3.5 out of 5 flames
True love’s kiss isn’t enough for this Blud princess. But blood and music may win her heart forever. . . .
Delilah S. Dawson’s delightfully dark series takes readers into a clever new world of endless discoveries and sensuous encounters that will leave them breathless.
After four years crammed in a suitcase, drained and unconscious, Ahnastasia Feodor, Crown Princess of Freesia, is not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both is the handsome and mysterious Casper Sterling, once the most celebrated and self-centered musician in Sangland. Fortunately, bleeding one’s subjects dry is expected of Blud royalty. Much to Ahna’s frustration, however, the debauched and reckless enigma—he is definitely not a Bludman, though not exactly human either—is her only ticket back to her snow-rimmed and magical homeland. Ahna needs Casper’s help to defeat an evil sorceress and claim her throne—if she doesn’t drain him first. But as they team up for a harrowing journey filled with pirates and painted ladies, daimons and dashing Bludmen, her craving for blood becomes an unrelenting hunger of the heart. . . .
I still don’t know how I feel about this world in general. It sounds like Hell and honestly would make me think twice about not signing a will that said if I’m in a coma let me die. There’s nothing that makes me want to live in it for very long, which makes reading books set in this world hard.
Dawson decided to rework the story of the doomed Anastasia and her family, and does a good job merging the familiar with her world. Although I do find that at the end they got around Freesia a little too easily, but where there’s a little money and the will you can find the way. I wish we could’ve stayed on the flying brothel a little longer since it was the most interesting place I’ve read so far in these books and in the end was far more dangerous than the actual Snow Ball in Freesia. In fact, after the Maybuck and her denizens, the gypsy witch holding sway in Ahna’s home country seems weak. And I did feel she was defeated a little too easily in the end. All that build up and then…wah, wah.
Casper wasn’t a particularly interesting character in the previous book so I was kind of on the fence about his being the “hero” in this one. Then he wasn’t even the main character, so it took me even longer to warm up to him. But I did eventually. Keen, the young lady he has taken under his wing, is far more interesting and I kind of hope that she’ll eventually get a story of her own – after she’s grown up a bit of course.
I will say that Dawson sets up her world well and the rules, beings, people, etc. are definitely well thought out. I didn’t think it was possible to make vampire like beings unsexy without making them look like Nosferatu, but she’s done it. Not saying that’s a bad thing, I think it fascinating that they can be so attractive and yet I never feel attracted to them. I feel exactly like what I’d be – prey.
Despite the slight disconnect, though, the chemistry between Ahna and Casper is sizzling and I’m surprised it doesn’t melt some of the snow in Freesia.
I’d say if you enjoyed the first Blud book, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
*eGalley provided by Pocket Books via NetGalley