Imagine you are a vampire. A human king--who recently spent a month torturing you--decided to make up for it by giving you his attractive daughter. She had tortured you too. So, what would you do with her?
Hi, folks. I’m Sam Reeves and welcome to The Rabid Bookworm. My goal is not to tell you that you should read but to inspire you to read. I review science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. And sometimes I do other vlogish things. Any of this, of course, is subject to my corny snarkiness.
Vampire Lore That I Potentially Did Not Make Up
Are you a vampire fan? If so, let me know down in the comments: What is the most outrageous kind of vampire you have encountered in a book or movie?
My favorite I read about in probably middle school. I believe this is a Romanian legend, but the years might have made my memory faulty. They believed that anything red could be a vampire: everyday things like people with red hair, red insects, but also things like tomatoes and watermelons.
I can just imagine in the middle of the night an unnatural-looking watermelon rolling out of the garden mists and thumping against your door, waiting to be invited in.
Is Vampire Spelled Right? - A Book Review
I don’t remember any undead food in the novel I am reviewing today for you--spoiler free.
It is Nancy Kilpatrick’s February 2017 ebook release and April 2017 print book release: Revenge of the Vampir King. Book one of the Thrones of Blood.
This story follows the clashing realms of the vampirii and the Sapiens, which are human. The Vampir King, Moarte, and the Sapiens King, Zador, are mortal enemies. As mentioned earlier, the story starts while Moarte is healing from his month-long imprisonment and torture by the Sapien’s King and his daughter.
Moarte responds to his imprisonment by sending his warriors to raid the Sapiens city. They return with a pageant of spoils, including a caged woman who turns out to be Princess Valada, daughter of the Sapien’s King. He wishes to give Moarte his daughter as an offering of truce. Moarte wishes only to kill the Sapiens King in the most painful way possible--but a stunning princess is a nice distraction. So distracting, in fact, Moarte’s 2nd in command admits that the presenting of this woman rattled him enough that the Sapiens King slipped out the back.
The remainder of the story is part romance, spiked with graphically sexual torture--believe me, these scenes are NOT timid. And part quest, where Moarte hunts the Sapiens King’s hidey-hole with the intent of relieving the King of all that pesky blood coursing through his veins. And since Dear Old Dad gave her up for vampire adoption, Valada wouldn’t mind a few lethal swings at her father either--well, between her nightly torture sessions.
After reading the book, I was curious to know more. Nancy Kilpatrick was kind enough to grant me a short interview.
THE RABID BOOKWORM: The word “vampir” is German and Slavic. Are we in this part of the world? Are the vampirii vampires or something else?
NANCY KILPATRICK: FYI: http://www.indifferentlanguages.com/words/vampire
vampir = one vampire
vampirii = more than one vampire
TRB: What is the setting of the novel? It seems both timeless and old. However, at one point a Sapiens says, “Check your watch,” in reference to the time.
NK: This is an alternate universe, so I make the rules. lol There can be things from our world and our history but it can also be different, where time is not the same as in our world, which is why I left the time frame vague on purpose so the reader can fall into the eternal. You will see other things in future books that are 'modern', so it's a mixed world where time as we know it is irrelevant.
TRB: Since humans are referred to as Sapiens, is this Earth? In Ch 33, Rivard says that he believes no “earthly” creature should suffer, but there is no proper noun Earth.
NK: Yes, it is Earth.
TRB: Why do the vampirii, who are the “good guys,” habitually engage in torture?
NK: Because they are vampires. They are not human. They once were but they are an alien race now and their ways are not our ways (although humans are pretty vicious too). Because the vampirii and the Sapiens have been at war since recorded history anyway, the vampirii loathe the Sapiens (and vice versa), viewing one another as a lower species as we might think of insects, pests, but more, dangerous pests. The vampirii are control freaks. Historically in fiction and film, all vampires have been able to and prefer to mesmerize their prey, which is us. Yes, Twilight changed that to the good boyfriend who is not into control, but from Dracula and friends onward in English, vampires traditionally have demanded control. They want it their way and because of the early vampires in English which were nobility (Dracula; Ruthven; Varney; Carmilla) and many modern vampires who may not be British royalty but are definitely elitist. When it comes to Sapiens, it brings out the sadism in the vampirii. And when it comes to vampirii, the Sapiens becomes sadists. If you think of the world we live in now, enemies are tortured, despite the Geneva Conventions. Chemical weapons are dropped. Waterboarding is employed. People are lined up before graves they were forced to dig, then shot or beheaded. Death by torture is certainly the norm in war, despite how 'clean' armies like to present their tactics. And before you ask, this is especially so when women are prisoners. In the 'real' world, if a woman is captured by an enemy, rape is the least of it.
TRB: I had never made those connections, nor had I considered that vampires about control. I had always thought of them as about sex and appetite. Then again, I believe all fantasy--especially magic--is about controlling our environment or destiny.
I am sure it is no accident that most of the vampirii are named after poisons. What is the significance of this?
