In Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. Lady Victoria Gardella de Lacy-a vampire slayer for just over a year-races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced. She is accompanied by Sebastian Vioget, a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy.
But when Victoria discovers that she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator-and as a woman.
I am so happy that I finally found the time to sit down and read this book! I bought it when it first came out, and then June just got away from me. I finally got my chance, though, so I am happy to report that I read it!
When I read books, one of the most important things for me is how women are portrayed in the novel. I am a girl, and I like to read books where I can either relate, admire, or look up to the female characters. I am not interested in the "too stupid to live" female characters that can be quite common in different forms of literature. I think that in the 21st-century people are passed needing to read about the damsel in distress that is saved by her valiant knight. I know that I am! Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy is a woman, she may be a venator, but she is a woman first. She has taken on the role of protector and sworn to rid the world of vampires, but she is also battling with wanting the things that normal women in society have. This battle is one of the key themes of the novel.
Going back to how I like to read books with smart female leads, Victoria is put in a position where she is not protected as she normally is, and she still manages to kick vampire butt. This is very important to both her and to me as a reader, because it shows that just because she is a woman living in the nineteenth-century, she is still capable of protecting herself, even without that which makes her a venator. It is also nice that Victoria can be a woman and a vampire slayer because it seems to be common in other parnormal books that the women are all about the vampire slaying and less about being women. There is nothing wrong with being a female, the problem is how they are portrayed.
The other lead role in this book goes to Sebastian Vioget, which I am sure delighted many readers because he got a lot of page space. The other two men from book one did not, as one is dead and I will let you figure out Max on your own by reading the book. I am not sure who I like better, Max or Sebastian. I think they both have interesting characteristics, and that they would both equally be interesting to have lots of page time in the coming books in the series. I am also not sure Victoria really has to pick anyone, she has no intention of ever marrying. Sebastian turns out to be more than meets in the eye in several instances during this book. The reader learns a lot about him and why he found himself running a bar that was for vampires and humans.
A lot of things happen in this book. A great deal of it takes place in Rome, where a new threat is rising to give problems to the mortal race. It is up to Victoria and a few others to save the city, but I think saying too much about that would give away a big aspect of the plot. Colleen also introduces some other men to the mix, but none, for me, are as great as Sebastian and Max. I also highly doubt they will be her lovers in future books, if mentioned all.
Parting Thoughts: It is June 28th today, and I am sad because I have to wait until next year to find out what happens next. Did anyone read the little spoiler for The Bleeding Dusk in the back of the book? I never read them because I am interested in the book as it is, I do not need to be anymore anxious for its release. I think that this series has a good thing going for it, and that this book stands up to, if not surpasses The Rest Falls Away. I highly recommend this book and this series. Another great read, and one of my favourites of the year.
***Note: This post was written in June 2007.****
The books in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles in order are:
The Rest Falls Away
Rises the Night