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December 9, 2019

A Violet Fire by Kelsey Quick ~ a Review

by MK French

Human blood is a scarce resource in Cain, a place ruled by vampires for centuries. To try to fill the shortage, humans are bred and blood is collected for the rich and powerful vampires. Wavorly is officially one of those service units, meant to donate her blood to her master for the rest of her life. She wasn't bred in Cain and is willing to do just about anything to escape its clutches, even though that carries a death penalty.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

December 2019; 978-1733072403
ebook, print (346 pages); YA fantasy
When we open the novel, we're with Wavorly at her third escape attempt. Told from the first-person point of view, we hear the vampires that collect her talk about how humans are an endangered species and should be grateful that the vampires are willing to take care of them. At the same time, they're forced as slaves to give blood and reproduce, and will never get to know the children that are born. This is very much the way we treat cattle and other farm animals, and the way slaves were treated years ago. It's a bleak world, and one with little pleasantries aside from primping themselves to look pretty for one of the five main vampires. If they're rejected for any of a number of minor offenses, including the noble vampire not being in the mood for their blood, they are then sent to the fallen, remnants of what once had been humans fed to vampires and transformed into bloodthirsty and mindless monsters kept around to be foot soldiers in war.

Usually, I'm a sucker for vampire novels. They're one of my favorite supernatural creatures, and these with a courtly system of operations over humans seemed like the kind of story that had a lot of potential. I'm as dismayed as Wavorly that humans are raised to believe their only existence is to feed vampires and they have no other purpose so that the people are pretty much trafficked for whatever purpose the vampires want and humans will cry and wail that they're not good enough if rejected. As the novel progresses, Wavorly continues to be given preferential treatment, has visions, and her "owner" behaves unnaturally around her. For a book that involves the paranormal, the novel's conclusion feels far fetched. It's too much of a deus ex machina to suddenly have a lot of the facts from the first two-thirds of the novel turned on its head at the end. This is clearly meant to be the first in a series of novels, but I didn't feel enough of an emotional build-up to be interested in how it continues.

Buy A Violet Fire 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 and three young children. 

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