On a First World War battlefield vampire Karl von Wultendorf struggles to free himself from his domineering maker, Kristian.
The Neville sisters flourish in a decadent, hedonistic London society in 1923: champagne, parties and the latest illegal substances. All except Charlotte, the middle of the three sisters who hides in a corner wishing she were back in Cambridge helping her professor father with his scientific experiments.
When Charlotte meets her father's new research assistant Karl, it is the beginning of a deadly obsession that divides her from her sisters, her father and even her dearest friend. What price are they willing to pay to stay together?
Occasionally, us vampire enthusiasts get an undead hangover. You know, the kind of drag that comes after reading vampire book after vampire book with overexposure to the point of them all bleeding together. These normal, run-of-the-mill vampy stories are all well and good, awesome even, but what we wouldn't give to see something different every now and again.
I am happy to report that A Taste of Blood Wine was the refreshing read this little graveyard haunter was looking for. It's historical and romantic, but it's not a Historical Romance. It's sexy and exciting, but it's not an Erotica. It's not an Urban Fantasy. It's not Young Adult or New Adult. WHAT ARE YOU BOOK?!?! I suppose for categorization purposes, I should tell you that I found it in the Fantasy section of Barnes&Noble, but it defies any label you try to stick to it, and when that happens, you usually get literary gold.
The overall tone was a blend of Anne Rice's prose and Deborah Harness's romance. It was lush and lengthy with a well developed world and complex character interaction. Any vampire fantasy lover will adore this intriguing little love child. I highly recommend A Taste of Blood Wine if you're looking for an involved read.
This Goth Girl Gives It:
-I'm drowning. I feel as if I'm the first person this has ever happened to, but I'm not. It's been the same cry down the ages. How can something so beautiful be wrong? The cry that proceeds ruin...
-But Karl looked at the sky and felt no God there. Power, certainly-but a blank, disinterested power. The majesty of nature, beautiful, pitiless, impersonal. Not requiring the services of dark messengers.
-In my experience, people who've most cause to feel guilt don't feel it. They find ways to justify their actions. The ones who torment themselves have often done nothing to deserve it. But if they have, at least they recognize it and know their need to make their peace with God.
-Pain goes away and is forgotten. If it were not so, no woman would bear more than one child. But it passes, Charlotte. It is a valley of shadow you must walk through.
-Alone I can be myself but when I look into that self I see darkness, horror...
Charlotte dared to open the door, and saw another world. The strange world was dark yet she wanted to enter...wanted the dissolution into night that was both escape from her fear and into the forbidden paradise of love. She yearned towards the amber, ruby and violet fires she saw moving far away in the forest of darkness, burning in Karl's eyes.