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on December 24, 2011
I received this e-ARC for review from the publisher through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

This is the third book in the Royal House of Shadows Series, where each book is written by a different author. Andersen is a new-to-me-author.

This installment is Prince Dayn's story. As we find out from the first book, Lord of the Vampires, Elden is a city in an alternate universe. The Blood Sorcerer has slain King Aelfric and Queen Alvina. Before they succumbed to their deaths, they summoned their magical powers to cast each of their four children into different corners of the world. In addition to saving their children, they also instilled a drive for vengeance. Dayn's brother, Nikolai, is a vampire and his story was featured in the first book, Lord of the Vampires. His sister, Breena, has magical gifts and her story was featured in the second book, Lord of Rage. The series concludes with Micah's story in the fourth novel.

This book introduces a new wolfyn realm to the series. It can get a bit confusing because, in the beginning of the book, we switch between the human realm, the kingdom realm (where Elden is), and the wolfyn realm. You can enter the realms through swirling vortices.

Before the King dies, he "mindspeaks" (shared thoughts between blood-drinkers) with Dayn and tells him that the spell cast by the King and Queen was corrupted when it was cast due to the their injuries and also the Blood Sorcerer's strength. Although it did send the four children far out of the reach of the Blood Sorcerer to protect them, it has also tied the children to the castle and also to a deadly countdown. King Aelfric further advises Dayn that a woman will guide him back to Elden and that the countdown will begin when she arrives. If the children do not return to Elden to reclaim the castle and kill the Blood Sorcerer before the fourth night once the countdown has begun, they will all die.

Reda, an ex-cop from the human realm, feels compelled to remember a special book from her childhood that her late-mother told her would be given to her when the time was right. It was called Rutakoppchen, a version of Red Riding Hood in an ancient language wherein the wolf seduces the girl. Reda's mother died before she could give the book to her daughter, but destiny intervenes and Reda manages to track the book down through a magic shop.

When Reda gets her hands on the book, she remembers things that her mother had told her when she was a child that had long-since been forgotten such as how to access this alternate world. Reda finds herself transported to the wolfyn realm where she meets Dayn and the countdown begins.

I loved Reda! She is a strong woman but with a few chips on her shoulder. She blames herself for a fatal incident involving her partner that occurred while she was on the police force. I loved the romance between Reda and Dayn, but it felt very rushed. After all, the four-day countdown begins at Reda's arrival so there really is very little time for their relationship to develop and things happen very quickly. Nonetheless, the romance was hot and I love the idea of a vampire who is also a shapeshifter!

Dayn is pretty dreamy, much more of a romantic than his older brother, Nicolai. At the beginning of the book, we find that he is running away from the castle just as it is being attacked by the Blood Sorcerer (unbeknownst to him) and the reason why he is so upset is because his father does not want him to wed a commoner but a proper princess. Obediently, he ends the relationship with the poor girl even though it breaks his heart.

I am dying to find out how the siblings are all brought together and the battle with the Blood Sorcerer in the final installment, Lord of the Abyss!

MY RATING: 4 stars! It was really good!
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