Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Midnight's Daughter" by Karen Chance

If you're familiar with Chance's Cassandra Palmer series (Touch the Dark, Claimed by Shadow, Embrace the Night), then you're going to love Midnight's Daughter. A lot of familiar characters show up in this new series, including two of my personal favorites, the vampires Mircea and Louis-Cesare.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir, a half-breed, an outcast. Her father, Mircea, impregnated a peasant girl, then pretty much left the scene of the crime. Her mother tried her best to raise her, but back in those superstitious days, her fellow villagers only wanted to kill Dorina. Feeling she had no other choice, Dorina's mother gave her to a band of Gypsies to raise; dhampirs may have been scary, but they were also supposed to protect one from the actual vampires. When you live on the road with no village walls to protect you, you take what you can get.

Dorina harbors a huge load of resentment of her vamp daddy, so she's none too happy when he pays her a call with an offer she won't be allowed to refuse. Seems his brother, Vlad, is on the loose again and looking to cause trouble. Yes, that Vlad - Dracula. Dory has some very famous uncles, Vlad and Radu, and she's not eager to have a family reunion. The last time she went after Dracula she almost died; Mircea still doesn't want his brother dead, merely contained. To help her on her mission, Mircea has enlisted Louis-Cesare, the only vampire to ever be sired by Dory's Uncle Radu. Dory, of course, insists that she use her own people, a rather unscrupulous group of killers and thieves. Louis-Cesare would also rather not work with her, as he sees her as a "stain" on Mircea's good name.

The two are forced together, and the action shifts into high gear. It quickly becomes obvious that the two fighters are attracted to each other, despite their differences. It's also apparent that someone else is after them besides Dracula, and they must find out who's leaking vital information to the wrong party. It all culminates in a fiery showdown in an old castle; who will emerge victorious? Will the two star-crossed lovers have a happy ending?

This is the start of a series, so you're just going to have to wait for some of the answers. Sorry! This book is a nice compliment to Chance's Cassie Palmer series; having read those, I knew some of these characters already. It's nice to get their perspective, and as I said, I really like Mircea and Louis-Cesare. I also like Dorina - she's feisty but she does have limits. I flew through this once I started it, and now I can't wait for the second book!

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