Ulrika Magdova had been the daughter of a Troll Country boyar until she died two weeks ago. Back then her closest friends and companions had been Max Schreiber (a wizard), Felix Jaeger (poet, fighter, and lover), and two dwarf slayers named Gotrek Gurnisson and Snorri Nosebiter. They had traveled far to rescue Ulrika from the vampire who had abducted her, but they had been too late. The vampire, Adolphus Krieger, had already given Ulrika his poisoned kiss. Denied their goal of rescuing Ulrika, her companions decided it best to put her body to rest. However, the men had (reluctantly) teamed up with another vampire, Countess Gabriella von Nachthafen, in order to rescue Ulrika and destroy Adolphus. Gabriella convinced the men to allow her to take Ulrika under her wing. Gabriella promised to teach Ulrika to do no harm. (These events happened in Vampireslayer
As this story opens, Ulrika is still struggling to control her thirst for blood. Gabriella is a firm, but fair, mistress. If Gabriella had the choice, she would have kept her new protégéé at Nachthafen castle until Ulrika had adapted to her life in darkness. But the vampire queen commands Gabriella to go to Nuln and assist her dark sisters. (They are called the Lahmian sisterhood.)
Something is preying on the vampires in the city of Nuln and threatening to expose their existence to the nation. A witchhunt has begun and the people are becoming more and more violent. When Gabriella and Ulrika first arrive they learn that the two highest ranking vampires are dead. Lady Hermione von Auerbach is now the senior Lahmian in Nuln. Problem is that Gabriella and Hermione have a history, so Gabriella cannot expect complete and/or cordial cooperation from her vampire sisters. As events escalate, Hermione's paranoia (of looking bad to the queen) gets worse. So while Ulrika and her mentor, Gabriella, are trying to find the killer, Hermione's actions keep hampering them.
While out spying for her mistress, Ulrika runs into an Imperial Witch Hunter. Templar Friedrich Holmann soon believes Ulrika to be a fellow vampire hunter. (Seeking revenge for her sister.) As long as Friedrich does not learn the truth all will be well.
**** FOUR STARS! For those who may not have read the Gotrek & Felix series, the first paragraph of my synopsis tells how Ulrika ultimately became a vampire. (The events happened in Vampireslayer
by William King. The Gotrek & Felix series is still ongoing. Nathan Long has taken over as the author for the series.)
Though William King wrote the Gotrek & Felix stories in which Ulrika appeared, as well as the tale of her rebirth as a vampire, I feel that Nathan Long has managed to capture her warrior's spirit. Long has his own, unique, writing style and he utilizes his talent to bring Ulrika's story to vivid (un)life. Before Ulrika's transformation, the character was portrayed as a brave and honorable fighter. Nathan Long clearly shows the inner struggle the character must now deal with. Ulrika has to overcome a lifetime's worth of weaponry training and fighting in order to survive as a vampire, which demands that she retreat often and use human pawns to do much of her work for her. In short, Ulrika must become the exact opposite of what she once was. The author clearly depicts the vampire fledgling's turmoil in such a way that I bounced between feeling sorry for her and pride in her accomplishments, no matter how minor those triumphs may have been.
Warhammer stories by Nathan Long are so brilliantly done, they seem to actually leap off the pages. This is one trilogy that should not be missed! ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.