Sons of Devils
Author: Alex Beecroft
Title: Sons of Devils
Series: Arising 1
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
British scholar Frank Carew is in Wallachia to study the magic generator on nobleman Radu Vacarescu’s land. There, his party is attacked by bandits and his friends are killed. Pursued by a vampiric figure, he flees to Radu’s castle for help.
Unfortunately, this is precisely where the vampires came from. If allowed, they would feed unchecked and spread their undeath across the whole Earth, but Radu maintains a shaky control over them and keeps them penned in his tiny corner of the country.
As Frank recovers from his assault, Radu finds himself falling for the young man. But loving Frank and not wanting to lose him leaves Radu vulnerable to his demons’ demands. Can he bear to let them feed on the man he loves? Or must he give in to their blackmail and set them free to feast on his entire country?
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Frank doesn't know what to expect on his journey to Wallachia. He knows he'll get to see a magic generator and he knows that going back home to England could mean a death sentence. What he doesn't expect is for his friends to suddenly die in an ambush or an attack by vampires. Finding Radu means Frank can live a little longer, but he's no longer certain whether it's a life worth living at all.
The wonder in this book lies entirely with the world-building. Beecroft took a snapshot from history almost exactly as the world existed back then, and then inserted magic into the twisting political and social aspects of the time. It was amazingly intricate and exceptionally believable, which I've found is hard for many historical fantasy authors to accomplish.
The only reason this book didn't get five petals was because of the awkward changes in point of view. There are three narrators in this story, Frank, Mirela, and Zayd, and each do bring something interesting to the story. However, I found that Mirela's story was a bit repetitive in how much it overlapped with Frank's; I'm not certain her perspective was entirely necessary. Zayd's perspective is extremely sudden. He appears at the end of the story with absolutely zero context as to how he fits into the overall plot or why he's being introduced. The way his story is presented also breaks up Frank's story in the worst possible way by draining away all the built-up tension and suspense. Beecroft might have been better served having all of Zayd's story in the epilogue or at the beginning of the next book in the series.
The way Beecroft took a snapshot of history and inserted magic into the political and social aspects of the time was amazingly written. I did struggle with the often abrupt changes in narrator, but overall I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.