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Book Reviews: Three Dark Queens + Dracula's Brood, part 1

Three Dark Queens by Kendare Blake
Three sisters. One throne. A fight to the death. From the author of ‘Anna Dressed In Blood’ comes this dark excellent fantasy. Triplet sisters compete to be Queen of their mysterious magical island home. It is a position that they really shouldn’t want, for one day the winner will bear triplet daughters and be dethroned in favour of them. Who will win the throne?

Mirabella: everyone thinks she will succeed as she has a fierce elemental magic and is strong and has the backing of the Temple. She is a man stealing airhead

Arsinoe: is judged the weakest and a loser. She is a naturalist who cannot do anything. She is over-indulged, thoughtless and selfish.

Katharine: is a poisoner. She is ill-treated and lied to and sickened by her powerful backers. Her magic seems to bring her only pain.

Why is the island a secret? What is mainland life like? Why do people follow such a bloody tradition? What happens to former Queens? Why was there such a murderous betrayal? The story continues in ‘One Dark Throne’ and I hope Katharine wins.

Best Lines:
“Magic encased in skin.”

“Elemental priestesses once sacrificed hares on it and threw their hearts into the lake.”

“That I do not matter, because she is there.”

“Whatever you did has to be bourne.”

“They say and throw plenty.”

“Their lies will not hold.”

“It would create a spectacle if they had convulsions on the rug.”

~
Dracula’s Brood edited by Richard Dalby, part 1
This is a reprint of a 1987 anthology of vintage vampire classics.

The Last Lords Of Gardonal
A badly written and badly dated tale of an evil baron and his bride.

Best Lines:
“Your name and reputation are both well known to me. It would give me great satisfaction were they less so.”
“I regret to hear you speak in that tone,”

“I am not a man to threaten such a thing without doing it.”

The Fate Of Madame Cabarel
A scarcely comprehensible anti-catholic tale. French peasants engage in what they see as a justified struggle against their Lord’s distrusted new English wife. So they engage in a co-ordinated campaign to rid themselves of her. They grid for an offensive. There is no intense emotional turmoil.

Best Lines:
“Had strange notions of her own dignity.”

“I cannot condescend to answer such folly.”

The Man-Eating Tree
Beware the angry molesting tree! No.

The Vampyre (Strigoiul)
A naff poem.
Tags: book review, dracula
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