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Author: Jaye Wells Publisher: Orbit ISBN: 978-1-84149-756-3 Pages: 325 Series: Sabina Kane #1 Type: Adult Urban Fantasy Source: Purchased Goodreads
Sabina Kane is an outcast in a world where bloodlines rule. Her mixed
vampire/mage blood mean she is stuck as an assassin for the vampire council, the
Dominae, led by Sabina's grandmother Lavina. So when the Dominae give her the
opportunity to gain their favour by taking out Clovis Trakiya a mixed blood cult
leader threatening their power base, she grabs the chance and goes undercover.
But when Sabina is forced to work with mage Adam Lazarus she soon discovers her
past is full of secrets and lies that threaten her very existence...
is the first book in the now complete Sabina Kane series and is a great urban
fantasy with perfect mix of light and funny with dark and gritty. The whole
series has a really unique premise where all vampires are descended from Cain
and Lilith (yup the ones from the Bible), whilst mages come from the goddess
Hekate. They aren't the only two races here though as there are also demons and
fairies each with their own unique varieties. Despite the depth to the world
building there is no info-dumping and the only sign of this being the first in a
series is the sense of opportunity in the ending.
The storyline is
tightly plotted with good pacing, a rare factor in undercover books. The book
starts with a bang, moving from action packed scene to action packed scene
before the main plotline kicks in when the pacing stays pretty solid
interspersed with intense scenes. There are a host of unexpected twists and
turns and the underlying manipulation adds a high level of tension, especially
as Sabina is never sure who is actually manipulating her at any given time. The
book has a very low romance level and is more about Sabina discovering the truth
about herself and her life.
Sabina is a great lead character and although
she seems unlikeable to start, it soon becomes clear that she is a product of
her upbringing. This means that the distance from her grandmother and the rest
of the Dominae-led vampires leads Sabina to discover a lot more about herself
and it's great to have this revealed to the reader as she goes. Adam is the
ideal hunky friend/foe and, as a mage, someone Sabina resists her attraction to
from day one. Clovis on the other hand is seriously creepy and disturbing with a
weird cult-leader-buying-into-his-own-hype vibe making him the ideal
My favourite character though has to be Giguhl who is a mischief
demon who accidentally ends up bound to Sabina, and then through a series of
mishaps gets turned into a hairless cat. He has some absolutely hilarious lines
and quickly becomes Sabina's best friend/protector/foil. I also have a soft spot
for Vinca who is an irrepressible fairy Sabina rooms with while undercover.
She's girly but with a core of steel and I can see why Sabina finds herself
becoming friends with her despite her best intentions.
One really unique
thing I love about these books are Sabina's "Things to do:" checklists that look
paperclipped to the back covers. This installment has: 1. Infiltrate rival
vampire cult and assassinate leader 2. Get rid of demon houseguest 3.
Ditch the hot mage stalker 4. Betray family
All in all, this was a
great read and I'm looking forward to The Mage in Black.
All reviews state the origin of the book. The majority of my reviews are for books that I have purchased for myself. Some are borrowed from libraries or friends, others are given as gifts. Any books received for review are given in exchange for an honest review. I do not charge for reviews and receive no monetary dispensation from Project to be Read.