BLOOD RIGHTS (House of Comarre #1) by Kristin Painter
BLOOD RIGHTS is the first novel in Kristin Painter’s House of Comarre Urban Fantasy series. Set in the year 2067, the first novel in the series introduces the reader to a wide variety of supernatural beings, terminology and a vampire premise that follows a different path than many vampire storylines. But a little background information is required to follow the premise.
Our heroine is Chrysabelle, one of the strongest and fiercest Comarre. The Comarre are a hybrid race of humans, specially trained in the warrior arts and in service to the vampire nobility. But the method of service is necessary for both parties-as the source of pure blood, the Comarre provide strength and nourishment to the vampires and in return, the vampire is able to drain the toxic effects of the pureblood buildup in the Comarre. It is both an honor and a duty to owe patronage and ‘blood rights’ to the vampire nobility, but Chrysabelle’s patron has been found murdered and the Ring of Sorrows is missing, and all suspicions turn to the woman who has sworn allegiance to the vampire for over a hundred years.
Chrysabelle must seek refuge and solace with her Aunt Maris. But time is running out. Hoping to discover the truth to Algernon’s murder, Chysabelle is sent forth looking for the one man Maris has told her to find, but Jonas is no where to be found. When Chrysabelle crosses paths with the fallen vampire Malkolm, her adventure into the underworld of demons, shapeshifters and fae, becomes a little more complicated when her true identity as a Comarre beckons the inner beast hidden beneath the façade of the recluse vampire.
Malkolm is a fallen vampire –cursed with the many deaths he has hastened at the hands of his beast. But the voices in his head continually urge the vampire towards another kill, and this time, their target is a beautiful Comarre, tattooed with the golden fretwork of the most powerful and pure. Although unwilling to admit she is in trouble, Crysabelle needs Malkolm’s help, but it is the call of her blood, that excites the beast hidden within. But fate has brought these two lonely beings together, and it will be blood that will bring them closer –still.
Tatiana is a powerful vampire with a motive of pure menace and vengeance. Hoping to secure the position of Dominus in one of the most powerful vampire Houses, Tatiana requires the Ring of Sorrows, and Algernon was the last known vampire to be in possession of the powerful jewel and now his Comarre is missing and presumed guilty of both murder and theft of the ring. The true nature of the ring has yet to be revealed, but Tatiana’s endeavor to discover its’ power will unleash an evil thought only to exist in mythology and lore. And the hunt for Tatiana will push Malkolm and Chrysabelle spiraling the depths of hidden passages, only to discover there are more secrets locked behind the façade of an aging Comarre and a vindictive vampire hoping to avenge the death of a child.
We are introduced to Malkolm’s constant companions-Fi, a ghost from his past that haunts his present, and Doc, the shapeshifting feline who has been cursed to the life of a house pet: Marissa as Chrysabelle’s aunt who has a few secrets of her own: and Dominic, a powerful vampire with connections to both Chrysabelle and her aunt.
Kristin Painter labels herself as a gothic urban fantasy writer. The genre is usually a dark look into the future world heading for destruction at the hands of the supernatural. Although there is little in the way of ‘urban fantasy’, the gothic tag is quite dark and evil. There is no sex, no foul language but the violence is bloody and sharp. The relationship between Chrysabelle and Malkolm is slow to build and even slower is their realization of the inevitable. I am not sure whether this series is YA. I cannot find any reference to the age discipline that the author has intended-with the lack of many of the ‘staples’ of an adult storyline, this novel could read as YA, except the characters are definitely NOT teens. Blood Rights has an interesting premise that offers a different twist to the vampire myth and legend. I am looking forward to the next storyline-Flesh and Blood
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