Dhampir by Barb & JC Hendee
Noble Dead Saga #1
Magiere and her half-elf companion, Leesil, help the villages of Stravina by hunting the undead that plague a town. However, things aren’t what they seem and Magiere is not actually a hunter — instead she and Leesil prey on village superstitions by pretending to kill vampires for profit. Magiere is tiring of the game and after purchasing a tavern in Miiska, they settle into a new life. But Magiere’s reputation has preceded her and the actual vampires living in Miiska have no intention of letting her life in peace.
Though not a romance, I really enjoyed Dhampir because I found the characters so interesting and I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. I would say the writing is pretty basic but the pace and flow of the story is done well. Everything is told through several different character’s point of views and the reader also gets some basic history on both Magiere and Leesil, as well as some of our vampires. What I found so interesting was that the whole conflict essentially centers around misinformation and then revenge. It’s Magiere and Leesil versus the vampires but both believe the other side started the fighting. It’s not necessarily a clear cut good vs evil because both sides are filled with grey. There’s also a nice reflection in personalities between our “heroes” Magiere, Leesil, and Chap (their dog), and our “villains” Rashed, Teesha, and Ratboy. They might be at war with each other but they’re also so similar in just wanting a normal life.
I loved our primary character, Magiere, because she’s tough, strong and never gives up. Magiere has been on her own for a while and she doesn’t let anyone close except Leesil and even he doesn’t truly know Magiere. As they fight the vampires again and again, Magiere begins to go through a transformation into her dhampir self but with no idea what’s going on she tries to fight it. Leesil as well has secrets and he’s incredibly troubled by his past as an assassin for a warlord. These two misfits find friendship in each other and as more of Magiere’s history is revealed, there bond grows deeper.
I can’t wait to read more in this series! I want to know more about Magiere and Leesil and after the teasing epilogue I want to see what will happen next.
4 out of 5 stars
She hunts the realm’s most dangerous game.
Her fees are exorbitant.
She’s worth every coin she receives.
Or is she?
Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain — grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.
Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last — for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity — and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.
Published by Ace on January 7, 2003
Noble Dead Saga reviews
Click on a cover to see the review