Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater

The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride is Rhiannon Frater's sequel to The Tale of the Vampire Bride, which I reviewed last time. The blurb on the back cover of the book describes the novel thus -
"In The Tale of the Vampire Bride, Lady Glynis suffered great horrors at the hands of her evil vampire master, Count Vlad Dracula, and vowed she would one day escape him.
In The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride, Glynis learns to embrace the title of Countess Dracula as she sets in motion her plans to seek revenge on those who betrayed Glynis and her family to Dracula and to reunite with the man she loves.
Despite her ambitions, it soon becomes apparent that her life continues to be overshadowed by the ominous presence of Vlad Dracula.
Set in the 1820's against the lush gothic backdrop of Buda, Hungary, the tale of one vampire bride's quest for love, revenge and the right to determine her own way in life is a sweeping saga that will enthrall any reader who loves the beautiful, deadly vampires of old."
Lady Glynis Wright grows ever more powerful in this sequel. She has some very powerful allies, none more so than her 1000 year old vampire lover, Father Ignatius. He plays a major role in her life. Rhiannon adds numerous supernatural creatures to this story - a fallen angel called Astir, a dhampire called Gregor, and unnamed ghouls. In this sequel we get to learn a lot more about the vampire war that raged in Buda and the murky world of vampire politics. We, the readers, learn all of this, just as Glynis does, slowly and one piece at a time over the course of the novel. Inevitably, Glynis is forced to take sides, but there will be no spoilers from me.
Reading the two books back to back gave me a real pleasure. The writing style changes in volume 2. In volume 1, the story unfolded in a series of letters and journal entries from various characters. This was a device used by Bram Stoker in his iconic Dracula novel, and Rhiannon was clearly influenced by his writing style. In volume 2, the vast majority of the story is told via Glynis's journal entries, so we get less of an insight into the minds of the other characters. Personally, I didn't mind this change of emphasis, after all, Glynis is the heroine of the story and it is only right that she takes centre stage.
She still annoys me by stomping her foot when angered. But that is my only criticism of her as a character. I do like the way she grows ever more powerful and confident in her new life as a vampire.
Rhiannon, once said that her favourite literary couple in the novels she had wrote were Glynis and Ignatius. Much as I like them both, I can't agree with Rhiannon. I much preferred the  vampire lovers Amaliya and Cian from the Pretty When She Dies series, and the lesbian lovers, Jenni and Kate from the As The World Dies series. One thing I wish Rhiannon had done with the Vampire Bride series is to include a pronunciation guide to the names of the characters in the novel. She did this in the Pretty When She Dies novel and I found that very helpful. In the Vampire Bride novels the First Bride of Dracula is called Cneajna. I have no idea how to pronounce her name.
The proofreading issues I made about volume 1, still apply to volume 2. There are a few spelling mistakes and far too many words hyphenated unnecessarily. 
I should mention the front covers of the two novels as they both sport beautiful paintings by Claudia McKinney, featuring Megan Young as Lady Glynis. I can't imagine Glynis looking any different. Megan IS Glynis and of the two covers, I prefer the one for volume 2.
I bought the paperback version of this novel from Amazon for £9.05. It is considerably shorter than volume  1, running to 400 pages. Interestingly enough, the Kindle version costs £2.65, which is much dearer than the Kindle version for volume 1, which is much longer. I don't understand how that can be. I liked this novel just as much as volume 1, so I give it a 9 out of 10 rating.

13 comments:

  1. I prefer to think of vampires (and werewolves, witches & other supernatural "humans") as occurring in small, isolated pockets/outbreaks, rather than living parallel to and within human society. In other words, the idea of vampire politics and culture just doesn't excite me. They're monsters to be exterminated, in the same way as diseases such as smallpox or typhoid!

    But hey, if you think these novels are that good then I may have to read them for myself one day. Who knows - I might even change my view ;-) ?

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    1. Hugh, we can't all like the same things. How boring would that be? I know that vampires and vampire fiction are not to everyone's taste but I enjoyed both of Rhiannon's novels, In fact, I haven't read one bad book by her.

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  2. Sounds like a good read Bryan.
    I hope you haven't lost your paintbrush? LOL.
    I've just finished Juggernaut by Adam Baker, should post a review soon.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. to be honest, these past two weeks I have done very little painting or modelling. I'm afraid real life got in the way of my hobby activities but I do have an ATZ-FFO batrep to post very soon.
      I'm not familiar with Juggernaut, so I hope you do post a review of it.

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  3. Hm, I suppose my opinion on this books wouldn't be any different as it was at first review. I am with Colgar on this one, for me it's Dracula and original folk tales about Vampires. I'm not too fond on any "centuries old wars" and I was never fan of modern vampires, vampire vs. werewolves wars, good vampires as Blade etc. It just never really appealed to me.

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    1. No problem, Mathyoo. As I said to Hugh, we can't all like the same things. Still, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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  4. Each to there own. You enjoyed it and that is fantastic. I find myself in the Hugh and Mathyoo camp though! But as you say if we were all the same it would be very boring.

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  5. Good review, I appreciate the lack of spoilers! ;)
    My kids have diversified tastes and only one follows dad with zombies, the others have went to Supers, Steam punk, and Vampires.
    My daughter may actually have this one as the title and art seem familiar.
    as to the vampire wars, I recently seen Abraham Lincoln, vampire slayer and appreciate the conflict between vampires.
    Although ALVS diverted from the book the CGI and vampires were pretty good. I do like and understand the simple plot device of a faction wanting to rule all, and the faction that wishes to stay hidden and forgotten.

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    1. Thanks, David, Sadly, I haven't seen "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer" nor have I read the book. Both are on my to do list. The central premise of vampire factions staying hidden from human society was the over-riding theme of the Vampire: The Masquerade role-playing game and countless other vampire novels and films. It is a common theme of vampire stories.

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  6. I agree with you on the cover, superb imagery from Claudia McKinney Bryan

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    1. Adam, I was especially pleased to see the name of the artist AND the model.

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  7. Did you know that you can create short links with LinkShrink and make dollars for every visitor to your shortened urls.

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