Book Critique - Sacrilege

For reviews of all books in the anthology The Only One: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Again a book on vampires, romance and their fights with living along-side humans, told from a different view point. Easy read with no boring aspects and neither any sudden twists.

Sacrilege is the third book in the anthology The Only One by Susan Squires and published in May of 2003. The other two authors who contributed to this anthology are Christine Feehan and Susas Grant. The plot revolves around the two Vampires: Pietr Vladamiroff - second-in-command at the Misro Monastery - and Magda Ravel - who has been at the monastery for close to two centuries training to control her addiction. This is the second book in The Companion Regency Vampire Series by Susan Squires.

Vampire Magda Ravel had been put in the Misro Monastery under the care of Father Rubius and Brother Pietr, so she can learn to control her addiction. Her mentor and friend was Brother Pietr - a vampire born some 2000 years ago. However during her training both Pietr and Magda form a bond that is forbidden and thus they ignore. But when Magda is sent away to modern day San Francisco to prove that she has changed, their forbidden love comes to surface. How will Pietr and Magda fight this love - either embracing it or denying it - is what the rest of the story is about.

Several places I noticed that the language is so old world in this book. Perhaps because it was written in 2003 so the author hasn’t yet reached to the internet-era terminology or perhaps it is set in a world where vampires exist and live for centuries and tend to keep their old language alive. For instance, no one uses "aeroplane" anymore, or "eschew" for that matter.

Susan's version of Vampires can live in light although they have to wear special lenses. They however still have to survive on blood like any other author's vampires. The concept of how vampires are made or born is also quite unique in her plot.

As we travel through Magda's struggles, we get brief glimpses of San Francisco and surrounding areas - Opera House on Van Ness Avenue (which was rebuild after being destroyed in the 1908 fire), Bowling Bowl Beach in Mendocino County, CA, Mark Hopkins Hotel.

Susan's reference to the TV show Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, in the plot is what felt a comic relief to otherwise a serious plot although tinged with loads of romance.

Susan set her plot in Carpathian mountains in Romania. I believe that is what clicked me to this novella cause I already adore the Carpathian Series by Christine Feehan where the characters come from Carpathian mountains. Susan also references to similar places that Christine Feehan used in her Sea Haven Series. Will either of them have a cross-over novel? Would be interesting to read if there ever would be one.

On a side note, there is a cute little conversational note as a dedication by the author. I am curious to see which Magda was Harry talking about in that note.

All in all a very interesting plot with a different way to show the vampires with enough romance. Indeed my interest spiked in Susan's The Companion Regency Vampire series, which I perhaps will be reading sooner than I can. An easy read that wouldn’t bore you.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Magda Ravel was made vampire by Julien Davinoff before she went on a rampage in London. There is quite a bit of story about Julien Davinoff and his mate Sarah Ashton is shown in this plot. A quick check sent me to Susan Squires' first book Sacrament which tells their story. Something to add to my collection if and when I want to read this series.

b. Magda tries Bombay Sapphire on the plane she travels to SFO. She calls it as Blue Ruin, which is what she had known it almost 200 years ago. I looked up on Blue Ruin. Turns out it is a cocktail made of gin, doesn’t tell specifically which gin. Here is the link to the recipe.

c. Magda reads Hegel's complete works to keep her occupied while she is living in SFO and Mendocino. Such serious philosophy she reads. Morea bout Hegel's works here.

2. Grammatical / Geographical / Location / Character / Historical Errors:

a. On Pg. 264, line 7 from bottom, it should be "…whether you will or not…"

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