Thursday, November 17, 2011
Saint Sanguinus By Julia Phillips Smith
Saint Sanguinus is by Julia Phillips Smith, a cool author who puts the monster back into vampire. It is the first of the Dark Ages Vampire trilogy and it is a hellagood start. Peredur is a Welsh warrior fighting Irish raiders when he is brutally cut down by a spear. Cursing God as he bleeds out, he is visited by a darkly compelling man who offers him a chance at another life. He takes it, knowing that something is very wrong, yet a new life, even one without his beloved Tanwen, will be better than no life at all.
So begins Peredur's initiation into The Brotherhood, an elite group of vampiric warriors charged with keeping the other vampires in check to prevent them from destroying humanity. He is determined to make the best of his new life, yet he cannot forget Tanwen.
This book is savagely beautiful with characters that tread a dark path. They are honest, flawed, yet sympathetic. Peredur is made a vampire not through some evil purpose, but because in a frightened, angry moment he grabbed a lifeline. Tanwen is a strong, courageous woman taking her life into her own hands, yet she remains an authentic product of her time.
The Dark Ages setting is one of the most beautiful things about this story. Phillips perfectly captures the social strictures, the superstitions as well as the danger and daily struggle for mere survival. She weaves a spell over her readers with her subtly brilliant dialogue and lush descriptions. I was right there in the cavern with Peredur and the Brotherhood. I could smell the forest, hear the crackle of the fires and oh my God can she write fight scenes in all their bloody, violent glory. Putting this one down was almost impossible and I so can't wait for the second installment.
To find out more about Julia and her work, visit her blog, A Piece of My Mind or visit her web site.
You can purchase Saint Sanguinus here.
Now, onto You Should Know Friday. Today's cool peep is Robyn Alana Engel from the absolutely hilarious and witty blog Life By Chocolate. Her trials and tribulations will make you laugh, cry and want to eat chocolate by the truck load. I just love visiting her and I know you will, too.