NK: They eventually take a new name and they see themselves in a certain way, as dangerous, and in a sense representing death as part of nature. The names signify that. Anything to do with death is what they are about, but death has levels and the vampirii are a stage of death, originally intended to move Sapiens to their demise. This is like the danse macabre skeleton art that flourished during the Bubonic Plague--their job was to lead mortals passing over in a dance from this realm to the next. The vampirii were rejected by the Sapiens for this because the Sapiens refuse to acknowledge that they will die--just get on with life! There is a parallel in our world. If your loved one dies, sure, grieve for a few days or even a week, but then get back to work and cheer up. This despite studies (Kubler Ross for example) that say grieving the loss of a loved one takes 2 to 5 years at best. In the '1st world', wailing when mourning is considered uncivilized.
TRB: How were you changed after writing this novel? What did you see differently?
NK: No idea yet! 🙂
TRB: Haha! I love that you added “yet.” In a time where most media would reject a woman having to obey a man, why did you choose to for Valada to try and accept this role?
NK: First of all, she was mesmerized for the first 8 chapters. Vampires have always had the ability to hypnotize humans in the literature and the films so they can control them (although some modern films show vampires as kung fu artists instead!) Once she comes to the awareness of how her father really treated her and how that affected her life, she has nothing to lose. And Moarte has come to care for her. She sees this as her life now and despite what he had done to her when she was under his control, she sees he's altered. Remember, she tortured him almost to the final death and she understands the fury and violence she's capable of as well.
And, just for the record, I don't care much what is PC. I'm a writer and I have to be true to what feels true to me. One thing I like to write is the turn-around, where the one impossible to love can be loved and can become loveable.
TRB: I couldn’t agree more. A writer’s job is first and foremost to the truth. Even if it is in a fictional story, it must seem plausible and hopefully highlight an undiscovered truth in our real lives.
How were you able to make us root for certain characters who early in the story committed horrible acts? Later, we saw them as heroic.
NK: I believe life is more than 1 dimension. We're in a PC world now where everyone is good or bad and lauded or damned. 99.9% of the population on this planet is both good and bad. There are sociopaths and psychopaths in our world and in this novel. But I believe that most people, even under the most vile circumstances, can change, especially in extreme conditions, and fiction is about drama. It's a given in psychology that people won't change until they hit rock bottom, which is why addicts often get to the OD stage before they can do the heavy work of changing.
TRB: What is the message of the story?
NK: I'll leave that to the reader.
Ms. Kilpatrick was also kind enough to give me a pronunciation guide for some of the harder-to-say names:
Valada = Va LA Da
Vampir = VAM peer
Vampirii = VAM peeree
Moarte = Mort eh
For Morte, here are a couple of audio pronunciations:
I favor both of these. 🙂
Last month, I read Nancy Kilpatrick’s Child of the Night, one of her very early vampire novels and the first volume of the Power of the Blood World. So, I knew the disturbing ride I was in for.
I do not read romance or erotica. They just don’t hit the right emotional switches for me. However, Kilpatrick knows how to tempt you, then seamlessly draw you into a bigger story and adventure.
In Revenge of the Vampir King, she introduces you to despicable characters capable of horrible acts and before long, you realize that you are actually rooting for these people. You’re also a little creeped out at how she turned your mind inside out, and you don’t know when or how it happened.
I would not recommend this book to everyone. It’s one of those books we wait for the kids to go to bed before we read it. Some people just don’t like the thought of the undead performing acts that makes the reader flinch and frequently tighten their butt cheeks. Otherwise, if you are okay (or even a little curious) about graphic scenes of sex and violence, read this book. Because it is also an adventure with fighting and fires and lavish fortresses and haunted caves.
If this story sounds interesting, please check out below, where I list both Nancy Kilpatrick’s website address and an Amazon link to buy the book. These are not affiliate links. I don’t get any kickbacks from either Ms. Kilpatrick, her publisher, or Amazon.
If you’ve read Revenge of the Vampir King, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Thank you, Nancy Kilpatrick, for crafting this creepy, unsettling, and thrilling adventure. And for taking the time to answer all my questions.
And before I go, can you, the reader, do me a favor? If some of your friends might enjoy this book, please share the link to this page on social media. It helps keep the sight visible so that I can continue providing you with more bookish information. And if you are curious, you can see the video version of my review on THE RABID BOOKWORM YouTube channel. The direct video link is below.
Thanks for reading.
See you soon.
Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick has published 19 novels, over 220 short stories, 7 collections of her stories, and has edited 15 anthologies, including nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery & the Macabre, a finalist for both a Bram Stoker Award and an Aurora Award, and winner of the Paris Book Festival's best anthology of the year award. Recent original short works are included in: Nightmare's Realm; Black Wings 6; Black Wings 5; Searchers After Horror; The Darke Phantastique; Zombie Apoclaypse: Endgame!; Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women; The Madness of Cthulhu 2; Innsmouth Nightmares; Stone Skin Bestiary. Two new graphic novels are: Nancy Kilpatrick's Vampyre Theater and her story "Heart of Stone" in Tales From the Acker-Mansion. Thrones of Blood is a new novel series. Volume 1, Revenge of the Vampir King is live as an ebook now, and the print book is out in April 2017. Volume 2, Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess, will be a fall 2017 release. Nancy lives in lovely Montreal with her calico cat Fedex, who appeared at her door one July 1st like a parcel.
NANCY KILPATRICK’S WEBSITE: http://nancykilpatrick.com/
PURCHASE REVENGE OF THE VAMPIR KING (not an affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2otI4jc
VIDEO REVIEW: http://bit.ly/2obUI5m
SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE FOR MORE: http://bit.ly/2nBdr9k