The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers.
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning paranormal romance and cozy mysteries. The former college English teacher can often be found on twitter @Kristen_Painter, Facebook at www.facebook.com/KristenPainterAuthor where she loves to interact with readers and her blog: http://kristenpainter.com/blog/.
EDIT 1/22/12: Stop by The Nocturnal Library for an interview with Kristen Painter. We're also giving away two copies of this book. Giveaway is international.
She had more signum than just what was on her hands, feet and face. The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols, and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest, and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers. Gilded, head to toe. No wonder she glittered like lost treasure.
Not just a pretty cover after all. I didn’t even wait to finish Blood Rights before ordering the second and the third book from The Book Depository. I only needed to read the first 20% to know, without a doubt, that this is a series I’ll love.
Chrysabelle is not an ordinary human. Her whole body is covered in gold tattoos and at 115, she looks no more than 20 years old. She’s a comarré, a human hybrid born and bred for one sole purpose: to feed a noble vampire. A comarré’s body produces more blood than it needs, so every comarré needs to be fed from regularly or they develop hypervolemia. Their blood rights are sold to a noble and nobody else gets to feed from them as long as their Master lives. In return, vampire saliva gives the comarré super-human strength and eternal youth. But Chrysabelle is special even among her own kind. Her blood rights were sold to Lord Algernon, Dominus of the House of Tepes, for 22 million Euro, the highest price any comarré has ever achieved. She spent almost a hundred years in Algernon’s house, until one day her Master got killed by a weapon only a comarré can wield. Instead of enjoying her freedom after 100 years of servitude, Chrysabelle must leave Corvinestri and travel to Paradise City in order to try and clear her name.
Even in Paradise City, Chrysabelle has no one to turn to but Mal, the only vampire in the world who wants nothing to do with her. Mal used to be a noble vampire of great power, one of the strongest in the House of Tepes, but he became anathema after being cursed for the second time. Because of his curse, every person he sinks his fangs into must die, and those he kills end up living inside his head, haunting him forever. His body is covered with names of his victims. To avoid adding another voice to the constant noise in his head, he wants to stay as far away from Chrysabelle as possible, no matter how hungry he is or how good her blood smells to him. However, Chrysabelle offers to help him lift his curse, and that’s the only thing Mal cannot refuse.
You judge me while you have no idea what it's like. My head is never quiet. Never. You try spending just twenty-four hours without a moment's privacy and see if it doesn't make you a little crazy. I live that every day and night.
Some described Blood Rights as being halfway between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but I have to disagree. This is urban fantasy in its purest form. Sure, we have a strong heroine and a strong hero and they DO work together, but the focus is not on will-they-won’t-they at all, at least I didn’t see it that way. The worldbuilding is far too good for paranormal romance: I loved the combination of old vampire traditions and the technology one could expect in the year 2067. Supporting characters are also fantastic. Tatiana is one of the best villains in urban fantasy as far as I’m concerned, and Mal’s companions, Fi and Doc, are so interesting that they deserve their own trilogy.
Man this book could have been AWESOME!! Perhaps the author was afraid to just push the book to the next level... maybe the author had a deadline... I don't know, but the author spent great effort to make this awesome world and caste system of vampires and comarres (which are kind of like high end blood donors) and then never truly let us see that world... Truthfully this book is about 2 and half stars.
THINGS THAT MADE THE BOOK 2 and a half!
1- The author makes a great world of luxary and class levels... but is that our setting? No. We get to hang out with the characters on a F##ked up steel boat that smells like crap. I use books to escape... Crappy old steel boat.... That's not my preferred destination.
2- The hero vampire was so cliche (in other words Done Before!!). I literally vomitted in my mouth several times... (well not literally...) I know what your thinking, "Kenya there is no way the vampire was that cliche."
Let's see then: -->Vampire hates that he is a vampire (Ann Rice vamps, LJ Smith vamps, Twilight vamps, etc).
-->Refuses to drink human blood so remains weak through taking animal blood (Ann Rice vamps, LJ Smith vamps, Twilight vamps, etc).
-->Struggles with the fact that he's killed a person in the past from drinking their blood (see earlier parenthesis).
-->Oh wait but this is different: Vampire hero hates drinking blood but is SO SO tempted by the heroine's blood.... (that's not cliche right? Oh wait... Twilight vamps!)
3- The Antagonist was cliche. --> Hey I am the Antagonisht and guess what.. I am so freaking Evil, my pet and only true friend is a snake. BHAHAHAHAHA! That's evil!
--> I like to kill people for no reason! See I told you I was evil!
--> Hey guess what else.. I want to rule the world! So Evil!
--> Hey I'd like to make humans slaves to the vampires... Again Evil!
4- Too many freaking POV changes. Frankly the Antagonist was so underdeveloped and boring, that if the author had just taken out the Antagonist scenes I might have gave the book three stars. But the POV changes so much in the begining to boring a## scenes... It was a struggle to get to chapter 6, where the book actually started getting interesting.
October I am super in the mood to read a lot of UF/PR and after being continually disappointed in vampire UF series the past year, I have finally found one I enjoyed A LOT. The relationship is extremely slow-burn, the world and politics is super interesting, the creatures featured in here expand the supernatural world in the best way possible, and the story is continually expanding. Everything I love in a UF series. Currently reading the second book and have ordered the rest of the series already. Hello, binge-read.
It was honestly like all the best parts of Buffy and all the best parts of Vampire Academy in a book.
With an infinite amount of vampire books on the shelves, Kristen Painter was still able to give us a lore that is original and quite complex. Add in some intriguing characters, fascinating politics, and elaborate rules; we've got ourselves a considerably well built paranormal world. I did find the plot itself a bit tedious, though, which in turn gave me time to ponder and eventually figure out the bigger plot twist, but I was kept entertained by the two main characters who are both infuriating and amusing, with highly interesting pasts.
Inside Blood Rights' future world, we're not only dealing with vampires, but a blend of supernatural creatures consisting of shifters, faeries, ghosts, and more. We also get introduced to Comarrés - a human/vampire half-blood bred to feed vampire elites. The latter is what our protagonist Chrysabelle is trying to run away from, which is how she meets our delightful second protagonist, Malkolm. Malkolm is cursed, he's haunted by his past kills which makes him really unpredictable. He can be fine one moment and tormented the next. Hidden under this curse, we can see that deep down he's truly a sweet guy (well, for a vampire), making it easy to feel for him and his unfortunate situation. Alongside unstable Malkolm, walks Chrysabelle; cool and collected, she can hold her own - mentally and physically - which is exactly what Malkolm needs. But does he want it!?
Filled with mysterious pasts, both of these characters are introduced to us like empty shells, to be filled and understood as we gradually learn the stories of their lives. I loved how this was played out, enlightening us just enough to make us aware they both have incredibly intriguing histories, but still leaving us in the dark, pining for more. Obviously, this means you can expect quite a few plot twists that, even though I was able to predict, are still pretty interesting.
While I really enjoyed our two main characters, this was not the case for Tatiana - the villain of the show. She's an evil, conniving bitch, but I felt like it got a bit excessive. She is so outrageously bad, so overzealous in her evil plans, that she becomes sort of a cliché; flat with no convincing personality. Whenever we switched to her perspective I was left feeling bored and wanting to move on. Her POVs are short and far between though so it wasn't a complete turn off. To make up for it, the cast of secondary characters is filled with loyalty, charm, and of course, some romantic elements which range from endearing to heartbreaking.
Being thrown blind into a new world full of unfamiliar terms and rules, I did find it difficult to get into at first. We have to concentrate a lot on learning this world which magnifies the slow moving pace. However, seeing as the world building becomes one of the book's best aspect, this tough start does pays off. A good beginning to the House of Comarré series, Kristen Painter's Blood Rights has schemes and vampire lore that urban fantasy fans can assuredly enjoy.
