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Beckoning Blood (Bonds of Blood) Kindle Edition
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Ok, everyone get comfy because I am about to RAVE over this amazing book!
If you've read my reviews before, you know I rarely give 5 stars. But THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD!
It finally sated my need for something dark because oh so deliciously dark it was. It was rich and deep and really pulled me in with no hope of return until I was done.
It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea though. In fact, it won't be anyone's cup of tea because it wasn't a cup of tea at all. It was like a stein of blood. Thick, silky, delicious blood. (I've never used the word stein before in my life, but it seemed fitting. I've also never drank blood, but that's just what reading vampire books will do to you.)
Alright then, now that you're sufficiently freaked out and questioning my sanity (or maybe just my choice in beverages), I should probably get on with some real reviewing.
I'll start with the writing style because OHMYGOODNESS. I WAS SO IN LOVE. I am such a fan of beautiful writing, and it was, indeed, so beautiful! For a while near the beginning I couldn't even stay focused because I kept stopping to freak out about how much I loved it. I realize that's weird, but that's pretty much the number one sign that I LOVE a book.
Then there was the settings. I don't generally care for historical settings, but somehow Daniel de Lorne made them fascinating and pulled me so deep into the feelings of the times and places that I was there. But there was never too much description; it was somehow just an inherent part of the story itself.
Obviously I also loved the vampire-y goodness, as I like to call it. This was definitely a "blood-drenched saga," as the blurb suggests.
There was also the characters, characters so filled with depth and emotion that UGH YES, JUST YES. (I make no apologies for my lack of coherent sentences.) There was the twisted, obsessive love that Olivier felt, the jealousy anytime Thierry felt anything for another man, and the pain every time Thierry left him, didn't stand up for him, etc. Then there was the love that Thierry felt for Etienne, *SPOILER ALERT* the pain he felt every time he lost Etienne or one of his reincarnations, *END SPOILER ALERT* the combination of hatred and attachment he felt for Olivier, and the self-loathing at the monster he'd become. Plus, the twins' connection, the way it worked, how they could feel each others' emotions and pain, made everything deeper, more heart-wrenching, and more fascinating.
I do want to add though, before wrapping this up, a trigger warning for sexual assault/rape as there's one scene with nonconsensual sex.
So, an entire novel-length review later, I'll just say Beckoning Blood was an incredibly beautifully written love story that I recommend to anyone looking for something to pull you away into a dark and blood-drenched world!
Original Review on Blog: http://wp.me/p6ovgw-Ei
When the reader first meets twins Thierry and Olivier d'Arjou, it is in Carcassonne, France, 1390. Their father is brutal and their sister, though younger, has assumed a maternal figure for them. They are identical but one thing is for certain, Olivier is the one most affected by his father's brutality, and as the read progresses you learn more. He also harbours affections for his twin that run much deeper than brotherly affection - and he is possessive and obsessive about him. That run much deeper than his hatred for his father - and that runs very deep.
One night in the woods outside Carcassonne, Olivier is spying on Thierry, who is off being intimate with Etienne de Balthas, when he is mistaken by a vampire for Thierry. The vampire has been watching Thierry in the woods for weeks and he wants him, only it is Olivier he takes and turns. Olivier will not be immortal without his twin. He makes sure events occur so that Thierry is immortal with him, not from an altruistic standpoint. From this point there is a love-hate relationship between the twins. They have always had a bond, deeper than the oft discussed twin-bond, and it is complicated by the transformation to vampire.
Beckoning Blood is well named as it is quite bloody. The vampires are very much seductive, dangerous beings, and this book definitely has graphic violence accompanying some psychological... games. Olivier is nothing if not a psychopathic cat after a mouse, only with humans as his quarry. During one of his games he is particularly brutal with a father and son. But there are repercussions that follow you, immortal or not...
If you like the following -
A more intense twin bond
'He sensed his brother's eyes on his back, that questioning gaze sliding up and down the gore and sweat on his skin. And the he felt that...probing inside him. Not a gentle touch around the edges, rather the full hammering of Olivier's need to know what was going on inside his brother's mind.'
Darker paranormal reading -
'They chewed through heart and liver, stomach and spleen, sucked on brains and lungs. They covered themselves with gore and blood until there was nothing left but bones. Exposed to the air, they soon turned to powder. Whatever power had resided in their dark father was now in them, or vanished on the wind.
They sat back and looked at each other, covered with blood like painted warriors of Gaul.'
'He held (him) over the edge of the window and let go.
The sound of cracking bones and wet flesh hitting stone thrilled him, and the sensation mixed with the fresh blood he swallowed.'
Themes of a soul being reborn throughout the ages that you would just know, whether that be good or bad.
Vampires and witches and a touch of magic as well - although the magic will possibly be further developed in the next book (I am guessing)
A bit of a saga with good, solid, engaging writing over a period that covers 1390 France, 1792 Saxony, and modern day Perth, Australia
Looking for something that will carry on, because while this has a satisfying end it is left open for a following novel.
And I got a Louis and Lestat vibe from the twins
If any of that appeals, then definitely read Beckoning Blood because it is good reading from this first time published author.
More in-depth review at On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Mr de Lorne's writing style has just enough emotion in it to drag a reader in and clips along at a pace that keeps you turning the page. There's gore, pathos, hot sex and humor... pretty much everything you need to while away a sneaky afternoon reading.
Frankly, it's like he's taken all the elements that work in vampire fiction and has thrown away the rest. Love it. And my gawd can he build tension between characters. The fracture/conflicted/brilliantly messy relationship between Thierry and Oliver constantly had me on the edge of my seat.
And Thierry and Etienne... okay I'm running into my whole "Don't give the plot away because that's half the fun of reading" thing but let's just say the "love" triangle in this story is brilliantly done.
And the way the book handles the passing of time and mortality... fantastic.
I genuinely thought I was over Vampire stories but this is something very special. Do give it a go. I'll definitely be auto-buying Mr de Lorne's next.
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