Vampire alert!! Vampire alert!!
All ye who care not for these fascinating creatures should stop reading now.
I was really wowed by this book. It has a fascinating explanation for vampirism. It's a disease that you catch rather like HIV from body fluids. But it is much more than just a virus; it is more like a symbiote and it gives as well as receives.
Ian Rufford has been contaminated. He was held captive and tortured (and boy is THAT an understatement) while traveling in Egypt. Captured by Ashari, a beautiful, evil woman who believes herself the Queen of all Vampires.
After his escape, Ian travels to England to consult with a doctor specializing in blood diseases to see if he can find a cure for his condition. (Thereby dispelling one vampire myth because he's traveling by sea and NOT in a coffin!)
On board the ship he meets Elizabeth Rochewell who has been traveling Egypt with her father. At his untimely death, she is forced to return to England, because she cannot live in Egypt unmarried. There is an immediate attaction between them although both try to deny it. It takes all Ian's willpower to resist his blood urge, but the ship's inhabitants are off limits and he's forced to wait until the ship makes port. He falls ill and Elizabeth nurses him.
They meet again in London. Ian has been unsuccessful in his quest for a cure and only succeeds in exciting the doctor he has consulted.
Ian wants to rid the world of Ashari.
Beth is a fish out of water in England and wants to return to Egypt.
They strike a bargain. He will marry her and take her back to Egypt; in return she will use her extensive knowledge of the country and its archeological sites to find the lost city of Kivala. And there he will find Ashari and destroy her.
Everything about this book pleased me, from the early nineteenth century setting to the unique vampires. The characters were believable and I was pulling for them all the way. Ian's history is told in flashbacks and I almost cringed when one came up, because Ashari is not a nice lady. I longed for her destruction.
It's sort of like those old adventure books - King Solomon's Mine or She - only better written and with sechs. Mind blowing sechs even if it doesn't take place til the end of the book.
I think Lori read it too, and if I remember right, she's not even into vampires ...
I am not into vampires but I loved this book. I heart Susan Squires.
These are not the vampires who are dressed in leather and have silly names like Pheriod and Phassion. These are people who are cursed.
Beth is brilliant and she's an equal to the men she meets. She's a heroine in the best sense and for all the TSTL heroines out there, they need to read this book.
I agree with Carolyn about the shock of Ian's story. You really bleed for him (pun intended). When Ms. Squires writes a villian, she does it really well.
This is one for the keeper shelves.