Αυτό το βιβλίο μου άρεσε αρκετά. Δεν μου θυμίζει τίποτα από τα YA fantasy που έχω συνηθίσει να διαβάζω, καθώς φαίνεται ότι οι επιρροές του προέρχονται κυρίως από γραφές όπως της Showalter, (καταραμένοι ήρωες με εσωτερικά θηρία, δαίμονες, άγγελοι και αρχάγγελοι, αλλόμορφοι κ.λ.π.) που προορίζονται για πιο ενήλικο κοινό. Παρόλα αυτά το κυρίαρχο στοιχειό του ερωτισμού που έχουν τα συγκεκριμένα βιβλία, στο «Δεσμοί Αίματος» έχει μετριαστεί και έχει μαλακώσει, έτσι ώστε να περάσει ως μια υποψία ρομάντζου που έρχεται να συνοδέψει την ιστορία και όχι να γίνει το κυρίαρχο μέρος της. Οι ήρωες είναι δυναμικοί. Ειδικά η πρωταγωνίστρια μας η Κρίσαμπελ είναι πιο ατρόμητη, θαρραλέα (και όταν χρεαστεί θανατηφόρα) από όλους τους υπόλοιπους ήρωες της ιστορίας, παρόλο που η συγγραφέας πολλές φορές μας την παρουσιάζει ως γλυκιά, αθώα και στο σύνολο της ως ηλιόλουστη παρουσία. Νομίζω ότι τις αντιθέσεις της ηρωίδας της συνέδεσε πολύ επιτυχημένα κ δημιούργησε ένα ακαταμάχητο σύνολο. Η πλοκή είναι δυνατή, γρήγορη, με αρκετή αγωνία και δράση. Ωραίο βιβλίο.
probably it's not you book, but the angel angle ruined it for me. [*For those who join my broadcasts late, I have a particular pet peeve of not reading things related to angels.]
Chrysabelle es una Comarre , una raza mortal que son una especie de siervos de sangre criados para ese proposito: para brindar sus servicios o mejor dicho vender sus "derechos de sangre" a los vampiros nobles millonarios. Aparentemente tenerlos es simbolo de estatus , ademas de que su sangre es más pura y super yummy. Peero Chrysabelle tenia planes de ser 'normal' despues de su periodo de contrato de cien años en que su patron puede liberarla , pero la cosa sale mal, él es asesinado y ella escapa acusada de asesinato buscando forma de probar su inocencia.
Tenia este libro en mi lista desde hace muchos años, y le di una oportunidad ahora para un reto. Es una combinacion de fantasia urbana de vampiros y fae en algun punto en el futuro cercano, por las menciones de tecnologia, implantes y cosas asi. Para nombrar una de esas cosas curiosas que me llamo la atencion fue una Francia musulmana.
El mundo creado en torno a la sociedad Comarre es interesante, con todos sus secretos, . A proposito de eso, encuentro bastante raro que el Comarre de Tatiana no haya servido mejor como
Pero, ¿en serio los Comarre tienen todos que ser rubios? Y con toda la implicancia que estoy deduciendo ya que si unos descienden de
Chrystabel no se comporta muy inteligente teniendo en cuenta que tiene 115 años de edad , Y que es esa tonteria de hacerla super espeshul especialmente con eso de ser virgen a esa edad (srly? :roll eyes:). El pnr se nota.
‘You don’t want me? Are you a fool? Do you know who I am? I am not just any comarré, I am the purest there has ever been. From the Primoris Domus.’ Indignation twisted her pretty mouth. ‘Do you know what my blood rights went for? Twenty-two million. Euros. The highest price any comarré has ever fetched.’ Wobbling to the side, she stabbed a finger at his chest. He backed up to keep her from touching him. ‘I can give you power beyond your—’
Malkom es un vampiro atormentado yadayada, maldecido y condenado a matar de quienes se alimenta. Para ser un tipo con una legion de demonios en su cabeza no esta tan mal.
Las que comportan peor son Chrystabel con sus decisiones impulsivas o quizas demostrando que mucho entrenamiento pero el criarlas para alimentar vampiros deja su secuela de pavlov, de servir colmilludos.
El llevar a Fi me parece tonto, y no me gusta mucho el personaje.
Podria haberse explayado más con los tipos de fae y varcolai, eso me parece otra cosa interesante los diversos tipos y habilidades.
Argh this book. I really feel like this was a book I should have liked - we are, for once in a YA title, given a reprieve from teenage angst and high school drama, and the traditional formula of "girl meets boy, must discover what boy is/how this relates to her". Blood Rights creates a very detailed, unique world and just drops us in to the middle of the story - both things I typically enjoy - and features a hero and heroine who are genuinely relatively equal in terms of strength and competence, also something I'm usually left wishing for.
Unfortunately, it's also incredibly boring.
There are other issues I had with the book that inflamed my rage a bit more, and we'll get to them, but by and large I really feel that my biggest problem with the book was that I just did not care. Not even a little. Not for the plot, not for Mal, and not for Chrys. It took nearly a week and a half to finish Blood Rights - on my lunch breaks - because I just could not summon up the will to read it at home. It didn't suck me in.
This is pretty unfortunate, because Blood Rights had the potential to be a good book. The world is fairly rich and detailed, and the take on vampires is distinctively '90's retro - in that, you know, they are actually evil. Another review mentioned that Rights' world was very reminiscent of "Vampire the Masquerade", and I'd have to agree. It struck me as something of a '90's mash-up - bits of Blade, Masquerade, and Buffy. The vampires are more often than not adults (no immortal high school students here!), sophisticated, rich, and generally unfriendly. They don't want to cuddle and snug and chastely romance you - they want to rip open your throat and drink your blood.
I enjoyed the ideas here, and while they're not exactly groundbreaking, they're ideas that are not very widely-explored in YA. Blood Right's world and focus felt more mature than the last few vampire books I've read; the stakes were higher, the characters more experienced, and the world a bit grittier.
Unfortunately, "more experienced" doesn't always mean "more interesting". The spark of life, of individuality, was totally missing from these characters for me. For example, Mal was Angel. I don't mean this in the usual archetypal, brooding, loop-him-in-with-Stefan-and-Edward-Cullen kind of way, I mean that I would not be surprised if the character was able to trace his lineage back to an Angel or Buffy-based fanfic. He is a vampire who rampaged across Europe and was then cursed to feel remorse for all the people he'd killed, in this case by having all their voices trapped in his head, and their names magically tattooed all over his skin. When he learns that any human he kills following the curse being put into effect will end up being bound to him as a ghost, he stops drinking human blood all together.
So yeah, pretty much season-one Angel, except he only metaphorically lost and then regained his soul. Also, vengeful ex on hand to make the heroine's life a living Hell? Check. IDK, even with his curse, Mal in general was just...flavorless. Another angsty and tortured but inherently noble vampire love interest to add to the ever-growing list. Boring. I honestly cannot think of a single trait or personality quirk that would differentiate Mal from any of the dozens of vampires like this that populate this genre.
Chrysabelle, on the other hand, was more actively problematic for me. I just could not get down with her, and I have to put it down as a combination of a) not being able to relate to her, b) the stock personality, c) her frustrating decisions, and d) the way the book utterly worships her...
This was on its way to be a 4, but then the climax happened and I didn't like it at all. For the last three or four chapters (it started with the scene of the little kitty meowing just outside the cemetery) every single character started to systematically make the wrong choice. It was as if they wanted the bad guys to win, so when one thing after another started to go wrong for the good guys, I couldn't muster even an ounce of sympathy for them; it took me a while to get through this part because I kept stopping at random points, my brain insisting on going off track to ask again and again "Well, what did you think it would happen, huh?"
