chrysabelle with her golden tattoos, white dress, and filigree-clasped white hair. Oh man, that dress. It’s absolutely gorgeous with all the Venise-point lace, the gloved-effect of the sleeves, the silver filigree encircling her waist, and the red ribbon flirting in the breeze from the low point of its cutaway back. Chrysabelle herself is encased by a black filigreed frame with little red skulls in the corners. Victorian frills run amuck!
The title is accurate as well as it relates directly to the ownership of Chrysabelle’s Blood Rights.