Over the past few days I read book 3 in the Married to Magic series by Elisa Kova, A Duel with the Vampire Lord. Off the bat, I will say I definitely liked it more than A Deal with the Elf King, but I’m not sure if I like it slightly more or less than A Dance with the Fae Prince.
All the novels in the Married to Magic series are standalones, but are set in the same world so there is a little mentioning here and there in the books of the other characters/kingdoms.
In the previous books, it is mentioned that no one has heard from the vampirs in thousands of years so it’s believed that they have died out. In A Duel with the Vampire Lord we learn that they have been cursed for 3,000 years. The vampirs who survived have been in a magical sleep for thousands of years and a small group of them are awoken at a time to try to break the curse.
Floriane is the forge maiden of the Hunter’s Hamlet – a small village near the border between the Vampir lands and the humans. Those who live in Hunter’s Hamlet never leave. Floriane, like all the women in her family for generations has been the forge maiden – creating silver weapons to kill vampirs. Most of the men in the village are hunters, including Floriane’s twin brother, trained to kill vampirs. On full moons, vampirs can cross over and on a Blood Moon the Lord of the Vampirs can come, but Blood Moons are only once every 500 years. Floriane has been told her whole life that the vampirs are all evil and will come to kill all humans. If they kill you they can take your face and pretend to be you.
On the Blood Moon, Floriane knows her brother may die because he has been tasked with killing the Vampir Lord. Her brother has been secretly training her and her mother has secretly been forging armor for her. That night, she goes to try to help her brother and ends up being taken by Ruvan, the Vampir Lord. The prejudices that have been instilled in them their whole lives makes them treat each other like enemies at first, but with some time they realize they might be wrong about each other and everything Floriane has been taught about vampirs might be lies. Together with Ruvan’s covenant, they work together to try to break the curse and end the war between vampirs and humans.
I really liked the storyline and the characters. The relationship between Flor and Ruvan was a nice, slow burn. Watching them try to figure out who cast the curse and fighting the Succumbed (the ones who succumbed to the curse before the long sleep) was exciting. The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 on GoodReads is because it felt a little long. I’m not sure what I would’ve cut out because it did all seem important, but some parts seemed to drag so maybe just less detail/less wordy? Overall though, I did really like the book!
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