The fifth and final book in Smith’s Brotherhood of the Blood series follows the leader of the group of knights, Temple, who has been in hiding so he can protect the grail and his vampire brothers. There was mention of Temple in the last two books, Let the Night Begin and Taken by the Night, having to deal with his being in hiding to possibly having been kidnapped by the dastardly Order of the Palm. And so the story opens, with Temple in a cell…
Temple has been in the cell for awhile, as his captors have been feeding him blood laced with drugs, but they no longer take effect and he has a clear head and knows he has to escape. He knows the Order of the Palm is behind his capture, but he doesn’t know why or who is in charge of the operation. What he does know is they want him alive for a reason. When he hears someone coming he feigns being drugged to catch them off guard and hopefully learn something about what has happened while he’s been away from the world.
His jailer, or at least the person bringing him blood, is Vivian, and Temple can tell there’s something different about her. But he is able to learn some small information, bite her and take some of her blood, which hasn’t been laced with a drug, and makes a quick escape out of his prison, but not before finding out the identity of the leader of the Order of the Palm and getting Vivian sent to follow him.
Vivian is uneasy with Temple, though he doesn’t treat her like everyone else she knows, even her friend and guardian Rupert Villiers. When Rupert sends her after Temple to keep an eye on him, she makes her way to a remote island off the coast of Ireland, where she not only finds Temple, but the secrets to her past, and perhaps her future. That is, if she realizes that everything she’s ever known has been a lie and Temple is one who will tell her the truth. And will they be able to protect each other from Rupert Villiers and his dastardly plans?
Vivian is a strong, able woman, but one can’t help feeling bad about her life and the fact that she’s been lied to, or at least not told the full nature of things, all her life. Being a tall, strong woman who can easily beat up a man had her father treating her very poorly and being saved, of a sorts from her father’s ill treatment by Rupert Villiers. He educates her and protects her, but he never tells her the truth of why he did save her. Even then, she’s always grateful to Villers and it takes more than Temple to open her eyes to the facts about Villiers and what he ultimately has planned for her.
Temple is a born leader, but he gets a bit arrogant with it, as well as obviously careless, as he does get captured by the Order of the Palm. Even though he escapes, his plans end up playing into the hands of the Order, and even though he works to get Vivian to trust him, he doesn’t trust her himself, until he really is forced to. While the rest of the Brotherhood, Reign, Saint, Chapel and Bishop, follow what he plans, he realizes his mistakes in keeping them at a distance and not having any contingency plans in place if a group such as the Order ever got close enough to what ends up happening in the book.
Temple and Vivian do seem to complement each other well, even if she does seem to give in to him physically rather easily (and in a thunderstorm too) and the physical part of their relationship is pretty steamy. The other parts take longer for the deep trust to build between them.
As this is the end of the series, all the other characters from the other books, and the one short story, make an appearance and have an integral role in the final scenes and resolution to this series. Though it was a full resolution to all the stories of the Brotherhood, it just seemed a bit too short and a little unsatisfying as compared with how much trouble they’d caused in the previous books. It’s a good series though, and I would recommend it for anyone who likes some history with their vampire stories.
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I am Temple, Guardian of the Blood Grail…
Centuries ago, this magnificent chalice sealed my fate as a vampire, and now I am its protector. Many have hunted me for it, but only Vivian has accomplished the task. Strong, lovely, haunted … I am more attracted to her than I should be, yet her loyalty lies with a man determined to bring about my destruction. But I am not so easily locked in a cage, and now the captive has become the captor.
Though her stormy eyes tempt me, there is too much at stake – not merely my life, but the lives of my vampire Brotherhood. And I am not above using Vivian to achieve my goals, even if it means denying my own heart. The battle to end all battles is just beginning, and I must fight … if I could only let my desire be damned.”
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: