An academic researching her thesis, Elizabeth Silk finds herself falling head first into the one myth she's trying desperately to debunk: the existence of vampires.
Believing that vampires are merely an excuse to explain or justify communal threats and unlawful killings, Elizabeth's research is doing a marvelous job at proving her point except for the persistent re-occurrence of one man named Saloman. An enigmatic being that crops up again and again since the birth of Christianity through to the nineteenth century, Elizabeth can't find any evidence of his birth or death as she has for all the other famous "vampires" in her thesis. Frustrated that Saloman's existence jeopardizes everything that she's worked so hard for, when a Romanian villager claims to know of Saloman's final resting place, Elizabeth wastes little time locating his tomb. But when her voracious curiosity has her unwittingly awakening the ancient vampire from his three hundred year sleep, Elizabeth's life is about to be turned up side down.
Saloman awakens to a burning need for blood followed quickly by revenge. Three hundred years ago he was betrayed by those closest to him, murdered in a sense by his friends and lover. Now, while his instinct as an Ancient is to drink his Awakener dry, the spunky courage of his female intrigues him to the extent that he lets her go virtually unscathed. However, she'll not go far for he eventually must kill Elizabeth to regain his full power but in the meantime he'll soak up as much of her as he can. Saloman must also protect Elizabeth from other vampires. There will be those that don't want him to regain his former strength and influential power rendering Saloman's arrogant decision to leave his Awakener alive as dangerously stupid for both him and her. But Saloman wishes to savor his Awakener and will do whatever is necessary to protect Elizabeth for while her death is a surety, he can at least make the moment the most pleasurable of her life.
Clinging to her cynicism, Elizabeth at first believes that the frightening experience in Saloman's tomb was simply an elaborately orchestrated hoax and when three people arrive at her hotel room door the next morning she fully expects to hear their apology before she boots them to the curb. But these people aren't just random pranksters, they're vampire hunters and they need her help to stop the evil that she, in her naivety, unleashed upon the world. They claim Saloman is insane with ambitions to conquer the world and enslave humans to his every whim. As an Ancient, he's nearly impossible to kill and if he's given the opportunity to kill Elizabeth as his Awakener, as well as kill the vampires who conspired in his death, than he'll be absolutely unstoppable. While Elizabeth wants to right the wrong she's inadvertently committed, there's one little problem: she's in love with Saloman.
My Final Thoughts:
BLOOD ON SILK is at times a difficult and complex read but its also rewarding. Utilizing old vampire myths, Treanor soaks her novel in a decidedly gothic and dark romanticism. Her vampires are every bit of the cloak and dagger beings from which their haunting legends arose from. They're dangerous, sensual beings with no humanity to speak of and care little but their own existence and the power they feel they're entitled to. The vampire hunters with their slashing wooden stakes also bring a distinctly historic flavor to the read but their advanced technology swiftly brings you back to the present with resounding clarity. This is a layered and beautiful read that if given a chance, one where all angles are viewed, a reader can easily appreciate what the author has done with such antiquated and redundant myths.
A rarity in the romance world, Treanor's use of the anti-hero is a welcomed delight. Saloman's death sentence for Elizabeth is one that feels very real and he's a being that's fully capable and willing to make due on his promise. And while his blossoming love for Elizabeth is perplexing, Saloman does little to reject what he feels for his Awakener. Instead he embraces her and learns from Elizabeth's humanity, implementing her intelligence and researcher heart into his own thought process thereby stilling his lethal instincts. Elizabeth is Saloman's Awakener in every sense of the world. She awakens his heart, his breath, his love, and ultimately his humanity.
As if BLOOD ON SILK couldn't get more any more interesting or complex, there is no traditional Happily Ever After to be had in this gothic romance. However, reader disappointment is eased with the fact that Saloman and Elizabeth's story doesn't finish with simply "the end" but continues on with Book Two, BLOOD SIN. Thank the book gods!
For die-hard vampire romance lovers, don't miss BLOOD ON SILK. If you find that the first third of the novel is slow and thoughts of desertion arise, push through it for the remaining two-thirds are more than worth your earlier efforts.