Reviewed by Jen
I’m going a little old-school today, reviewing Christine Feehan’s Dark Prince
. It is the first book in her Carpathian series. And I thought it would be fun to go back and re-read it. Let me start with the mythology of the series.
There is an ancient race of men and women who hail from the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. They drink blood; they can not go in the sun; they can shape-shift; and they can manipulate the earth. They can live for centuries without aging, but they can be killed. Once a man reaches 200 years of age or so, he begins to lose his ability to see in colors and feel emotion. Those things can not be restored until he finds his fated love, his “life-mate,” the other half of his soul. If he doesn’t find her, darkness grows in him, until one day he either chooses to end his life or becomes an evil vampire. Vampires kill those they feed from; they are evil, rotten and beyond redemption. The Carpathian men fight the vampires to help keep the world safe from them. The future looks bleak for the Carpathians, though, because their numbers are dwindling. They are almost out of women and hardly any babies are being born.
OK. So this book opens with our hero, Mikhail (leader of the Carpathians), making the decision to end his life. But he hears a woman’s voice in his mind, telling him not to give up. He is moved by her voice and follows it to a nearby hotel, where he spies her through the window. He realizes he is seeing her in color, and therefore she is his lifemate. The two speak telepathically and Mikhail learns about the woman. She is Raven, a human and an American traveling in his country. She is a psychic who helps police catch serial killers, but her work took a toll on her and she went on vacation to get away from it all.
Mikhail insists on meeting Raven and quickly brings her back to his home. They are very drawn to each other. And Mikhail can’t stop himself from taking her blood. There are old stories among his people that a human woman might be converted to a Carpathian with three blood exchanges, but it poses the risk of turning the woman insane.
Anyway, while Raven is at Mikhail’s home, a group of Carpathians come with news that someone has killed Mikhail’s sister Noelle. As the story develops, we learn that there is a band of vampire hunters, who are targeting the Carpathians. The hunters are fanatics and don’t realize they’re killing good people. So basically, the book centers on finding the crazed hunters, while Raven and Mikhail explore their relationship.
I have mixed feelings about the development of the love story. Mikhail is pushy and overbearing and Raven is constantly trying to exert her independence. The sex scenes are vivid. Pretty hot, in fact. But the wording can be a little flowery for my taste. Some of the dialogue is a little flowery too. For instance, at one point Raven asks Mikhail what she tastes like (a pretty sexy question) and he answers, “You taste like sweet, hot spice, addictive and so sensual.” When I read that, I tried to imagine a man actually saying it. I couldn’t do it. Another example: when Mikhail noted his friend Gregori’s “sensual mouth, marked by a hint of cruelty.” Come on
So how much does that bother me? Obviously, not enough to keep me away from the other 20 or so books in the series. I like that the book drew me in from the beginning. I like the sexual heat. I could do with a little less of the pushy-man factor present in every one of these books. But again, I keep coming back for more. Give it a try. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. 4 1/2 stars.
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: August 1999
Publisher: Love Spell
Labels: by Jen, Christine Feehan, Paranormal Romance, Vampires