Shadow Lord – a Review

Something rotten is going on in the world of the aventurieri, the winged, nocturnal hunters with a dietary need for blood. Yes, they are a type of vampire. But the aventurieri can eat food, have wings, are able to reproduce, and can be shot with regular bullets.

In the violent beginning, Marek Strigoi’s family is attacked by the family of Mircea Ravagiu. All of the adults that are at the castle are killed, and the children are kidnapped. They are eventually returned home, minus one.

The violence, the blood, and the gore present in the story didn’t mess with me any, but one part did make me cringe: the way the wet nurses fed aventurieri babies. Nursing itself does cause some pain at the beginning, but that subsides after a while. When an aventurieri baby is nursing, fresh blood has to be mixed in with the milk. Use your imagination to figure out how that is accomplished. Okay, back to the book.

Marek’s father was Shadow Lord; now that title and job are given to Marek. I would compare the Shadow Lord to an enforcer. Whenever someone breaks the strict code they live by, the Shadow Lord is called upon by the Prince, the domnitor, to carry out their punishment.

His first assignment is a harsh one where he has to kill one of his own kind and a human. What makes it harder is that he is also commanded to stop the search for his family’s murderer.

The world of Marek and his family, but especially Marek, is turned upside down. One minute, everything is going right for them and their world looks bright. The next minute, it’s like the rug has been pulled out from under their feet and they crash to the ground. All they know is stripped away from them and the outlook is bleak.

This story is filled with betrayal. Revenge is chased after and carried out. Dark forces are at work, but there is also divine intervention. And there is an old prophecy. Is it about to come to pass?

And there are twists. I expected twists, and I thought I could foresee what they were going to be. I was so wrong.

This is the first book in a series, so it does end with a cliffhanger. I didn’t want to throw my Kindle when I was done reading it though. This cliffhanger gave a bit of hope, and I wanted to start the next book in the series immediately.

Do not confuse the Strigoi family in this book with the strigoi from The Strain. Although both are vampires, they are completely different creatures of the night. And none of the strigoi from The Strain is anywhere near as nice-looking as Marek Strigoi.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like a copy of this book for yourself, I’ve provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: Shadow Lord

Recommended Articles:
The Night Man Cometh – a Review
Why Vampires? – Guest Post by Tony-Paul de Vissage

Favorite Sentences:
His entire body became a living flame, his shrieks blending with the crackle of roasting skin.

For millennia, they dwelt in the high places, mating and raising their young, and having only the most necessary dealings outside the security of the mountains.

His soul was now as dead as his victims, but if they rested in blessed peace he inhabited his own Hell.

It sounds more like the lair of a giant bat than the dwelling place of a prince.

New Words Learned:
There are many words in the book you will run across and probably not understand. These are part of the aventurieri vocabulary. The author has thoughtfully provided a glossary of them at the end of the book.

 addlepated – confused or stupid

 blackamoor – a black person

 cabochon – a gem polished but not faceted

 casque – a helmet

 cheval glass – a full-length mirror mounted so that it can be tilted in a frame

 desport – to make a public display of oneself

 discomfited – uneasy or embarrassed

 pederast – a male who engages in sexual relations with another male, especially when one of them is a minor

riband – a decorative ribbon

spoor – the track or scent of an animal

tricorne – a hat with the brim turned up on three sides

vacillation – indecisiveness in speech or action

About the Author:
A writer of French Huguenot extraction, Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memory is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless–and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.

This was further inspired when the author was kidnapped by a band of transplanted Romanian vampires sightseeing in the South.  Having never seen a human who wasn’t frightened of them, they offered to pay the youngster’s way through college if he would become an author and write about vampires in a positive manner.  He agreed, was returned to his parents (who were also grateful for the tuition offer since it let them off the hook) and continued to keep in touch with his supernatural mentors.

Though the author didn’t begin writing horror–or any other genre–until after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from a well-known Southern University (and a second in Graphic Art), that one particular interest—and the promise made to his mentors—survived a liberal arts’ education and the scorn of friends and family.  Marriage, parenthood, divorce, and a variety of occupations ranging from stage work to doctor’s assistant took precedent over writing for several years, as did moving from one United States coast to another.

Eventually that first story—a short story about the hapless vampire Clan Andriescu—was published.  A voracious reader whose personal library has been shipped more than 3,000 miles, Tony-Paul has read hundreds of vampire tales and viewed more than as many movies.

TP currently has twenty-five novels published, twenty-three under the Class Act Books imprint. His next novel, Absinthe Eternal, will be released in February 2018.

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