Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles) by Alyxandra Harvey

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Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles) by Alyxandra Harvey

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A fast paced, humorous and light, easy read that fans of sexy vampires will love, however it doesn't quite live up to the promise of dark, political intrigue it hints at.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 978-1408807057

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Isabeau St. Croix has no care for politics and royalty, and would really rather not spend her time among the newly royal Drake family, attempting to negotiate peace between them and the Hounds, her vampire clan. The Hounds are not well thought of among vampires, who fear their dual fangs and strange rituals. But the Drakes are like no vampires Isabeau has ever met, and they aren't like royalty either.

Just as Isabeau starts to think a peace treaty is manageable, Montmartre, a centuries old vampire determined to claim the royal crown (and Solange Drake) for himself, resumes his campaign against the Drakes. Isabeau finds herself drawn into the conflict, fighting besides the dashing Logan Drake – a boy who looks like he would be more at home in 18th Century Paris, where Isabeau grew up, than modern times.

And if things weren't bad enough, Isabeau finds a sign from Greyhaven, the vampire who turned her and left her for dead, buried alive for two hundred years…

I'll admit, these books frustrate me a little. The last instalment, My Love Lies Bleeding had so much promise, with the political intrigue, the unique vampire mythology, and some interesting characters. But it never quite lived up to that promise. Blood Feud is very much the same. It's a book that has some interesting ideas and mythology, and a really intriguing character in Isabeau – the passages that explore her origins in the French Revolution really lend depth and interest to her – but the balance is wrong. The plot comes second to the romance. It should be the other way round.

In its defence, it is short, incredibly fast paced, humorous and easy to read. I near enough demolished it in one sitting. So its failings never amount to enough to be so annoying you stop reading. However, I think I'll always be haunted by the book it could have been, if Harvey had stretched her legs a little, built on the politics for a few more pages and let the romance blossom from within the plot, rather than shakily constructing a plot around two teenagers who fall quickly and near inexplicably in love.

No doubt teenage vampire fans will love this book. Certainly, if you know someone for whom the only ingredient required in a novel is a sexy vampire, they won't be left wanting – there are seven Drake brothers. And of course, that likely means that with only two paired off so far, there will be at least another five books.

Overall, an entertaining, light read that won't disappoint fans of the genre. But it was so close to being something so much better.

Many thanks to the publishers for sending a copy. We also have a review of The Drake Chronicles: Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey.

The aforementioned fans of vampires will enjoy the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast and the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine.

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