A slightly more grown-up take on the mortal – immortal relationship challenges that Stephenie Meyer made so popular.
It’s clear from this book however that Deborah Harkness is a historian herself. Historical details are so effectively woven into the story narrative that I didn’t feel any desire to look up whether she was right or not, I was happy to take her word as gospel. Having said that, there are instances where Deborah dips in and out of different languages with no opportunity to provide an english translation – it did annoy somewhat that I had to look up what the words meant but it does say something for how much I cared about what was being said.
Harkness’s work doesn’t deal with just vampires and humans however, it is also involves witches and daemons, making her world even richer with the supernatural than Meyer’s. Her love story is also more believable – as much as I enjoyed the first three of Meyer’s Twilight stories, I could never work out why it was that her lead male was so enamoured with her lead female, being such a flimsy and rather pathetic character. Here, the female lead – Diana – is strong and independent and entirely more likeable. You really do pull for the two leads to make it.
If I haven’t already mentioned it, this book is the first of a trilogy. This pains me because I absolutely hated the ending. I wanted the book to be a little bit longer and finish the story completely in itself. I have a horrible feeling that it is going to get overly-complex and focus more on historical fact rather than the plot. We’ll see.