Thursday, August 2, 2018

Shadow's Bane by Karen Chance

Half-human, half-vampire Dorina Basarab is back—and facing her biggest challenge yet in the next urban fantasy in the New York Times bestselling series.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. As one of the Vampire Senate's newest members, Dory already has a lot on her plate. But then a relative of one of Dory's fey friends goes missing. They fear he's been sold to a slaver who arranges fights—sometimes to the death—between different types of fey.

As Dory investigates, she and her friends learn the slavers are into something much bigger than a fight club. With the Vampire Senate gearing up for war with Faerie, it'll take everything she has to defeat the slavers—and deal with the entirely too attractive master vampire Louis-Cesare...

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Book 4
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I've been reading Karen Chance for over a decade, starting with the Cassie Palmer series. I adored the series, but fell out of love with Urban Fantasy for a long while but have since recently discovered my love again. When I saw this novel offered for review, I jumped at the chance, mind immediately remembering the world-building and Dory mentioned via her father, Mircea, to Cassie.

Last week I picked up Midnight's Daughter and didn't feel the same sense of entertainment as I did with the Cassie Palmer series. By the time I was partway through the second in the series, I realized my due date was looming, so I took a chance and skipped to book four – Shadow's Bane. Believe it or not, I wasn't too lost, since once you get the foundation of the world-building in your head, you just roll with it.

I recommend against picking up Shadow's Bane if you are not familiar with Cassie Palmer or Dorian Basarab, which share the same world-building and a set of characters.

Dory is a dhampir, struggling to keep the block in her mind from completely dissolving between her human half and her vampire half. Dory vs Dorina. The almost multiple personality angle of the storyline truly drew me in and gripped me, causing me to want to go back and read again from where I'd originally left off. This is one of the most original takes on the dhampir culture I've read thus far.

Dory's vampire half (Dorina) was newly elected to the vampire senate, and in this installment, Dory, along with her boyfriend, Louis-Cesare, and her fae friends, they try to investigate the slave-trade. The book starts off with a bang, when the gang goes to a fae fighting ring, and continues in this adventuring, action-packed novel that is the epitome of Urban Fantasy.

The world-building is front and center, the romance riding low beneath the surface. Dory tries to help her friends, deals with relationship issues, and tries to come to terms with her two halves.

Action abound. It was hard to get a footing as the scenes rolled forward from one intense scene to the next, with little to no transition in between to get your bearings. The pacing slows slightly from the middle toward the ending, for which I was thankful, so I could get a deep breath in and mull over the plot.

This is a dual-narration, featuring the daughter in the present and the father in the past. Mircea's voice flows well into what's happening in the present with Dory, and I enjoyed getting a glimpse inside his head for short periods of time back in the 1400s.

This is classic Urban Fantasy, where there's a mystery to be solved, monsters and baddies to adventure through, and paranormal world-building.

Shadow's Bane fed into my need to go back to the very beginning, starting with a reread of the Cassie Palmer series, then working my way through the Dorina Basarab series. I highly recommend to Karen Chance fans and Urban Fantasy fanatics, and look forward to visiting the author's backlist and future novels.

Karen Chance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cassie Palmer series and the Midnight’s Daughter series. She has lived in France, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong, but always comes back to America. She currently lives in Central Florida, the home of make-believe, which may explain a lot.

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Berkley Romance

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab #4) by Karen Chance to read and review.

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