In my previous article for Postscripts to Darkness where I review Revenge of the Vampire King, I detail a little of the horror and vampire fiction lineage of Nancy Kilpatrick. Suffice that to say we are in good hands with the second installment of the Thrones of Blood series, “Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess”.
This is envisioned as an epic to total a half dozen books. To say the story started with a bang diminishes the impact of the first book; though oddly, a reader can enter this one to start. Now, the first book should be read, and upon finishing ‘Sacrifice’ one would be beyond intrigued and compelled to see where this all began. Somehow the story of the first one is hinted at just enough that if by chance someone picked this up first, they would not be lost and at the same time the story is not repetitive.
“Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess” stands as the second of the series, released by Crossroad Press in ebook format on September 5, 2017, with the paperback to be out in November. Like the first book, this immediately thrusts the reader into a story of betrothal and betrayal, with dazzling refinement and so much blood.
Taking place eighteen years in the future, we are introduced to Serene. As a princess she is mightily entitled; and as “fifty percent vampir, fifty percent Sapiens, one hundred percent brat,” even more so. Where the series began in ‘Revenge’ with some hard sex, we start here on a much lighter note. This girl is quickly engaged to the King’s second, Wolfsbane, and hastened to take her first feeding. Being privy to the ceremony that is a vampire wedding, Kilpatrick style, is a treat as it is not under threat of death or misery quite so much this time around. We also have an abundance of carnal exploration the couple embarks on beforehand so the union is much sweeter than tasting of blood alone.
This is not without a certain amount of beguilement to sway a bride that was more than reluctant to start, and it also pushes her psyche to teetering on the edge of chaos. The kingdom is under threat as ever. This time around, it is the desire to infiltrate forbidden lands with a plan spearheaded by Serene’s mother Valada – the former hybrid captor who is now Queen and her husband, the Vampir King Moarte.
Gardeners and folklorists will enjoy the naming of various vampires we come to know, as many are named after plants and herbs common in fairytales and mythology. Other names maintain a sinister edge for the most part and never wrest attention from their character. This book feels a little more grounded and relatable than the last since it flirts less with high fantasy and finds itself more in line with gothic horror and regency romance. The naming and cultured speech of our cast keeps us in the same universe easily though.
There was a time, in my opinion, where people turned to horror fiction for raucous taboo sex scenes long before horror erotica was a subsection of the bookstore. There are chapters here that recapture this daring alongside a fast-paced adventure and plenty of gore. The edgy sex is as natural to these creatures as taking blood is, so it never feels so heavily cross-genre with romance or erotica that fans would start to fall off one side or the other. That was where my biggest fear lay in reading the first book, that it would play too gory for those looking for lust and too brutal sexually for those who can handle eviscerations but not exploitations.
This tantalizing mix is something Kilpatrick is quite at home with as she remains the Canadian Queen of horror erotica for that reason. I had described the first book as a “brave piece of fiction for readers seeking a deep plunge into sex, swords and sanguine sensuality,’ and I would reiterate this for the series as it stands.
Without that first paddle to the backside the deep dive into the heart of this princess brat would not be as satisfying as it is. Knowing what we do as a reader about the Queen as mother and her past instills a delicious sense of omniscience for the reader. This is what a reader needs and sticks around for in a series at the core of it all, and Kilpatrick’s second Thrones of Blood book, “Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess,” gives us that quickly.
Read more at nancykilpatrick.com and pick up the book or start into the series proper at Amazon. These chilling and exciting adventures in Vampir and Sapiens lore are available for e-readers, in paperback and on audible.
This was a review written of my own free will, with a graciously supplied copy of the e-book by the author. Thank you, Nancy! Otherwise, I have taken a position reviewing books from independent authors. While not all are horror, there is a thread of darkness through them regardless of genre. As with honest paid reviews, there will be personal reaction as well as comparative and critical analysis. If you are an author that would like me to review your work, contact me for rates and a summary of your novel, short story, or collection.