I'm writing this paragraph after the rest of the review. I was thinking of not including any spoilers but after not finding the normal review cathartic enough, I think I need to get these things off my chest, so here it goes, just a rant without much cohesion or organization and full of spoilers:
The reason I'm kind of angry is that, until those final moments, things seemed to be going quite well. In these past six months or so, most of my 3 stars are books that I didn't care much one way or the other to deserve either praise or criticism. Most of them didn't even merit a review. In this case, I wanted to like this book more and that's why I'm being this harsh.
My spoiler-free general impressions: • The idea for the world is really interesting, with a take on vampires and fae that manages to be different of everything else out there (not an easy feat in a market that has been saturated by vampires for some years). • Chrys and Mal are fun characters and their interaction is a mix between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy that has some of the best of both genres; there's a lot of tension and the funny back and forth without falling in the predictable pattern of just waiting for their HEA. • This wasn't one of those books in which the secondary characters steal the show, but they all had defined, different, personalities and were quite likable—I never cared much for Fi, though, since she seemed to be waiting for any chance to make a stupid mistake and put everyone at risk. • Knowing the mind of the villain and understanding what she's going through is one of the best features of the book, something that sets it apart from most UF out there. And Tatiana, even if a little single-minded, is a credible and consistent villain, so you never have to wonder why she's doing something; her relation with the serpent deserves a special mention since raises the level of creepiness a few notches (and in case this needs clarification, this is a gooood thing). My only complaint about Tatiana's POV is the actual location of those parts within the book. Interesting as they were, I felt that they sometimes disrupted the flow of the story. Painter's writing has all the marks to make something unputdownable, a page turner, and several times, just as I was reaching that state… BAM! I turned the page only to find that the scene I was so invested in had been put on hold to make room for some insight into Tatiana's mind.
Since it's a trilogy, I'm hoping that all the stupid mistakes near the end were there just to stretch the story a little (not a good excuse, but at least it's something) and not an indicator of how the characters will react in every situation. I will continue with the second book based on that.
3.5 stars. This was an urban fantasy but I kinda wanted it to be more romance. Usually I want rough, gritty, dark, edgy in my urban fantasy and I don't give a rats ass about the romance. Here, however, Chrysabelle and Mal's relationship was just down right frustrating. I kept thinking... "just bite her" to Mal or "just jump him" to Chrysabelle. It became an actual distraction in my ability to enjoy the story. I also didn't enjoy the other POV's besides Mal's and Chrysabelle's POV. I didn't think it was necessary.
Fi and Doc rocked. Great side characters. The Aunt was pretty cool as well. Chrysabelle needed to be less bitch but she came through towards the end, she started showing she had a softer side. I like badass but it doesn't always need to equate to "bitch".
That is unexpectedly good for my first urban paranormal/fantasy series. I started this for smutathon but I wasn't able to finish on time and it sets my mood to read paranormal fantasy. I'm glad I picked this book up from our local secondhand bookstore.
I need to look up for the sequels because I'm excited what's next for Chrysabelle and Malkolm. The plot twist towards the end is amazing and that cliffhanger breaks the momentum. The middle part was sort of slow and there are many characters introduced here. It's difficult to keep up.
I mean, Vampire Geishas are cool, right? That's why I picked up this book, even though I'm over vampires. There were some cool things in this book, genetically engineering Geishas for one, but I dunno, the main character was a bit erratic for my tastes, she was sometimes a badass, sometimes a moron. I liked the love interest, and the world was interesting, but the farther I got in the book the less I understood what the bad guys' functions were.
I got the next in the book because it was a fun romp. If you like vampires this is worth a try for sure!
This is another of those difficult to review books, as there were bits that I liked and bits that I didn't. I've decided to grade each part separately:
THE COVER: Five Stars Most of the time, I pay little attention to book covers. I sometimes wonder how important they continue to be, given that my Kindle opens the book at Page One, skipping right past the cover. And there are many seriously good books with atrociously bad covers (cough, Kate Daniels series). However, once in a while, a cover will grab your attention, and so it was with this book. I absolutely adore the artwork on this book. It's utterly beautiful and the most eye-catching cover I've seen in yonks.
THE WORLD-BUILDING: Four Stars We are introduced to the Comarre, blood servants to noble vampires. The Comarre are a special race of humans with very pure blood, and owning one is something of an elite status symbol. They are usually treated like pampered pets, yet in many ways, they are little more than slaves belonging to their vampire masters. The book doesn't delve too deeply into the morality of this (something I would like to have read), but we do learn that they aren't quite the pure, white, virginal innocents that we are initially led to believe. I've read about vampire blood slaves before, but never in such a well-developed society as is presented in this book. I really liked learning about their world and their rules, and their hidden agendas! I also loved the story behind the signum (the gold body markings). It was original and imaginative and I enjoyed everything I learned about Comarre society in general.
THE STORY: Three Stars The first half, or maybe even two-thirds, of the book was quite slow. I found my attention wandering a little and frequently putting the book down. I did finish it in two days, but that was mostly because I was too lazy to move off the couch and my Kindle was just THERE! If I'd had better things to do, it would probably have taken me a week or more to finish. However, it does get better and the last third was very, very good with lots of action and excitement. There were a couple of excellent twists that I didn't see coming, all of which made the ending worth the slog. It's just a shame that it took so long to get there.
THE CHARACTERS: Two Stars Although I loved the idea of the Comarre in general, I wasn't much taken with Chrysabelle specifically. I couldn't relate to her at all. She didn't infuriate or disgust me; she was just a bit too bland for that. Though I did became tired of hearing about how superlative she was, being, like, the bestest, most perfect, toughest, prettiest, signumed-up Comarre ever. I found her interactions with Mal to be quite tiresome early on. They seemed to be full of contrived tension, just for the sake of it. If this was supposed to build drama, it failed spectacularly. I liked Mal a bit better, though he wasn't a swoon-worthy vamp. Of the two, I felt more sympathy for him, but frequently, especially in the first half of the book, I found both of them quite irritating.
THE BADDIE: One Star I loves me a good baddie! I love reading about complex, multi-layered, mysterious, amoral baddies. Often, I empathise, when I'm probably not supposed to. Let's just say that wasn't the case here. If you want to read about a one-dimensional cartoon-style evil monster, welcome aboard! Yeah, we get that Tatiana's the baddie, but did her every single thought need to be about how power-crazed she was and how little she cared for every single person around her. No-one's actually like that. Even psychopaths have some sort of warped morals. The author went way too far in ramming down our throats how evil Tatiana was, to the point where she became a ridiculous figure. And some seriously bad shit happens to her during the course of the book, but because I'd written her off as a cartoon monster, I was fairly indifferent. Which annoys me, because I don't want to be indifferent about something like that.
So, averaging out the scores, Blood Rights gets three stars. Though it only scraped that because of the good ending and the surprises. The first half of the book only merits about 1.5 stars, but if you can get through that, stick with it, because it does get better (eventually!)
Chrysabelle is a comarré, the ultimate blood source for a vampire. From birth, she was molded into the ideal: in beauty, countenance, and blood purity. But now her patron --her blood-master-- is dead, and she is suspected not only of killing him, but stealing a magic ring in his possession. Now Tatiana, a deranged and power hungry vampire, is hunting for her and will stop at nothing to accomplish her task.
Chrysabelle takes refuge on the other side of the world, with her aunt Maris. She hides the golden sigils that mark her as comarré and tries to assimilate into human culture. But it doesn't really work out. She crosses paths with Mal, a cursed and outcast vampire. And through a string of events neither intended, he becomes her new patron.
