Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dhampir (The Noble Dead #1)

413814Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain — grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last — for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity — and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

*May Contain Spoilers*

I always enjoy an interesting fantasy novel with vampires so I'm not surprised my friend gave me Dhampir by Barb and JC Hendee after she had finished reading it. Though she warned me it started slow, it was almost too slow. Therefore, it became the book I read between other books so it took me quite a while to finish it. 

The main characters of this book are Magiere and Leesil. Both of them were interesting and well-developed characters with room for improvement and further discovery. Magiere is a dhampir, half-vampire, and half-human, that isn't aware of her mixed heritage at the beginning of the story. In the past, she's used a facade of being a vampire hunter to make money, but when real vampires (or Noble Deads) learn of her existence, they decide to put a stop to her 'hunting.' This is when she finds out she was actually born to hunt vampires. Magiere is the quiet sort who swindles but doesn't want to make a lifetime career of it. She wants to settle down and live a quiet life by the sea. I think readers will like her, but may not connect with her due to her serious nature. Though, I think many readers will like Leesil a bit more as he offers a balance to Magiere's formidable seriousness while also having a secret, shameful past that gives him a haunted air. 

Leesil has elven heritage and adds to the fantasy details right away. Not only is he Magiere's trustworthy sidekick, he also is quite caring and intelligent. Though it's a bit scary how intelligent he is in killing... due to his secret past. I enjoyed Leesil's character more than Magiere's, but I think for those who decide to continue reading the series, the revealing of Magiere's past will create a firmer connection with readers as they discover more about her at the same time she does. 

The plot of the novel was very enjoyable, though slow, like I previously mentioned. Magiere and Leesil decide to quit swindling townspeople with their little game after Magiere saves enough money to buy a tavern in a little seaside town. Though their ruse of being vampire hunters has already reached three Noble Dead who live in that same seaside town. Now they believe Magiere is after them and decide to kill her before she kills them. This gives the story a back and forth plot as the Hendees switch points of view to include the three Noble Dead: Rashed, Teesha, and Ratboy. Even though I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to readers who enjoy fantasy, vampires, and a plot line that has just as many secrets as the characters, I don't think I'll be continuing the series.

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

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