- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (Jan. 7 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451459067
- ISBN-13: 978-0451459060
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #737,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dhampir Mass Market Paperback – Jan 7 2003
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Magiere and her half-elf partner, Leesil, have the cleverest con in the land. Magiere claims to be a vampire hunter, while Leesil impersonates a vampire, and in a spectacular show of theatrics, she "kills" him--for a hefty sum, of course. But Magiere's modus hits closer to home than she thinks, for when she faces down a real vampire, she wins. Now fighting her natural calling, Magiere arrives with Leesil in the town of Miiska, where they intend to make an honest living as tavern owners. Unbeknownst to the pair, a group of vampires, led by the nefarious Rashed, resides in Miiska. When Welstiel Massing, a mysterious older man, confronts Magiere, claiming she is "the one," and she has an almost-deadly encounter with Rashed, Magiere discovers her true nature: she is a dhampir, a part-human, part-vampire warrior whose purpose is to battle vampires. The discovery leads to a pulse-pounding showdown with Rashed and his gang. This Buffy-like story in a medieval setting won't disappoint vampire aficionados. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“A fabulous entertainment wrought with mystery, adventure, and sharp-toothed wit.”—Mark Anthony, author of Beyond the Pale
“Dhampir kept me turning pages…a broad new world.”—Mindy L. Klasky, author of The Glasswrights’ Journeyman
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Magiere has built quite a reputation as a vampire hunter; she doesn't come cheap, but she always gets her vampire. Of course, her "vampire" is always her trusty half-elven partner Leesil playing the role of the undead fiend. It's a living, but Magiere has grown tired of the game, tired of basically robbing villages of their wealth; it's not as if the superstitious folks across the land actually need protecting since vampires don't exist in the first place. She has just purchased a tavern in the coastal city of Miiska, and she can't wait to get there and start a new life. Then she is attacked one night by a man with supernatural strength and abilities; lucky to survive the fierce fight, she is left troubled by the emotional and physical changes she experienced in the heat of battle. Although she does not realize it at first, a trio of vampires awaits her in Miiska and plots to destroy her, thinking this famous "hunter" is coming to destroy them. She doesn't even know what she is yet, though - not only is she truly a vampire hunter, she is a dhampir. While she is a mortal being, the vampire half of her blood gives her the ability and specialized skills to kill the Noble Undead. Leesin has a secret heritage of his own which makes him an ideal partner for the true hunter, and Leesin's dog Chap also possesses the special capacity to take on the undead. Magiere's undead foes are quite shocked to learn that she can actually harm them with her blade, and their growing realization of her true power and innate calling only furthers the determination of the head vampire Rashed to kill this hunter in order to protect his vampire family.
It's an odd set of vampires: Rashed finds comfort in a mortal life, setting himself up as a businessman and insisting that his kind feed upon but not kill its victims. The female Teesha also finds comfort in the trappings of normal life and is actually quite likable in several ways. Then there is Ratboy, the Pig Pen of the vampire world whose feral tendencies sometimes threaten to reveal the vampire presence to the local populace. The vampires also have an ally in the form of Teesha's husband (who just so happens to be a nearly-headless ghost). Magiere doesn't want to fight vampires, but the fact that she keeps getting attacked by them makes it unavoidable. Her mind is in constant turmoil, trying to cope with the increasingly troubling revelations about her true nature, worrying about Leesil on a number of levels, fighting just to survive each night when the sun goes down, dealing with a sense of guilt for the false life she has led up until now, and yearning for the settled, peaceful life she craves so dearly.
All of the main characters are complex and very human (or nonhuman, as the case may be), even the dog Chap. That makes the fight scenes all the more thrilling, and the Hendees know how to make vampire action exciting, I can assure you. There are a number of skirmishes and knock-down-drag-out-cut-off-the-head fights in these pages, each of them described in vivid detail. The thrill of it all isn't just blood lust either; the multi-layered richness to the vampires' lives and relationships raises them far above the level of simple monsters representing evil incarnate.
You still get your basic vampire mythology here, but some unusual additions to the lore help keep things lively and unpredictable. The fights are a joy to experience, as you get all sorts of killing instruments and murder techniques thrown in (garlic water, for example, when applied liberally to a vampire's skin, bakes it up into a most satisfying charred, smoky mess). The emotional growth of both Magiere and Leesil as the novel progresses offers a strong undercurrent that connects with the reader on a very human level, making these characters ones you really want to meet up with again in the future. The Hendees have created a truly vibrant world ready to open its arms wide to all vampire aficionados. Those who crave vampire-fighting action can sate their needs quite well in the pages of this novel, while those who want to understand the nature and motivations of vampires and their foes are in for a really special treat.
1) Setting - Could have used a map of the world. Each time a place is described I wanted to start drawing so I can get in my head where every city, town, or region is in relation to the others. This fantasy setting only has humans, quick reference to elves and of course vampires...no other races or monsters referred to. With that said, I didnt feel at any point that the story needed these things, YET. There is so much room for the authors to take and create a more vivid world. What they've created here is a functional envioronment that is very small in scope and works for this first story installment.
2) Characters -
a) Protagonists - I really liked the three main protagonists: Magiere, Leesil, and their hound Chap. Each had their strenghts, weaknesses, and secrets. It was a nice twist that all three have travelled several years together, yet there is so much they don't know about each other or themselves. Nice character growth and relationships through the story.
b) Antagonist - The best thing about the vampires is that each one comes into his/her mental abilities differently. The authors played up on such strengths which helped define the individual vampires from the rest. Overall, the authors kept to most classic forms of killing vampires (garlic, stakes, etc) which was totally acceptable.
3) Story - Great Action! Believable dialogue and decisions made by characters. The story is written to be the first book in a series. The nice thing is 98% of all story conflicts are resolved in the end so even if they never get around to writting more in the series this book is a self-contained story. No real major plot twists and turns or comments on society and life...it was simply a straight forward action story, which was ok with me.
OVERALL: If you like what I said above, then you won't be disappointed by getting your hands on this book. I'm keeping this book in my collection and recommending it to friends. Fun story that I read in two-day's time. I'll be looking for any future installments of the Dhampire series.
I really liked the characters of Magiere and Leesil. Magiere is tough without being overbearing. Leesil is just plain /fun/ (although if I were Magiere I would hide his wine skin). I also really enjoyed the 'evil' vampires, Rashed, Teesha, and yes even Rat Boy. Even though they were killers, they had great personalities, and I enjoyed the romance between Rashed and Teesha.
Minor peeves: I did think Magiere and Leesil were great characters but for two adults they didn't seem to be fully developed emotionally. These characters need a little more romance and social contact to be believeable. I also found it hard to believe such two physically attractive people would be wandering around the countryside not attracting admirers. Part of me is refreshed by the fact that Magiere and Leesil aren't a couple. But, then the other part of me thinks, the idea should have least been mentioned as an issue/non issue.
Anyway, peeves aside. This is a great book. Well worth the time to hunt yourself a copy.
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