Title: Alliance in Blood (Partnership in Blood #1)
Author: Ariel Tachna
Cover Artist: Dan Skinner
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link Amazon:
Genre: Paranormal M/M, Vampires
Length: 235 pages
Rating: 3.50 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: Original storyline involving vampires and wizards which becomes bogged down by too many POV changes and confusing plot.
Can a desperate wizard and a bitter, disillusioned vampire find a way to build the partnership that could save their world?
In a world rocked by magical war, vampires are seen by many as less than human, as the stereotypical creatures of the night who prey on others. But as the war intensifies, the wizards know they need an advantage to turn the tide in their favor: the strength and edge the vampires can give them in the battle against the dark wizards who seek to destroy life as they know it.
In a dangerous move and show of good will, the wizards ask the leader of the vampires to meet with them, so that they might plead their cause. One desperate man, Alain Magnier, and one bitter, disillusioned vampire, Orlando St. Clair, meet in Paris, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their decision: Will the vampires join the cause and form a partnership with the wizards to win the war?
It looks like it is Ariel Tachna day here on Jessewave with two reviews of her books being published. My review doesn’t involve hunky race car drivers but instead dark and brooding vampires and wizards. Alliance in Blood is the first in a series of books depicting the lives of Paris supernatural beings involved in a deadly war. The plot starts as light wizards propose an alliance with vampires to defeat dark wizards who want to control the world. Since wizards and vampires do not have a cordial relationship they each send emissaries to meet late at night in Père Lachaise Cemetery. Enter Orlando the vampire and Alain the wizard. When these two men meet it is instant chemistry and when Orlando drinks Alain’s blood to make sure he is not lying about the wizards wanting an alliance…instant desire. As Alain and Orlando struggle to put their newfound attraction aside to deal with the war, eventually they realize they cannot and decide to bond with each other, causing other wizards and vampires to follow suit. (Drinking the right wizard’s blood, a vampire can be in sunlight. This turns out to be an invaluable asset in the war against the dark wizards.)
The storyline for Alliance in Blood is very original, not your typical vampire tale. No one sparkles here – darn. I like the uneasy relationship between wizards and vampires which leads to their alliance. The wizards need the vampires in their ranks and the vampires want equal rights in the supernatural world, so each side has something to gain in this deal. The other interesting thing is that each vampire and wizard can be paired to make a stronger fighting team. But there is only one vampire for each wizard and vice versa. The match must be perfect or the vampire will not be able to walk in the sun after drinking his/her wizard’s blood. Basically some vampires and wizards get their soul mate when they pair up. At least that is the case with Orlando and Alain.
And while I loved the premise, the characters and the world-building Ms. Tachna does in this novel, the reason I could only give the book 3.5 stars is the multiple POV changes which distracted from the storytelling (I could not understand who was talking in some instances). Two POVs is fine, especially if it is from the two protagonists, but there were at least eight to ten POVs of lesser characters which threw me out of the novel. Many, many times. Plus the introduction of way too many characters, that I couldn’t follow without a flowchart, seemed to bog the book down in minutiae. Lastly, the prose. Sometimes I like purple prose, but Alliance in Blood suffered from too flowery prose combined with the info dump on the reader truly made for a confusing tale.
In conclusion, while I loved the relationship between Orlando and Alain and would gladly read about them again, the structural and prose issues with this novel overwhelms the reader and make for a less satisfying read. Now I have read other books by Ariel Tachna and I have never found multiple POV changes or overly long prose, so this novel must be a fluke. The sequel, Buy Link Covenant in Blood is available and it probably a must read if you decide to buy this book since the ending of Alliance leaves some very important threads hanging. For me, I will be reading the sequels as I want to see how the plot changes and morphs as the vampire-wizard alliance continues. Plus I am looking forward to seeing if the POV and other issues are resolved. What can I say, when I start something, I have to finish it.
Recommended for readers who love the author’s other works, vampires, wizards (Harry Potter-like duels are cool) and super sexy bonding rituals.