Lois Tilton offers a compelling look at the vampire myth with Darkspawn, a dark fantasy novel about a 400-year-old vampire prince and the battles he must fight to save both himself and his people. Tilton creates a well-defined world full of dark, conflicted characters and intense action in a story about duty, war, and faith.
Lord Emre Bakhány is the last descendant in the line of Mór, who have ruled Kharithnya for 10,000 years. While his lack of an heir weighs on Emre's mind, other problems must be dealt with first. Priests who worship the sun god Bélan are waging a holy war against the Dark Lord, threatening to burn him alive. Emre is betrayed by one of his own and taken captive. Afraid of a backlash by the Lord's people, the priests decide to bind Emre with chains forged in Bélan's fire and bury him under one of their sacred altars.
Three hundred years later, a terrible battle soaks the ground in blood and Emre escapes his prison. Bent on vengeance against the Bélan's priests, Emre is suddenly faced with a new enemy. Barbarians have set out to destroy his people and take his land. Now Emre must remind his people about the old ways if he is to raise an army to fight the barbarians. But he has not forgotten about the Bélan priests, and his vengeance will not be denied.
Darkspawn is Tilton's third vampire novel, and she excels at writing darkly compelling characters who are often unlikable but never uninteresting. Her Lord Emre is trapped between being heroic, following his duty, and giving in to his true nature. But he, like many of Tilton's characters, has a dark side. Make no mistake: this is an epic war story with a staggering body count, an action-filled tale where no one is spared the devastation of battle. --Kathie Huddleston