Mal doesn't need any new problems. The curse he lives with keeps him on the edge of sanity. His only companions are a spirit and a shapeshifter tied to him by circumstance. He can't feed properly; he is shunned by his kind. Yet, something in him calls to Chrysabelle. I'd like to say this turned into a romance, but I can't. There are moments it seems so close, but we don't quite get there. Grr.
They do, however, become something of a team... working together against Tatiana. As the book unfolds, we learn more about her dark plans and what they'll mean for the world. We also learn more and more about the comarré: their secrets and their legacy. The world building is unique and complicated, in parts. It took me awhile to feel invested in the story. The first half didn't grab me the way the second half did. There was too much time spent from Tatiana's POV. Way too much. And honestly, I think the book may have been better served with some tightening up, especially early on. Things just didn't feel like they were really moving forward for awhile.
I did become more invested over time. Of course, part of that was me being greedy for the moments of connection between Chyrsabelle and Mal. And while they never did get where I wanted them to be, I think there is definite groundwork to move in that direction in later books. Tatiana makes for a formidable villain and the big reveal about her at the end actually managed surprise me, so kudos to the author for that. There were some strong secondary characters, as well.
I feel pretty confident that I'll read the next installment in the series. Hopefully, it will pick up the pace a bit and give me more of the connection between our hero and heroine that we saw the beginnings-of in this book. 3 1/2 stars.
Drinking blood has never been described in a more enticing and delicious manner than how Kristen Painter has portrayed in Blood Rights. First book in the House of Comarré series, in what has been described as a "Gothic Urban Fantasy". This was a book I was hesitant to try, on a first glance it seemed like the kind of book I wouldn't enjoy. A voice, one that I'm sure I'm not imagining, told me I was being an idiot and convinced me to read the book (maybe it was Justin from Staffer's Musings); glad I did because this was quite a cool read.
This is the story of Chrysabelle, a comarré, who's on the run from noble vampires on the suspicion that she murdered her patron, a noble vampire himself. She's pursued by Tatiana, a power hungry and sadistic noble vampire, seeking for an object of power that will forever change the status quo between humans and vampires. Lastly, there's Malkom a disgraced former noble vampire who is poised to be the only chance Chrysabelle has to survive; if he doesn't kill her first.
The book takes place in the year 2067, and the world is quite a different place as it regards world control and politics. Technology wise, there's not much advancement from what we know at the present, but there's room for introducing more advanced technology. The world is populated by a myriad of supernatural beings which humanity is ignorant to. Many of them are introduced, particularly of the fey and were variety, but only superficially. The comarré come off as geisha spymaster warriors, raised to a life of servitude to vampires by providing them the purest of bloods, and whatever benefits it might bring.
Blood Rights is a multi-POV third person narrative, featuring mainly the 3 characters already mentioned. I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with a description of the story, as I'm finding a lot of contradiction to my instincts. Gut check reaction tells me that there's quite a bit of "romance" in this book, but that's really not true at all. There's a weird lust filled and erotic scenario, without it really being either. There's just not a sexually charged motivation in this book, other than a great need to feed, sustain, survive. I think part of it is how Painter describes this particular need in a way that it's emotionally charged and desired which confuses; and it works.
It works because the characterization of the two heroes is excellent. We spend a lot of time in their heads, introspecting and we really start feeling their need as if it were our own, and plenty of good imagery to go with it. I'd be surprised if a reader doesn't come off after reading this book jonesing for a vein to slurp some blood. It also works because Chrysabelle and Malkom are both strong likable characters, in a way that reminds me a bit of Kate Daniels and Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews; as a unit. On the sexual side, there's really one real sex scene which I recall, which in truth comes off as some weird willing torture rape...you'd have to read it to understand.
I have a couple of complaints, first in the beginning we get introduced to what could potentially be a very interesting political intrigue subplot, but it really doesn't get touched more throughout the rest of the book; maybe only in passing. I'm hoping we see more of it in the subsequent books. The other one is that two thirds into the book, the plot forward momentum stops. We pretty much get stuck in a ship setting, with our heroes dancing around each other playing the "I trust you, I trust you not" dance without really going anywhere as far as plot progress. The other side of it, is the time is well spent developing the characters and their psyche which will appeal to some, particularly if you enjoy the tension of the relationship, or lack of one. Once we get done with that, the plot moves in a rapid exciting pace.
These issues aside, the book is really action packed; even during the down moments there's soon to be an action sequence. I thought the world building was very good in many regards, but I look forward to exploring more of the world on a macro scale. Our heroes are quite kickass, and I'm sure they'll become favorites of many. It's also populated by some good side characters, some fun ones, which I very much look forward to reading more about. There's just a lot of aspects this series has the opportunity to explore, and more than anything I think it's what has me interested in the series.
The cover I think it's quite awesome, done by Nekro.
At the moment I'm highly recommending Blood Rights to any urban fantasy reader, even those that are romance averse, though I'm aware that many of the scenes have the potential of not being to your liking on that regard. I think the book has done a good job balancing the elements, and includes plenty of action that should appeal fans of the sub-genre mixed with a good dosage of emotional drama and self-exploration. For those worried about having to wait for the next book, the sequel just came out Flesh and Blood and the third book in the House of Comarré is due out at the end of the month, Bad Blood. Looking forward to what Kristen Painter has planned for the series.
Kristen Painter é uma mulher de vários ofícios e hobbies. Desde maître no Wolfgang Puck, já foi personal trainer e até já vendeu jóias e cosméticos na Christian Dior Bijoux mas acabou por se tornar professora de Inglês. Hoje, é autora de fantasia urbana gótica por lhe permitir uma liberdade na construção de novos mundos que outros géneros não permitem mas quando chega a hora de escrever contos ora escreve de fantasia, steampunk ou contemporâneos. Para além da carreira de escritora, que lhe permite escrever poesia e artigos, é co-fundadora do website Romancedivas e tem um blogue pessoal. Vive actualmente com o marido, retirado da Força Área, na Florida com um grande número de felinos. É autora de uma saga, quatro romances, uma antologia e três contos. Direitos de Sangue é o primeiro volume de uma saga que tanto tem conquistado como desiludido mas que sem dúvida revolucionou a escrita sobre vampiros e que tem merecido os maiores elogios de autoras como Patricia Briggs, Gena Showalter e Larissa Lone. Neste momento a autora prepara-se para publicar o quinto volume da saga. E por cá o segundo será publicado em Maio. No seu corpo reflete-se o ouro, nas suas veias corre o sangue mais puro. Chrysabelle é uma comarré, uma raça humana criada para alimentar os vampiros mais poderosos, um símbolo do poder e riqueza do seu patrono mas por baixo do seu aspecto frágil ela esconde mais do que eles podem pensar. De propriedade do vampiro mais poderoso a fugitiva mais procurada, esta comarré vai ter de se aliar ao mais impensável e renegado dos vampiros se quiser manter-se a salvo e aos seus segredos mas o que ela não esperava era que aquilo que ela é estivesse mais que disposta a ceder tudo, até a liberdade, por uma dentada do perigo. Malkolm está amaldiçoado, por duas vezes a sua natureza condenou-o a uma existência escondida e atormentada e a morte parece uma solução demasiado boa. Séculos de fome, vozes que o tentam, podem bastar para ele dar cabo de Chrysabelle assim que lhe sente o cheiro mas uma reviravolta do destino e a sua humanidade profundamente enterrada levam-no a ajudá-la mesmo que isso signifique a perdição dos dois, mesmo que para isso tenha de desenterrar os segredos profundos do seu passado. Este livro não é perfeito, eu admito isso mas a escrita intensa, crua e simples de Kristen bastaram para me deixar completamente enredada neste seu novo mundo, tão gótico, tão negro, tão perigoso, onde cada momento traz um novo elemento, cada reviravolta dá-nos mais um bocadinho desta sociedade onde vampiros e tantas outras espécies coexistem e cada palavra pode trazer uma nova revelação. A autora construiu toda uma nova dimensão sobre vampiros de raíz, uma dimensão com regras, nobreza, segredos e antepassados malditos da qual, aos poucos, vamos descobrindo um bocadinho mais e cada bocadinho nos dá vontade de saber mais ainda. A Casa das Comarré, o maior atractivo deste mundo de Painter, é uma novidade e tem muito mais que se lhe diga do que parece à primeira vez, é muitos mais que reflexos de ouro na pele e sangue puro, muito mais que uma propriedade que dá estatuto, muito mais que beleza e fragilidade. Outra das inovações é os chamados Castus Sanguis, os antepassados dos vampiros, caídos em desgraça, malditos para toda a eternidade, dos quais a autora apenas deu o suficiente para aguçar a curiosidade. Sem ser referente aos vampiros, temos todas umas novas espécies para descobrir com umas quantas características bem interessantes. Quanto à narrativa, é fluída, envolvente e a acção nunca pára. Os momentos de calma duram pouco e as nossas personagens andam numa corrida contra o relógio durante todo o livro ou então a trocarem galhardetes, olhares gelados e toques quentes. Não é uma narrativa que prima pela descrição, nem apesar do que possam pensar pelo romance, até porque o casalinho está condenado desde o início para além de muitas diferenças que existem entre eles. Além disso, é um livro introdutório, serve para agarrar o leitor mas há muitos segredos e mistérios no ar mesmo depois de algumas revelações no final explosivo. As personagens são o que são. À primeira vista necessitam de mais construção mas por trás do que vemos existem muitos segredos por descobrir. São fortes, determinadas, ousadas, têm garra e muita lata, são tão negras quanto o mundo em que vivem. Em relação ao casal principal, a relação deles ainda tem muito para andar e nem um nem o outro confiam no que sentem mas pelo menos confiam um no outro para fazerem uma equipa de arregalar os olhos e prometem uma relação de amor e ódio que fará muitos renderem-se. Quanto às personagens secundárias, acabam por sobressair um pouco mais, principalmente a fantasma e o gatinho que irão proporcionar os momentos mais doces da leitura, e a vilã Tatiana que irá irritar e deliciar. Longe de parecer uma obra saída de Bishop ou Carey, não tem nada a ver aliás, Direitos de Sangue acaba por ser o início prometedor de uma saga negra e explosiva que deixará os amantes da fantasia urbana mais gótica e não só, a salivar por mais. Com muito por onde crescer e um enredo cheio de promessas sangrentas e muita adrenalina, este livro acabou de se tornar o guilty pleasure cá do sítio.
One of the things I like most about Author Kristen Painter, is the way she writes. It’s rather hard to describe. It’s soft and sensual, it flows nicely and leaves the reader with a nice feeling. Dark Kiss of the Reaper was my first Kristen Painter book, and I think Blood Rights is an interesting take on Vampires and Shifters, Curses and Blood Slaves.
First, let me kick off this review by saying that Blood Rights has one of the most gorgeous covers of the year. Seriously. Kristen Painter, your cover artists for your novels are outstanding. It’s fantastic.
Now, here we go.
The first half or so of Blood Rights suffered from pacing issues. It was slow, confusing and hard to get into. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. At least for me. I put this book down in favor of other books more than once. The problem for me was that we are thrown into this world and were expected to understand all the terms. It took me a good 30% on my kindle to figure out what all the terms meant. Once I was invested though, I plowed right through till the end.
However, the second half of the book more than made up for it. The grade for the first half would be 2 stars, and the second half would be 4 stars. I think with a little bit more editing, and a few changes here and there to help the pacing even out, the book would have been outstanding. As it is, it’s a good book.
There are some major twists and turns that the reader probably won’t see coming. One, I saw, the other four or five twists? Didn’t see them coming at all. There are some deaths, and I was sad. I wish the deaths had been captured a little bit more. I would have liked (Ok, well not liked, because death sucks) but I I would have liked to have been at the funerals at the end.
Chrysabelle was pretty cool. I can’t wait to learn more about where Kristen Painter is taking her and the other Comarre.
Malcolm and his storyline are heartbreaking and compelling. Again, I can’t wait to read more.
The secondary characters are all interesting.
I didn’t like the Point of View of the “Villain” Tatiana. It detracted me from the overall storyline. I would have just liked to have seen the villain at the end–being all villainous :P
The House of Comarre is a trilogy, and at the end of Blood Rights we are sort of left hanging on where Mal and Chrysabelle are. They both have some pretty major obstacles to overcome. The sexual tension zings between them throughout Blood Rights, but there is no smexing. There are two kisses. That’s it. What does it say about me that I’m sad there is no smexing?
Thankfully, the wait for the second novel Flesh and Blood, is not long. It’ comes out October 25, 2011
I really enjoyed this a lot, although I was a little taken aback and the touch of Christian dogma in the lore. I still haven't quite figured out to what extent it plays. Even with that, the lore is fairly unique and the slightly-alternate world, set in 2067, is interesting.
The end wanted to be a cliff-hanger, but wasn't really. It was just clear that the story is longer than one book. The elements and challenges in this book were addressed but there is obviously more to the story. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy, and absolutely tickled that it will be coming out in rapid fire succession.
I think the female protagonist is full of her own baggage and misconceptions and arrogance, even though she is not aware of it and thinks she's a maverick. I hope her maturing past her ingrained and inbred bigotries is part of her maturation process.
The male protagonist is dark, almost too dark to be yummy. Still, there is an underlying nobility in his struggle that leaves you rooting for him. It gives you the sense that if he can managed to come through he will be better than he ever was alive, undead, pre-cursed or cursed.
The vampires in this book are not soft and fluffy romance heroes, they are dark and selfish and arrogant. That's kind of yummy in and of itself, isn't it?
It's a part Sci-Fi vampire fantasy sets in a futuristic/steam-punk world, the action is nice, the mythology is good (nothing too original, though) and the story can keep me reading right to the very end, the character settings are also nice too: we have power-crazed noble vampires, cursed vampires, humans who were bred to be vampire food, ghosts, faes and were-people to the mix.
I think I like the male lead the most, his tough-guy mannerism and his curses are very interesting (The guy acts like a drug addict and an insane person! YEAH!!!), the heroine can kick asses too but I found it hardly believable for a woman who had been bred to serve her vampire master to be as out-spoken and brave as her.
As to the supporting crew, they are okay but I have yet to be more concerned with them.
I am moving right to the next book: Flesh and Blood.
I have conflict feelings for this book... It wasn't something impressive for me... The names of some species like Nothos, Varcolai or Remnant aren't explained and that was confusing until the very end of the book where there is a glossary that explains everything... I wish that glossary was at the beginning, it would have been really helpful then.... Anyway, as for the characters I didn't feel any connection or sympathy toward them... Especially for Chrysabelle, I couldn't care any less... I'm intrigued for Malcom and his past and his curses.... I even liked Doc, Dominic and Maris more than Chrysabelle... As for the rest of the series is still a go for me... Will see if I end it though....
Μετά από δέκα και πλέον, συλλογές βιβλίων βρικολάκων, που βρίσκονται στα ράφια της βιβλιοθήκης μου, είχα κάνει μια σιωπηλή συμφωνία με τον εαυτό μου. Δεν πρόκειται να ξαναδιαβάσω κάτι παρόμοιο εκτός αν μεσολαβήσει πολύ μεγάλο διάστημα και μου λείψει καθώς, είχα την πεποίθηση πως πολύ δύσκολα πλέον θα κατάφερνε κάτι να με συγκινήσει με την διαφορετικότητά του. Και όμως, δεν πρέπει να λες τελικά μεγάλες κουβέντες γιατί βλέποντας το "Δεσμοί Αίματος", το πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς "Ο Οίκος Των Κομαρρέ", με την υπογραφή της Kristen Painter, που κυκλοφόρησε πριν λίγες μέρες από τις εκδόσεις Μάτι και στα ελληνικά, δεν μπορείς να μην το πάρεις στα χέρια σου και όταν το ανοίξεις και ξεκινήσεις να διαβάζεις, δεν μπορείς παρά να σταματήσεις μόνο όταν φτάσεις στην τελευταία σελίδα.
Η Κρίσαμπελ, είναι μια κομαρρέ. Μεγάλωσε και ανατράφηκε με σκοπό το αίμα της, να τρέφει τον προστάτη ο οποίος και θα αγόραζε το δικαίωμα στο αίμα της με τον οποίο θα ήταν υποχρεωμένη να μείνει για όσο εκείνος επέλεγε. Όμως ο προστάτης της βρίσκεται δολοφονημένος και εκείνη, κατηγορούμενη για την αποτρόπαιη αυτή πράξη και διψασμένη για μια ελευθερία που ποτέ δεν είχε, το σκάει από τη Ρουμανία για να φτάσει στην Αμερική, ζητώντας την βοήθεια της θείας της, της μοναδικής κομαρρέ που γνωρίζει να έχει ξεφύγει από τον κόσμο της. Στον δρόμο της θα βρεθεί ο Μάλκολμ, ένας πρώην αριστοκράτης, αναθεματισμένος βρικόλακας που ζει με τους δικούς τους δαίμονες και με χιλιάδες φωνές να στοιχειώνουν το μυαλό του εξαιτίας μιας παλιάς κατάρας. Και μπορεί η έλξη μεταξύ τους να είναι μεγάλη, μπορεί οι ανάγκες τους να είναι δυνατές οδηγώντας τους στο να προσπαθούν να απωθήσουν ο ένας τον άλλον όμως πρέπει να ενώσουν τις δυνάμεις τους για να διεκδικήσουν την ελευθερία τους και να παλέψουν μαζί εναντίον της Τατιάνας, μιας αριστοκράτισσας βρικόλακα που τα μοχθηρά της σχέδια δεν προμηνύουν τίποτα καλό για τον κόσμο τους.
Το "Δεσμοί Αίματος" μπορεί να είναι ένα βιβλίο που ανήκει στην φανταστική λογοτεχνία όμως υπάγεται σε ένα πολύ συγκεκριμένο παρακλάδι της το οποίο φέρει πολύ συγκεκριμένα χαρακτηριστικά που το απομακρύνουν από το romance και το παρακλάδι αυτό δεν είναι άλλο από το urban fantasy. Αυτό ακριβώς είναι το σημείο που το βιβλίο κερδίζει τις εντυπώσεις, για μένα, καθώς δεν νομίζω πως υπάρχει αντιπροσωπευτικότερος εκπρόσωπος του είδους στην χώρα μας, φέρνοντας έναν διαφορετικό αέρα και όντας σε θέση να ικανοποιήσει ακόμα και το αντρικό κοινό που κακά τα ψέματα, στην πλειοψηφία του, ιστορίες σαν το "Λυκόφως" δεν θα τις διάβαζε ούτε με λοβοτομή. Έχει περιπέτεια, δράση και αγωνία, στοιχεία που κάνουν την εμφάνισή τους από τις πρώτες κι όλας σελίδες οδηγώντας σε μια συνεχή κορύφωση της έντασης, κάνοντάς μας να γυρίζουμε μανιωδώς τις σελίδες για να μάθουμε τις εξελίξεις που γίνονται όλο και πιο ανατρεπτικές.
Πέραν όμως όλων των παραπάνω, το "Δεσμοί Αίματος", έχει ένα ακόμα μεγάλο ατού. Τοποθετείται στο μέλλον και πιο συγκεκριμένα, στο 2067, κάνοντας εμφανείς τις διαφορές ανάμεσα στο σήμερα και στο τότε, χωρίς ωστόσο να καταφεύγει σε υπερβολές ενώ παράλληλα, η ίδια η συγγραφέας, έχει δημιουργήσει έναν δικό της κόσμο στον οποίο δεν έχουν θέση μόνο οι βρικόλακες αλλά και άλλα παράξενα πλάσματα όπως στοιχειά, αερικά και άλλα. Ακόμα και οι ίδιοι οι βρικόλακές της όμως, δεν είναι όμοιοι μεταξύ τους. Δεν τους χωρίζουν απλά οι ταξικές διαφορές ή οι κοινονικοπολιτικοί παράγοντες. Υπάρχουν κάστες με συγκεκριμένα χαρακτηριστικά η κάθε μία, υπάρχουν αριστοκρατικές οικογένειες, εξορισμένοι, απόβλητοι, μπάσταρδοι... ο καθένας με τα δικά του ιδιαίτερα γνωρίσματα και την δικιά του, προσωπική χρησιμότητα μέσα σε ένα σύνολο μεταφυσικών πλασμάτων που μοιάζει να σαπίζει από τα ίδια του τα μέσα. Ουσιαστικά, η Painter, δημιουργεί την δικιά της μυθολογία για να στηρίξει το έργο της και ο διαχωρισμός του τρόπου ζωής και των δικαιωμάτων των διαφόρων τάξεων που λαμβάνουν θέση σε αυτό, είναι περισσότερο από ξεκάθαρες.
Η Κρίσαμπελ και ο Μάλκολμ είναι ένα από τα πιο ενδιαφέροντα λογοτεχνικά ζευγάρια που έχω συναντήσει στην λογοτεχνία του φανταστικού. Δένουν εξαιρετικά καλά μεταξύ τους, ανάμεσά τους υπάρχει μια έντονη σεξουαλική ένταση η οποία μπορεί να μην κορυφώνεται ούτε να εκτονώνεται ωστόσο υπόσχεται πολλά στο μέλλον. Και αν θέλετε τη γνώμη μου, αυτό είναι ένα από τα πολλά θετικά στοιχεία του βιβλίου γιατί ουσιαστικά και πάνω απ' όλα, είναι μια φανταστική ιστορία επανάστασης και αγώνα όπου η προσοχή, πολύ καλώς, είναι στραμμένη στη δράση, την αγωνία και την περιπέτεια και όχι σε ένα ακόμα ρομάντζο μεταφυσικού. Όχι πως είναι κακό το ρομάντζο ή το απορρίπτω αλλά κακά τα ψέματα, μου είχε λείψει να ανοίξει κανένα ρουθούνι σε ιστορίες του είδους. Διατηρούνται οι απαραίτητες αποστάσεις και για καλή μας τύχη, αποτέλεσμα αυτού, είναι να διατηρείται και η ταυτότητα του βιβλίου συνολικά.
Σε μια αγορά που αναμφίβολα έχει κορεστεί από τις ιστορίες βρικολάκων, το "Δεσμοί Αίματος", καταφέρνει να κάνει τη διαφορά καθώς η συγγραφέας δημιουργεί έναν ολότελα δικό της κόσμο, τόσο ως προς την σύσταση των χαρακτήρων, όσο και του πολιτισμού στον οποίο υπάγονται, που δεν μας θυμίζει σε τίποτα όσα βιβλία ανάλογου περιεχομένου έχουμε διαβάσει μέχρι στιγμής. Πρωτότυπο στην σύλληψη, μοναδικά εκτελεσμένη ιδέα, είναι ένα βιβλίο που σε παρασύρει στην καρδιά της ιστορία του και σε κρατάει παγιδευμένο εκεί καθ' όλη την διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης, ανεβάζοντας τους παλμούς σου και φτάνοντας την αγωνία σου στα ύψη. Γοητευτικοί, δυναμικοί, καταραμένοι χαρακτήρες που ζητάνε την ελευθερία τους, σε μια μάχη με σκοπό την απόκτηση της ελευθερίας τους και που θες δεν θες, ταυτίζεσαι μαζί τους αναζητώντας να βρεις την ίδια με εκείνους δικαίωση. Αν περιμένουμε το επόμενο; Το συντομότερο δυνατόν!
