☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
From the USA Today bestselling fantasy author of the House of Crimson & Clover novels comes a chilling new historical fantasy series, Vampires of the Merovingi. Ancient lore, a vidid historical backdrop, and elusive, tantalizing mythical creatures await readers as they dive into the secretive, ancient, powerful world of The Saga of Crimson & Clover.
1789. Saint-Domingue. Hispaniola. West Indies.
Etienne de Blanchefort has seen incredible success as a colonial planter in the Northern Province of Saint-Domingue. Though uprooting his family from France a decade past was a gamble, life in the tropical West Indies has been good to him, his wife, and four children. With France embroiled in their great revolution across the Atlantic, he harbors little doubt he made the right decision for his family’s future.
Until, that is, the arrival of his fiend.
Etienne’s practical nature cannot reconcile what he knows to be true of his world with what he cannot ignore about the abominable creature haunting his family and the island.
Nor can he ignore his wife’s terrifying dreams that slowly steal her vitality.
Or Victorine’s burgeoning free spirit and wariness of their way of life.
Or Nanette’s curious, furtive behavior as she hides in trees.
Or Marius’ secret new friendship with one he cannot name.
Or Flosine’s unsettling drawings of a man from a time long before theirs.
Etienne’s fiend will not stay elusive for long. He has a request. A very particular, very important request, one that will change the lives of Etienne, his family, and his descendants forever.
The Island by Sarah M. Cradit is the first book in her new paranormal, historical fiction series. The story begins with some historical reference to give readers an accurate picture of 18th century life on a Caribbean plantation. It is perfect for anyone who is sketchy on that bit of history.
Ms. Cradit’s excellent research is evident in the details she provides about life on Saint-Domingue in the West Indies. The story tension mounts as the author incorporates the growing dissention amongst the slaves and the political climate amongst the colonists into her tale. I felt the proverbial walls closing in on Etienne de Blanchefort and his family (Dauphine, Marius, Victorine, Nanette and Flosine).
When a mystery figure in a long-out-of-fashion tunic begins appearing to the family members, the dread took hold of me. Is he the catalyst for all that plagues the island? Why is he particularly interested in the de Blanchefort family?
The Island sets the stage for another fantastic series by Ms. Cradit. The author is a master dream weaver creating sometimes fantastic and sometimes realistic worlds. Each of her characters is carefully developed; their relationships are carefully constructed, and there are never throw away characters. Her attention to detail sometimes slows the story a bit, but in the end, all that detail brings together multiple complex storylines.
The Island ends with an excellent segue that foreshadows the strife and conflict to come in future books of the series. Every page of the journey was intensely fun and engaging.
The Vampires of the Merovingi Series takes place in a time period prior to the start of the author’s House of Crimson and Clover Series, and it does not require any previous knowledge/reading to jump into the storyline. The Island will appeal to readers of historical fiction and paranormal fiction.
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