Book Title: Dhampiri
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Author: L.M. Smith
Date Published: 20 September 2011
Colleen Patrick thought she was just going to the market one autumn day in 1872, when everything she knew about herself – and the world around her – abruptly changed. Living the American dream, she had been happy with her young, Irish husband on their small farm in Kentucky. Little did she know the town’s exotic gypsy family is actually a family of Vampires with big plans for her: plans that did not necessarily require her consent.
At just twenty-two years old, tragically removed from her life and thrust into an existence for which she was carefully selected, she is now a murderer, a widow, and an immortal.
As this epic tale unfolds Colleen is abruptly taken captive by a clan of Valkyries, demanding vengeance for a war which happened long before she was born, turning her world upside down once more. Now she must choose between the family she has grown to love and the delicate toddler who's life is in her hands.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love stories about vampires, so downloaded this book. I really enjoyed it!
Colleen Patrick is a very likable character. She had immigrated to America with her husband, Ronin, from Ireland in 1870 and had settled in Lexington, Kentucky. In the autumn of 1872, her life takes a dramatic turn when she meets the Deussen's. Her life will never be the same again.
This is a book I have been wanting to read for a while. I have read other books by this author, so I was excited to begin this one.
I started to read this book and was quickly drawn into the tale. The story spans 120 years and finishes in 1992. There are several points of view, but the story is mostly told through the eyes of Colleen. I was a little confused as to the motives of the Duessen's, especially Anca and Dorian, and why they would pick Colleen to be one of the family. There did not seem to be a sexual element to this choice, but rather a servile one. But, I did wonder if Anca had feelings for Colleen because of something Dorian said. However, this was not explored by the author.
The story is certainly unique with regards to vampire life. The characters were quite interesting, but I would have loved to have seen more interaction within the family unit. Large segments of Colleen's life seemed to have been skipped over, so on occasion I felt a bit lost. But, as soon as the Valkyries were introduced, things got even more interesting. I liked Pandora. She seemed level headed and logical for a Valkyrie. They have been at war with the vampires for a long time, and have been slowly recovering from the last battle 200 years previously. The Valkyrie queen, known as "Mother", is one ticked off lady, with a grudge against the vampires. In my opinion, her need for revenge made her deranged. I loved the scene where Pandora and Colleen bargain for food and diapers for Ancira, Dorian's half human daughter. All of the scenes in the book were well described, and I could picture them with ease. The end of the book was a little bittersweet, but I was also left wondering whether Ancira/Jennifer really was Dorian's child or just an innocent victim of a kidnapping. I guess I will never know, unless the author has plans for a sequel.
L.M. Smith has written an intriguing dark urban fantasy that will stay with me for some time to come. I love her fast paced writing style, but felt the flow wasn't as smooth as it could have been. However, this is one of her earlier works, so it doesn't have the polish of her later works. She is one of my favourite authors, and I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.
Although there is no mention of sex or sexual situations, I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to some violence. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal fiction, horror or urban fantasy. - Lynn Worton
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