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Stirling (The Sword of the Lady) launches a new series with a messy and unappetizing mix of well-worn monster tropes and excessive sexual violence. The ancient, powerful, and sociopathic Shadowspawn have always lived among (and interbred with) humans. When Adrian Brézé, the one Shadowspawn capable of resisting his violent urges, discovers that his ex, Ellen, has been kidnapped by his evil twin sister, Adrienne, he begins a war against his own kind. Adrienne repeatedly rapes Ellen, who endures using psychological techniques she developed during childhood abuse, as she prepares her own political machinations. Stirling hits just about every cliché, from the grizzled vampire hunter and mentor to Adrienne's pathologically devoted servants (who call themselves lucies and renfields). Stirling's prose is competent, but there's nothing new in his story, and few readers will have the stomach for the over-the-top sadism. (May)
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With this book, Stirling starts a new series about the presence of werewolves, or Shadowspawn, among humans. Homo lupens is an ancient race possessing dark power. Vague memories of the time when they ruled the planet are the source of many myths and legends of evil monsters. They still exist, though reduced in numbers and power. Adrian, a reclusive Shadowspawn male, has chosen to live as a human, fighting his dark nature. But his sister, ruled by her desire to return the Shadowspawn to power and by her hatred for her brother, abducts Adrian's human lover. To save her and possibly all humans, Adrian must fight with all his powers. The plot is archetypical, and Stirling's werewolves are vicious enough to cause a good many fictional vampires to think twice before taking them on. Action predominates, characterization is competently done but not outstanding, and the dialogue is at times implausible. A strong sexual element makes warming to the yarn definitely a matter of taste. --Frieda MurraySee all Editorial Reviews
I read the whole thing and was hoping the end would make the book worth it. The end was too simplistic and easy. The book was just bad. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MBC
I stopped reading this about 325 pages into it. When it comes to the point I'm just skipping over stuff, I'm done. Tired of reading about their blood, food, etc. Read morePublished 9 months ago by KCarlson
S.M Stirling gives the vampire genre an interesting twist. This is a good light read, I found it engaging and entertaining.Published 13 months ago by Rebecca Cheney
Good series, on my second time reading it. Definitely something different for me. Stirling can be dark, and this series certainly is.Published 15 months ago by Nancy Whyms and Richard Blackburn
I listened to A Taint of Blood on audio book as background noise while working. I also almost stopped because some of the the accents were difficult for me to get used to. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read
After reading much of Stirling's other works, i was looking forward on his take on the supernatural. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jeff Klein
Too much time was spend on Ellen
Too much detail on the sex/feeding I don't need a detail breakdown of dominate submissive relationship. Read more
Yikes. This one was so bad that, even though I haven't written a review in ages, I feel compelled to warn away my fellow humans. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by the_smoking_quill