*Thank you Full Moon Bites for letting Breathe In BooKs take part in this tour! And a huge Thank You to Elizabeth Marx for donating the review copies and for writing an awesome series!*
Descent of Blood
(The Red Veil Series, The Prequel)
by Elizabeth Marx
Publication Date: October 26, 2012
Published by: Self Published
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback ~194 pages (50K words)
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
When times are darkest, some vampires desire more than blood …
England, 1465. Mortal men clash in the War of the Roses for the English crown, while vampire warriors’ move undetected among their ranks, savoring the flow of blood that battlefields provide.
Vampire prince, Severian Pearce, fears the revelation of the immortal clans to humankind should King Henry fall from power. While in pursuit of Henry’s enemies, Severian comes to the aid of Meridian Neville, a human woman he craves—and not for the scent of her blood … Meridian is torn between honoring her father’s dying wish and her unexplainable yearning for Lord Severian. But as Severian and Meridian work together to protect a relic hunted by mortals and immortals alike, the red veil descends over them. This all-consuming attraction can drive immortals to the brink of madness. Will the existence of this powerful bond between a human and a vampire be enough to unite the immortal clans or is the red veil a scourge set on destroying any chance they might have of happiness?
When all hope is lost, one vampire will fight unto death for his forbidden love.
I am a bit of a Historical Fiction junkie especially when it comes to Gothic and Paranormal Historical Fiction. Taking place during the War of the Roses, Descent of Blood is essentially a Vampire love story. I love being swept back in time and the author Elizabeth Marx does this beautifully. The story revolves around a Vampire prince, Severian Pearce, who has been busy fighting a war and aiding King Henry. When he happens upon a young woman his whole life changes and his heart - literally and figuratively - are immediately seized by Meridian. Her blood, unlike other humans, does not have a scent which means a great many things in Vampire culture, and he becomes enraptured with longing for this spunky girl who nearly killed him. And despite her objections and denials, Meridian feels the longing too. This is an aspect of The Red Veil - an attraction that will continue to increase to the point of madness if not acted upon. However, Meridian is bound for the church and has been entrusted to deliver a relic that could change the face of the war and Vampires forever.
Elizabeth Marx has written a book that immediately captured my interest and I could not get enough of the relationship between Severian and Meridian. (BTW - I love their names!) Severian is a swoon worthy hunky vampire with an attitude. Meridian is an innocent girl, but is also strong and very stubborn. When they realize they have the prophesied Red Veil, not only do they feel the lust for each other, but they find that it means so much! And not everyone is happy that this occurrence is happening. Kidnappings, battles, passionate love scenes and sacrifice all takes place within Descent of Blood. I wish the book was longer, it could have gone on for at least 100 more pages and I wanted to see all things come to fruition.
I really enjoyed the various creatures that Ms. Marx used. There are several types of vampires - my favorite being the Nosferatu who were just like the old black and white movie Nosferatu. There are wraiths and mixed-breeds and each have a purpose and a history. She has clearly and flawlessly constructed a complex and lush story. The story began many years ago with Meridian's ancestors and because of the events that took place will have repercussions throughout the future. This is an excellent novel - one that I will keep on my shelves forever. I recommend to anyone who enjoys the Gothics, Paranormal Romance and Historical Fiction.
*Note: Contains violence and sexual content.
**Warning - If you have not read the Prequel to this series (above), then you should not read this review as it has some major spoilers from book one!!**
Ascent of Blood
(The Red Veil Series, #1)
by Elizabeth Marx
Publication Date: December 10, 2012
Published by: Self Published
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback ~366 pages (90K words)
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Sometimes, love is conceived in the mind of a man long before it is ever realized.
1990, Cardiff, Wales. Vampire prince, Sebastian Pearce, has waited six-hundred years for the right human mate. His own beloved mother was a mortal capable of carrying immortal offspring. While vampires no longer require live donors for sustenance, Mother Nature has played a cruel trick on them making breeders a rare commodity. As numbers in Sebastian’s Imperial House continue to dwindle, his virgin bride eludes him. That is, until he happens upon a young woman searching for information about a sacred vampire text, the Book of Descent. Sebastian’s desire for her is more potent than anything he’s felt for another woman, but Everleigh Marbut isn’t innocent. She’s an American with a mind of her own, and worst of all, she’s already carrying an immortal being. As Sebastian and Everleigh fight their attraction to each other, they don’t realize they’re being lured into a battle pitting medieval myth against the power of modern science to recreate life until it’s too late.
The destiny of his lineage, and the bond forged between them, now rests in their acceptance of each other as they are.
After reading the Prequel, Descent of Blood and loving every moment of it, I knew I had to read Ascent of Blood. The book is no longer in a historical setting and takes place in Wales circa 1990. Sebastian Pearce, son of Severian Pearce and Meridian, is looking for someone who he can breed with. Even though the daughters of Severian were used to breed and create more vampires, it has been nearly 500 years and there are very few women capable of breeding with the immortals in this day and age. When Sebastian comes across a young woman who could be a possible mate, he is smacked with the same attraction that his father once felt for his mother. Everleigh, like Meridian, doesn't have a blood bouquet which signifies her rare lineage and they have connected by The Red Veil. She, however, is already with child - and was impregnated by an immortal.
I really disliked Sebastian through a great deal of Ascent of Blood. He is arrogant and has a double standard when it comes to a person's virtue. He is repulsed by Everleigh but still longs for her. And then there is Everleigh, a modern American woman who is outspoken and also dislikes Sebastian. The back and forth banter between them is hilarious. I love that he can hear her thoughts and dreams - which because of the Red Veil are of a rather risque nature. But despite the fact that he wants nothing to do with her, he must keep her safe and near him so he doesn't succumb to the madness that happens when The Red Veil is denied. Then we have Sebastian's succubus girlfriend/plaything who keeps trying to kill Everleigh because she is a threat. I found the triangle to be very amusing. When a huge scandal revealed and an enemy does something unforgivable to Everleigh and Sebastian's family, the fangs come out!
I found Ascent of Blood to be funny, suspenseful, and the plot twists were exciting and surprising. I liked that there are many reoccurring characters from Descent of Blood. I found the histories that are interjected about each supernatural race significant and fascinating. They brought the past and the present together and brought back a character I missed. I also liked that the books were not too similar and were not just a retelling of the story just with different characters. Elizabeth Marx's storytelling had me hooked from the very beginning and I was never disappointed. I am a huge fan of and advocate for independent authors and books like this are the reason why. The writing is exceptional and the concepts are unique and not cookie-cutter creations. Ascent of Blood has touches of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance which brought the story into the modern era while still retaining the essence of the Historical novel. I stayed up all night reading this book and can't wait until I hear news about book two!
*Note: Contains mature themes and sexual content.
FTC Advisory: I was given copies of both books from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
Windy City writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi-Town.
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