I have been waiting quite some time to find a "good" vampire story again, and Kristen Painter finally wrote that story for me. I wish I had of taken better notes during the reading process, but I honestly went in with lowered expectations due to the amount of unlikeable vampire writing on the market currently (It's almost as bad as the angel writing!), and by the time I realized how amazing this book was, I was too busy devouring it to write any notes down...
I think one of the main reasons I really enjoyed this book was because it reminded me quite a bit of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series (Which I also absolutely adore!). We have the politics, intrigue, magic, a group of humans that are sold to the highest bidder and marked with a type of tattoo. It's fabulous!
The characters are fantastic and have minds and voices of their own. Chrysabelle, a special breed of human bred specifically to feed the vampire nobility, Malkolm the outcast vampire noble who has been cursed and is therefore trapped within his own misery, as well as the "aunt" who was able to escape the comarré life (at a very hefty cost), the ever-haunting ghost, and the cursed were-kitty. These intriguing characters make up a very intriguing cast that is likely to entertain even the most snobbish vampire reader.
I also have to give kudos to Kristen Painter's world building. It is strong, and vivid, beautiful and disturbing, and so realistic it's hard to imagine it's not real.
I recommend everyone give this book a read, even if you feel like you might be burnt out on vampire novels. I don't think you'll ever regret it!
Now on to book two, Flesh and Blood.