REVIEW: Blade to the Keep by Lauren DaneFriday, February 21, 2014 0:00
When I first came across this book, I thought it might be a re-print of an older book, but it turns out this is No. 2 in an intriguingly new paranormal series. Vampires are organized under a “First” who rules the Vampire Nation, along with his Scions who have divided up the world between them. There’s never a dull moment because vampires continue to test their boundaries, but a human faction called Hunters are highly trained and use politics and violence as necessary to keep the vampires in check and keep the world safe for the humans. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and yes, I did go back and pick up Book 1 to read the backstory.
Rowan Summerwaite is that rare hunter who is more vampire than most vampires. Fostered in the bosom of vampire royalty, she is honed into a weapon by the hunters, when she runs away from the medieval keep where she was raised since the age of 16. In addition, it seems that she is the vessel to a goddess who’s blade she raises to deliver justice. If that’s not interesting enough, she’s hot and heavy with Clive Stewart, the Scion of North America.
After 15 years she’s returned to her childhood home as liaison between the vampires and hunters to broker changes to an existing treaty between the two targeted at curbing vampires. In the heart of the vampire nation, it would make sense that she’s going to be unpopular with the vampires, but, surprisingly, she’s getting a lot of resistance from the hunter delegates who are attending the summit. In between catching up on family members and loyal retainers who have her back, she faces down Clive’s old lover who’s bent on making trouble and still remain focused on her endgame of getting her treaty negotiated and signed.
The interaction between the first and his old girlfriend who’s leading the vampire rebels and the goddess who lives inside Rowan sent chills and thrills down my back. The Fae taxi driver who emerges out of the blue and takes Rowan for a cab ride while he delivers her a prophecy is a wonderful touch. I thoroughly enjoyed all the complex relationships and how Rowan is the heart of so many powerful predators. Poor Rowan, who is so strong and focused and yet so vulnerable in her relationships that it takes almost dying for her to come to terms with how much she is loved.
I’m really looking forward to the next book when Rowan and her close band of faithful friends and allies go hunting for the vampire who betrayed every code of honor and chivalry to attack Rowan from the back.
Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. She’s smart and strong and with the power of an ancient goddess in her belly, she’s the perfect candidate to re-negotiate the fragile Treaty keeping the peace between the Vampire Nation and the last line of defense for humanity, The Hunter Corporation. A meeting of the Joint Tribunal, and Rowan’s new status as Liaison sends her straight to the last place on earth she wants to be—The Keep.
Raised at the knee of The First, honed into a weapon by the Hunter Corporation, wielding ancient knowledge from the Goddess within, Rowan must navigate around bloodthirsty opposition among Vampires and Hunters alike to avoid an all out war that puts humanity in the crosshairs.
And she’s got to do it as she attempts to manage a politically awkward romantic relationship with Scion Clive Stewart during a trip back to a place she escaped nearly fifteen years before. No pressure.
Walking the path between her two lives has already made Rowan a pariah. If she leaves it to become something even more Other, she may lose even the shreds of home she has left.
Read an excerpt.