The world of this series is set in the not so distant future. There seems to have been a major war, at least in the Americas, and there are advances in technology, but minus the vampires and other supernatural beings, it doesn't feel too different from the world we live in today. That was something I liked because it was easy to imagine and I tend to like stories set in the future more so than the past. So, in Blood Rights, it is the year 2067, and the covenant that protects humans from the supernatural world is close to being destroyed. However, before that can be fulfilled, the ring of sorrows must be found.
As a comarré, Chrysabelle's life in Romania has revolved around protecting her vampire patron Lord Algernon and offering him her blood. Allowing her patron to drink her blood helps them both gain strength and power and prevents Chrysabelle's blood from building up and poisoning her body. Chrysabelle dreams of escaping of her comarré duties, but it seems unlikely that her patron will ever give her the freedom she desires. That all changes when Algernon is found murdered. Although Chrysabelle is finally free, she is accused by noble vampires of murdering Algernon. She is forced to go on the run, seeking refugee with her comarré aunt in New Florida. It is there that she encounters a dangerous anathema vampire named Malkolm, who may be able to help her prove her innocence, and finds out that the ring her patron gave her before he died may be the real reason she is being hunted.
Blood Rights is told from the perspective of various characters, the main ones being Chrysabelle, Malkolm (or Mal), and the power-hungry noble vampire Tatiana. Chrysabelle would have to be my favorite out of all the characters. She's disciplined and serious. I really liked that she could hold her own in a fight, and it was a bit amusing how she tried adjusting to a world that didn't fit with the comarré lifestyle she was used to. The relationship she has with the castaway noble vampire Mal is an interesting one. Mal's cursed with a beast inside him and voices in his head that constantly demand he kill Chrysabelle, and it takes a lot of self-control from him to ignore the urge. Because of this Chrysabelle and Mal have a hard time trusting each other and are always clashing in the beginning, but once they get to know one another, the walls between them begin to slowly crumble and they come to care for each other just a bit. Both are actually very caring of the people they love and consider their allies and would do anything to protect them. There isn't quite a romantic relationship between them in this book, but it's obvious they are attracted to one another. I have a feeling their relationship will continue to develop, and I can't wait to read more about them and find out where their relationship goes.
While I liked Chrysabelle and Mal, I can't say I particularly liked Tatiana. Tatiana is a vampire who wants one thing only: power. It seems she's been scheming for awhile now to replace Lord Algernon as Elder, and she desperately wants to become Dominus, the ruler of her noble vampire family. She didn't have the greatest life as a human and suffered some tragedies, but I felt that wasn't enough to explain why she became cruel and power-hungry. Maybe she's just easily influenced. Or maybe there is still plenty more to learn about her. Whatever the reason I found it very hard empathizing with her throughout the book and understanding her purpose in siding with evil. To me she just came off as selfish and even a bit delusional, and I didn't think she was even close to being the scariest or evilest character in the book. I'm curious to know what happens to her; however, I hope she acquires some redeeming qualities because at the moment I don't believe I can bring myself to feel sorry for her.
Ever since I saw the amazing covers for this series, I knew I wanted to read Blood Rights. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it early, and the great thing is that the next two books will be released within only two months after Blood Rights's official release in September. So, the wait isn't long at all. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid first book for the House of Comarré series, and I look forward to finding out what happens next with Chrysabelle and Mal.
I've seen this series around and held off buying it. Why? Well it's the beautiful artwork on the covers that strangely put me off. So pretty and because of that I thought this series was aimed primarily at young teenagers but thankfully I was wrong. This book might not be full on adult and sexy but it does turn out to be well worth a read. Yet another take on the vampire genre that if honest at first felt complicated but once I digested ( sorry couldn't resist the pun) the terminology for different types of vampires, shifters and fae it flowed very well. Our story introduces Chrysabelle, who is a breed of human carrying potent blood that vampires long for. Known as a Comarre Chrysabelle has just completed one hundred years service to her vampire Patron but as this book begins she is on the run framed for his murder. Chrysabelle needs help and somehow stumbles upon Malkom, a vampire outcast but he isn't really as keen to help her as Chrysabelle would like. Now luckily Malkom isn't alone as he lives with a shifter and a ghost and things start getting really complicated when Chrysabelle's blood (that is driving Malkom insane )ends up being a complete game changer! I did say it gets complicated and hang on to your hat because this story is anything but predictable . I liked that we get the point of view from the villain of the piece as well as the lead characters because it opened up the story. Now having said that I thought she came across as a bit of a pantomime villainess wearing a coat made out of pelts from unborn shifters, just yuck and nasty and perhaps a tad 101 Dalmatians ? Yet for this reader having a truly evil presence made the world building and future plot far more tangible . Malkom is a bit of a stereo type I fear. Bitter, disillusioned , traumatised and fearful of commitment but he clearly does care about Doc ( cat shifter) and Fi ( ghost) who both live with him. Malkom tries so hard to be brutish but the reader sees that he really is redeemable and yes I've high hopes for this damaged hero. Now I come to the hard part, I didn't like Chrysabelle ! She seems quite innocent in some ways and yet at times is so in your face I struggled to understand her motives. I should feel compassion for her after the vile way she has been used as a commodity but her arrogance and unshakeable belief that her blood makes all the difference just didn't sit well. It's so obvious that Chrysabelle wants to jump Malkoms bones and please Malkom just get it over and bite her! I will definitely read more because if I feel that strongly about the characters I'd be crazy not to ! A slow first half or so but the pace and storyline really picked up with shock revelations at the end. I really wanted more from Doc and Fi so I'm holding on to hope. There are lots of different types of creatures here and a glossary is included which should help other readers but as my copy is a paperback I didn't find it until I'd read the book! I love the cover artwork and am curious how these characters will continue their journey so yes I think I will pick up Flesh and Blood soon
First things first, the cover... isn't is the most awesome thing you've ever seen? The cover is what drew me in, what made me aware of this incredible story behind this cover... But also, reading the synopsis I was pretty sure this is so my cup of tea...
World building per excellence! Blood Rights is the first in a series and basically builds up the world for us. And... it does it perfectly!! We slowly but surely learn in which world we find ourselves here. It's in the future - think dystopian - and there are Vampires and of course other creatures. But most intriguing there is this race of human that a breed to feed Vampires - their blood is especially powerful and delicious. Also, they get marked with gold tattoos all over their body! How damn sexy! Mrs Painter introduced this world, laid down the basics and rules so that we can then focus on the characters she created...
Chrysabelle - Oh my kick ass Girly! Ok calling her girly is most definitely wrong but... Chrysabelle is one of the most pure Comarré and was sold to serve a high ranking Vampire. You would imagine such kind of girl to be quite and submissive. But, she will prove you wrong! When the plot unfolds you will see that this girl in fact is kick ass and a backbone is full of determination and stubbornness! At the same time she has some sort of vulnerability surrounding her, which made her even more 3 dimensional. She's in fact awesome and I really loved and connected with Chrysabelle!
Men, where are the men! Give my bad boy kick ass hero! Of course, what would a story like this be without a kick ass hero? Nothing! Which is why we get to know Malkom a cursed Vampire who has to kill anyone he's drinking from... and it tortures him and makes him hard and detached. And there you have the perfect love interest - dark, kick ass and tortured! The perfect addition to Chrysabelle!
