on 20 December 2014
'The Impaler Legacy' is a great read with a brand new concept of vampires and those opposed to them played out from the prospective of the narrator Liana, a member of the Little Council descended from Romanian nobility.
I always delighted when there is a female protagonist in stories, and i was further drawn by an interesting new concept in vampire lore. This was an interesting read. I struggled a little with the first book in the series, for a couple of reasons really, most essentially I found the prejudice Liana held against vampire Maximillian Hess difficult to read (even the explanation provided midway through the first novel did little to endear the narrator to me). I think I find blanket prejudice a difficult position to identify with, preferring instead for people/vampires to be judged on a case by case basis. Secondly, I prefer my heroines a little more 'kick ass' or proactive and I found Liana's attitude to be be rather irritating and ignoble.
Luckily Liana falls for the affections of a good msn on whom she came to rely and perhaps this encouraged her to become a better person, which seemed to occur more within the next three books in the series and I found myself warming at least a little towards Liana as her grudging tolerance and respect for Max grew with their struggle to build a better world for humans and vampires.
Therefore, this is an intriguing read and the author Ioana Visan is to be congratulated on her sophisticated and new approach towards vampires and a worldwide exploration of struggle and triumph and a story in which Lian as narrator and female protagonist grew and developed. Liana may still not be a heroine entirely to my tastes, but the story is intriguing, well written and thought provoking.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
on 17 June 2014
With all the books, movies and series out there, it seems like all vampire sagas have been done already. But you'd be wrong to think so. Writer Ioana Visan takes the common take on vampires, turns them around and spins a whole different kind of story. With the whole world being aware of vampires, she has the lead character Liana, living in the only vampire-free country, actually not only being very familiar with vampires, but also hating them through upbringing. Due to circumstances, she has to team up with first one, and later an entire army of vampires, in order to save her country, her life and ultimately the world.
Despite this being a heavy story, and a tense read at times, a laugh or a pun are never that far around the corner, no matter how bad the circumstances may be. That combined with some romance (but not in the way you expect it!) makes it for a much lighter read than the summaries suggest.
The characters are very well fleshed out and you truly care for them. Even though, as in a good epic tale, there are character deaths and many losses, which make you fear for everyone's safety.
Through the course of the 3 novellas and 3 short stories covered in this omnibus, Liana, who I liked as a character from the get-go, learns that despite her upbringing there are vampires she can trust, which changes her worldview quite a lot, which I assume will have it's reflection in the future of how Romania will be ruled.
Below my (somewhat) condensed reviews of the seperate novellas - so spoilers!
#1 The Impaler's Revenge
Through main character Liana, Ioana takes you by the hand and introduces you to the world her story is taking place, as well as the characters who are involved.
Liana (an important member of the "little council" ) receives from the president of Romania the assignment to pick up vampire Maximilien Hess and escort him into her country. This is a rarity, as vampires are not allowed to enter Romania, thus making it the only "vampire-free" country of the world (which is quite ironic, considering the origins of the Dracula stories) and guard him while there.
Liana does not know what the reason was for this strange assignment, but nevertheless carries out her orders, even tho begrudgedly. Which puts her in the position of having to arrange blood for him with the help of Dr. Jesse Carter - who provides a look into the outside world which does include dealing with vampires - and having to entertain him because he gets bored.
You can tell she doesn't like it at all, and through her interactions with her friends and how they react you learn slowly more and why. In her dealings with Maximilien, you learn the history of the countries history and how the politics work.
#2 A Victory That Counts
Time has jumped forward a bit. After learning in the previous novel that there is a new breed of vampires, which even makes the older race of vampires feel threatened, Romania, once the worlds only vampire-free country has striken a deal with this older race, to join arms against the new threat.
For this cause, Liana, our female leadcharacter is sent out to New Zealand with an army of Pandurs (Romania's guards, initially trained to defend the country against vampires) where the new breed of vampires stems from. This to learn more about their origins, nature, and most important, how to defend themselves against them.
In this warlike setting, which is undoubtly a lot grittier than the first novella, there are some expected fight scenes, even including torture and slaughter, yet it never gets too gruesome for the squeemish ones amongst us.
#3 Order Restored
WIth Jesse being kidnapped now, Liana is hell-bent on finding him. To do so however, she lets Max put a compulsion on her with regards to her feelings for Jesse, so she can make judgments with a sound mind. Then, by accident she stumbles upon a base of the new breeds and finds out what they are up to there. This part is chilling, and told so vividly, I was literally cringing when reading. To my surprise she finds Jesse fairly quickly, but of course things are not as they seem and Liana has to make a horrible agreement to get back her loved one. One you can't believe she truly would go through with, but our main character has gone through a lot, and perhaps this changed her morals just enough?