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Ulrika the Vampire #3,
This review is from: Bloodsworn (Warhammer Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)Ulrika Magdova Straghov had been turned into a vampire against her will by Adolphus Krieger. Instead of dying beneath the blade of Slayer Gotrek's axe that night, she had become a daughter in darkness to Countess Gabriella, a Lahmian vampire, for training. Ulrika had left the countess for awhile, but now returns to Nuln. Yet as Ulrika enters Nuln she finds the Lahmian vampires preparing for war. Across the Old World, their rivals, the sinister von Carsteins, attack their strongholds, lead the witch hunters to their hidden lairs, and are amassing an army to strike. Only a few hours back in Nuln, Ulrika finds herself leaving her mistress - again - and being hunted by her sisters - again. But this time Ulrika is determined to prove herself by bringing back the head of their enemy. However, Ulrika sees red when the humans strike down the only vampire sister she cares for. Angry at the entire sisterhood for treating her as a prisoner and wanting vengeance upon the whole human race, Ulrika forms an uneasy alliance with the von Carsteins.
Count Grigor von Messinghof of Sylvania is who masterminded the vampire revolt, but that was only the beginning. Von Messinghof plots the assassination of Emperor Karl Franz and to use the Lahmians as scapegoats. Once the Empire has been destabilized, the most ancient and evil of mankind's enemies will return from the grave to drown them all in an ocean of blood. Mannfred von Carstein lives! And Ulrika's vengeance would be glorious!
***** FIVE STARS! The brilliantly warped mind of Nathan Long is impossible to predict. As a vampire, Ulrika has been just as honorable as when her heart still beat. Throughout this series (as well as the times she spent fighting beside Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaegor), I have tried to remain understanding of Ulrika's thinking and reasoning. Until now, I would never have believed Ulrika capable of snapping and releasing her inner bloodlust. For such a strong character to break, the author has to expose her weakest link and then ruthlessly crush it. Nathan Long succeeds in doing exactly that. I totally understand how Ulrika's character, with her need for justice and revenge, would jump at the Sylvanian's offer.
Eventually the author has to let Ulrika cross blades with Emperor Karl Franz and his champion, Ludwig Schwarzhelm. Once again Nathan Long excels at keeping each character realistic. The Emperor is very wise; an honorable man among men. And of course his champion is the best warrior-knight in the land and has the best gear. Anything else would have been laughable. I was eager to see how the author would handle the clashing of these three mighty beings, as well as the final outcome. To say that I am pleased would be an understatement.
Nathan Long seems to write with a pen filled with venom. I hope the cure is long in coming. *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.