Murder, Mystery and the big bad Villain! The story starts with a murder which Chrysabelle is accused of so that she has to run off , hide and find the real murder. This is in fact how she meets Malkom! Together they have to find out what is going on, because behind this murder is of course much more and we are just at the tip of the iceberg in this story! The big Villain here is .. well bad, cruel and full of bad intentions and motives our heros have to stop! Oh and the story ended with a big gasping moment and surprise...
This is an incredible start into a new series - a series every lover of Urban Paranormal Fantasy can't miss! Vampires, Desires, immense World Building deep characters you want to get to know even better and a plot that just begun....
It is always touch and go when you decide to dive into a new series. I approached the first book of the Comarre trilogy with a little trepidation thinking that it could just be eye candy and little else. I’ve been burned before on that one. Thankfully, this is worth a read.
It primarily follows Chrysabelle, a member of a special breed of humans known as the Comarre. Their blood is especially potent, making them ideal companions to vampires. Once their “blood rights” are claimed, a Comarre or Comar (for males) can only be released from their bond by their vampire patron’s will or if their patron dies. Crysabelle’s patron…dies, but it turns out he was murdered and it is looking like she is the culprit. That is certainly a no-no in their society, so Crysabelle goes on the run until she can figure out his murderer and clear her name. She runs into Malkom, a vampire who has remained far removed from their society. He has his own demons to fight and as they work together, they have to stop an even greater evil from gaining power that could destroy mankind and the vampire society alike.
I read this book coming off the heels of a super fast-paced series. I can say that the slower pace was welcome. It’s not too slow, but it’s just right to keep you from becoming bored. I can be easily annoyed by the female leads when it comes to urban fantasy series, but thankfully Crysabelle is a likable heroine and the Comarre society is interesting. I enjoyed the build up of tension between Crysabelle and Malkom and I expect that to continue through the other two books in the series. The supporting cast could be improved. There was one character I rather liked, but everyone else seemed more generic and disposable.
The biggest plus to this series is that each new installment is only one month apart, so there will be no significant waiting to see what happens next and no long-term commitment. It only gets 4 stars because it wasn’t super intense to the point of where it was hard to put the book down. The story is still pretty good though and because of that, I certainly plan to keep up with this one.
In Blood Rights, the Vampire stereotype of the nameless-victim-blood-slave is turned on its head. Comarré are carefully bred members of a secret society who have their costly “blood rights” auctioned off to Vampire nobility. Within the security-conscious vampire society, ownership of a Comarré is seen as a symbol of wealth and power, and they are provided with unparalleled access to their “Patrons”, who are unaware of the power they wield.
The Comarré, Chrysabelle, runs from her life of privilege when her Patron is murdered and she falls under suspicion for the crime. She enlists the aid of the vampire Malkolm, who is anathema, since he murdered his maker. The rest of the story is better described elsewhere, but the heart of the book is the slow unveiling of Chrysabelle’s powers, the histories of both Mal & Chrysabelle, and the incremental build of trust between the two who find themselves linked by accident, but mutually attracted and repulsed.
Chrysabelle has a strength that belies her exterior and those who underestimate her pay the price. It will be interesting to see how Ms.Painter develops her character, and her relationship to Mal, in the next book. Here’s a heroine who kicks ass in loose white and silver mesh - though she apparently looks excellent in black leather, as well.
The secondary characters are well written, an interesting mix of shifters, assorted Fae with creepy/amazing talents and a really great ghost. I was not as impressed with the evil villains, though there are some creepy things going on there that raised goose bumps and a few surprises that kept me focused right to the end.
2.5 Man I'm in a slump. I haven't read anything I love lately and the best I can give this book is that I didn't hate it, like the last two books I read. But I'm certainly not going so far as to say it's good. I didn't find anything particularly new or innovative in it; just yet another growly alpha male and a woman in need of rescue and protection. Sure, Painter made sure Chrysabelle said 'I'm well trained and can take care of myself' several times (often enough it got repetitive), but I didn't really notice her doing much successful defending of herself. Add to that the fact that I didn't even like either main character and you have a fail in the making.
What I did find was about a million ways to sexualize Chrysabelle to make the whole thing artificially more titillating, something that annoys me to no end. I mean she let herself get 'blood drunk' in a dangerous environment from a condition she's had her whole life (so no surprise it was going to happen), stripped down to her smalls and sexily prowled around offering herself to the man. None of which was actually necessary or even remotely like her personality to date. Or lets not miss the fact that, despite being a 115-year-old virgin she was called a whore about a dozen times (as are most the women). The giving of blood was pretty clearly equated to sex and she was constantly either offering it up or having some random male laying claim to it. Ugh.
Then there was the identity of the villain....show of hands. How many readers saw that twist coming? Come on now, hands up. Let's see, one, two, seven, ten, four hundred....Oh, I see, everyone. I guess we can call it predictable then. Plus, the use of the loss of a child to drive her insane was clichéd. Probably the second most common reason women in fiction go bad, just behind being scorned by a man. And the fact that she was prostituting herself for power (or maybe agreeing to regular gang rapes, not sure how to categorize that one, unpleasant as it was)? Oh, I see, one more way to make sure readers know women are just whores and only have one path to power, that just happens to start at the apex of their legs. Got it. Side-eyes hard.
Then there was the whole 'pure' thing and the 'patron' thing, neither of which are actually defined in any way. What makes her pure? Being a virgin? No, I don't think so, though sex does apparently muddy the purity. Eating well, not taking drugs, some characteristic of birth, etc? No idea. What about the owning of blood rights and the patron thing? Was that a physical attachment or just a legal arrangement? Still no idea.
All in all, if you like this sort of Urban Fantasy, moving into Paranormal Romance you'll likely enjoy this. It kept me busy for an evening, but I didn't love it and I'm not interested in continuing the series. In fact, writing this review brought out how many ways I disliked it and I realize I liked it even less than I thought.
When I heard about this series I thought it was described as Urban Fantasy, but as I was reading it it seemed more like a Paranormal Romance book. Sure I guess it doesn't follow every romance convention, but it comes quite close. This story had some major potential, but I didn't appreciate the way it kept veering into ridiculous interludes between Mal and Chrysabelle. All of the smoldering looks, warnings that "echoed like a distant thunder", the he-man "she's mine" routines got real old real fast. The secondary characters didn't stand out and the villain, Tatiana, is just plain ridiculous at times with her pet albino snake and her whole general Maleficent routine. After I finished I wondered what had I just read, because even though there's a lot of talking about action and doing things it was more than half-way through before Chrys and Mal even go anywhere to solve the problem at hand. Sure the story focuses a lot on their situation and how they need to build a partnership, but it fell flat once the melodrama (or maybe the purported 'gothic'-ness of the story) was fully underway, either way I was really disappointed. And it's such a shame because I was really hoping this one would be a hit.
Half way through this became a DNF for me. I just couldn't connect with any of the characters and the heroine comes across as too much of a Mary Sue. Most of the time everyone stands around and talks, and the hero comes across as a junkie, but more like a grubby homeless junkie and not a sexy one.
I found the secondary story to give the evil, skanky villainous dimension too boring and there was too much emphasis on the world building as if the author is trying to show how this urban fantasy paranormal vampire hybrid is different than all the rest out there.
4.5 estrelas Ainda estou em estado de choque depois deste final, repleto de surpreendentes respostas aos vários mistérios que surgiram ao longo da leitura. Todas as pontas soltas são extremamente bem rematadas e fazem ansiar pela continuação deste maravilhoso tomo. Uma sociedade peculiar a nível de hierarquia repleta de preconceitos, personagens interessantes e uma escrita cuidada fazem deste livro uma óptima opção para os amantes de género. Gostei muito!