Monday, 30 June 2014

Dhampir, by Barb and JC Hendee

3 stars

Apparently Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Lord of the Rings, everyone who knows me will realise that this is the exact kind of sentence designed to make me buy things. 

But, aside from the elf and the vampire slaying, I'd say this is more reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's Brothers Grimm, with two grifters finding themselves trapped by the reputations built by their cons into battling the undead for real.

From the very first it's clear that Magiere, with blood-red highlights in her hair, isn't quite like everyone else. Shunned as a child due to suspicious parentage, she's since hardened herself to society and now makes her way from superstitious village to superstitious village, fleecing the inhabitants with the help of her half-elf partner, Leesil. Until one night when she's set upon by a creature not unlike those she's been supposedly killing, and she decides to jack it all in and start over as a tavern landlady. But the vampires living in the town she's chosen to settle in have other ideas, and so Magiere and Leesil (and his magic dog, Chap) must become what they've previously claimed to be.

Whilst I enjoyed this one - it had some decent action and characters, and I particularly enjoyed the bad guys and their group dynamic (in particular, the triangle between Rashed, Teesha and her dearly departed hubby who she's been slowly falling out of love with) - there were also a few niggles; Magiere's powers didn't really make much sense to me until they were fully explained near the end by the exposition fairy Welstiel, while the idea that someone tooling around with a half-elf would scoff at the existence of vampires struck me as a bit snort-worthy.

Not a bad read at all - in fact this was a nice, easy diversion for a few days, but it won't see me beating down the door of the bookstore for more.

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