Hi, Sam here again. Guest reviewing another brand new book. I stated a few weeks back how much I loved Sarah Beth James's Amor Vincit Omnia series of LGBTQ* fictions. Although there isn't another book due in this series for another year, Sarah hasn't rested on her laurels of the two book releases she already made this year. October saw a treat for her fans as she released a brand new book series: The Vampire Legacies.
Yes, you saw it right. A brand new book series!!
This time a young adult (16 plus) book series about vampires, magic, mystery, witches, good and evil. Sort of a mixture of Twilight, the Fallen series, Harry Potter and Charmed. Revolving around the life of a young girl called Victoria, and her journey of self discovery.
Victoria is a young girl, at college, trying to find a place for herself where she doesn't really feel like she belongs. Her parents hate her, barely even speak to her. She is a disappointment, a screw up. The girl who hears voices, the girl who sees things that aren't there, the girl who thinks she can perform spells. The girl her parents threw into therapy even had her locked up in a mental health ward trying to stop her 'delusions'. Her dreams of a mysterious vampire lover that she can't seem to stop thinking about. Dreams that started when she was only a little girl.
Not wanting to keep living that hellish life style, Victoria learns to lie. Tell the adults what they want to hear, the doctors, everyone. She learns to drink to drown out the voices, to hide her powers. Live moves on, although not exactly for her. Suicidal thoughts, self harm, she decides to kill herself. Rid herself of the pain of existence. We discover not just because of what her parents have done to her, but also because she was raped by her boyfriend. A man who is still stalking her now.
The night Victoria has chosen to end her own life, she meets the man literally of her dreams. Steven, just someone she met in the bar that final moment. Someone she feels drawn to, just isn't sure why. How could she have dreamt what the man looked like 16 years before she met him?
After several times of stopping her from doing harm to herself, Steven discovers about the man who hurt her. And unluckily about her powers, pitching Victoria into a self created magically coma. Her only form of escape. A coma that is killing her. Enter a second love interest for our leading lady: Antonio.
A man who blames Steve and his drinking addiction for Victoria being in this state. I can't give too much away here, but there are past lives and loves to consider into the mix. It becomes clear very quickly that both men have known Victoria's soul a very long time. She just doesn't remember them, she can't. It will turn her crazy. She is important, special, but that is something to be explored in the later books of the series.
Interestingly the love triangle doesn't just include Victoria, Steven and Antonio. It becomes clear that the men are not just fighting over Victoria for themselves, but they also have deep feelings for each other. Well it just wouldn't be our Queen of Cruelty, our Mistress of Evil if everything was easy or happily ever after would it? I am interested to see where this almost polymorphic relationship will go in later books.
Of course there is also an evil in the book. One that seems determined to split Victoria from her protectors. To swing her to their way of seeing things. Although she is a weak, childish character in the first third of the book. As soon as she starts coming into herself you can see the strength of the person she was before, the person that if things go right she will be again. The one they are waiting for her to become.
A lot of things are left unanswered in this book, as a first production in a series should. Leaving you desperate for more. There will be times you hate all of the characters in turn for how they treat each other. Others were you will be oh bless them! As well as constantly changing your mind over who should end up with whom. Which Sarah informs me that even she doesn't know how it will work out in the end yet, she is waiting for the characters to decide for themselves.
This is a stunning book, still angsty with some hope shinning through. It covers topics that older teens need to think about. Abuse, bad relationships, to not hide in addictions, but to ask for help. To trust good friends around you. To beware of fake friends trying to lead you into trouble. The struggles of acceptance Victoria is going through in her witch craft could be easily reidentified as any teenage struggle. It is also dark enough, and interesting enough to capture adult readers as well.
Give it a chance, you will not be disappointed!
For those still trying to cling onto Halloween before the Christmas insanity starts up, Sarah's book can be claimed for free on kindle 4th to 6th of November.
Purchase link for paperback: