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July 29, 2018

Shadow's Bane by Karen Chance ~ A Review

by MK French

Dory is a dhampir, half human and half vampire. She was given a spot on the Vampire Senate because there is an upcoming war between vampires and Faerie, and they want a position of strength. In addition to the inevitable politicking and threats to her life, she is looking for a friend's missing nephew, which leads to the discovery of an illegal fight club ring. There's a bigger conspiracy at work, and Dory's vampire half is aware of more of it than she is.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Shadow's Bane
July 2018; Berkley; 978-0451419064
audio, ebook, print (624 pages); fantasy
Having not read the earlier Dorina Basarab books, I'm at a disadvantage. There's a full cast of characters and at least three books of backstory, but I was able to dive right in and catch up. We don't get the full story involved, of course, but there are enough hints to give me the relationships and keep going with the plot. It's convoluted in parts, partly because Dory just stumbles into the conspiracy regarding the fight club when she wasn't looking for it. Some of the context is missing, but that could also be because I've missed the earlier books in the series. The divide between the mortal half (Dory) and the vampire half (Dorina) as well as their separate abilities are clearly outlined, at least. This lends to some of the difficulties in figuring out the larger conspiracy amidst the war and the Vampire Senate. The flashbacks of memories from Dory's vampire father ultimately gives more background into the motives, as does the information that Dory gets in dribs and drabs from members of the faerie court.

The characters are actually really fun to read about and see how they interact. Even without the histories from the prior books, we really see the friendships at work and learn about how the different parts of faerie work in this universe, as well as the vampire power structure. The plot itself is very fast paced and gripping, and I was caught up in the story and cared about what would happen next. It's definitely an interesting series to follow, so I'll have to go back and find the earlier books in the series.

Buy Shadow's Bane at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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