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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is the best in the series, so far, and leaves the reader looking forward to more., February 9, 2009
This review is from: Night's Master (Mass Market Paperback)
The latest blood donation from Amanda Ashley is Night's Master. This addition to the DeLongpre/Cordova vampire story emerges from the crypt just in time for Halloween reading, in October 2008.

The latest tale introduces us to Kathy McKenna, a bookstore owner who moved away from the big city, in hopes of avoiding the hostilities between Vampires and Werewolves. Much to her dismay, she finds herself at ground zero for tense negotiations that will bring the war between the Supernatural groups to a halt or escalate hostilities to an all time high. Kathy is possibly the best realized, most intriguing of Ms. Ashley's female leads in this series. Like her predecessors, she likes to follow her vampire, but she also stands up for herself, and does not always play the damsel in distress, waiting for her black knight in gleaming midnight armor. Similar themes are addressed with Kathy, as in prior novels in the series, such as the choice between mortality, humanity and never ending love. At points, this question is drawn out somewhat, but overall; Kathy stands out amongst the females in this series. The only exception may be Mara, the Queen of the Vampires. Mara maintains her aura of sensuality and mystery, even as we learn a bit more about her and her place in the vampire world in this book.

Entering Kathy's bookstore after the fall of night, Rafe Cordova also stands out amongst Ms. Ashley's vampires. Our first glimpse of him sets the stage; "he was, in a word, magnificent, from the top of his black-thatched head to the polished tip of his expensive black leather boots." As previously experienced, our author's love of her dark knights comes through yet again and makes Rafe all the more attractive. Rafe holds the reigns of the North American Vampires. This responsibility is granted to him by Mara, as she also appoints the other members of the Cordova and DeLongpre vampire families to other parts of the globe. The additional responsibility given to the character gives him a depth that was lacking in prior leading men; he is concerned not only with protecting and winning the fair maiden, but providing leadership and protection to the Vampires in his area during a time of high tension.

Night's Master sets the scene 73 years or so after Night's Touch. The exposition is very straight forward in the beginning of the novel, setting the stage for a world where most disease has been cured, technology has advanced and the world knows about vampires, werewolves and shapechangers. Kathy decides to relocate to a small Midwestern town, Oak Hollow, to escape the growing problems and dangers associated with the Vampire/Werewolf wars. Unknown to her, Oak Hollow is considered "neutral territory", so it's the first place the Vamps and `Wolves head to, for negotiations between the factions of the war. Rafe walks into Kathy's store, changing her life, and raising her exposure to danger, significantly. They tangle with a reputedly skilled vampire slayer and confront the potential for the elimination of the vampires and the Shapechangers. They find themselves teaming with unlikely allies, and risking much more than just their personal chance at a happily ever after.

The solutions to the problems between the races and the questions about a vampire/human romance come to the reader, all in good time. While at points a little slow, the story is enjoyable. The best part of this novel, as compared to the first two, would have to be the more unique approach to plotting and villain creation. The villains of this piece, a supernatural hunter and his relations, are much more interesting than prior villains in this series. Their goals to annihilate the Supernatural races, combined with the entanglements associated with a human/vampire romance, make for a better paced, enjoyable read. The story has a satisfying ending, and leaves the reader looking forward to the next book, where we'll get a few answers about Rafe's estranged twin brother, Rane. This book is the best in the series, so far, and leaves the reader looking forward to more.

Reviewed at Bitten by Books Paranormal Fiction Review Site by Justine
The Bitten by Books review score for this book was 3.5 Tombstones
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