Rating: 4 stars (Spotlight Review)
As a half-vampire, half-mage assassin for the Dominae, Sabina Kane has been trained to act without question, without remorse. Things start to change when she is dispatched to dispose of David, a close friend, as a traitor to his vampire breed. Questions begin to breed and a conscience begins to bud as David dies protesting his innocence and warning Sabina to trust no one.
The Dominae triad of rulers give Sabina her next assignment: infiltrating a rogue organization as a spy and killing Clovis, the half-demon, half-vampire leader when the Dominae have decided there is nothing more to be learned. In this role, Sabina is forced to debase and degrade herself in the eyes of her vampire peers, as well as perform countless other distasteful acts. The only ‘carrots’ held out to Sabina are her ‘honor’, and that she had sworn fealty to the Dominae. Her grandmother, one of the three in the triad of rulers, shows no hesitation in playing upon Sabina’s emotions in order to achieve the Dominae’s goals.
Sabina embarks upon a journey of self-discovery and self-growth as she confronts the hard truths about herself and those attempting to use her, and does her best to navigate the maze of treachery and deceit.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be rating this book a four when I started reading. The book started slowly, darted aimlessly off in several directions for a bit and I’m guessing it was in an attempt to “set the atmosphere.” This could have been achieved with much less wasted page space, and doing so could have possibly bumped my rating higher.
Despite the slow start and tangents, by mid-novel it was off to a good clip! Summoning a demon early in the novel provided a valuable minor character; the interplay between Sabina and the demon formed much of what drew me into the novel and the entirety of what made me laugh throughout.
I’m keeping this for my personal library, and looking forward to the next in the series. The title and the publishing date have not been set yet, but I’m keeping watch at www.jayewells.com.
Publication date April 2009, through Orbit