________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 2 . . . . September 9, 2011


Blood Feud. (The Drake Chronicles).

Alyxandra Harvey.
New York, NY: Walker & Company (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2010.
258 pp., pbk., $12.50.
ISBN 978-0-8027-2096-2.

Subject Headings:
Interpersonal relations-Fiction.
Brothers and sisters-Fiction.

Grades 9-12 / Ages 14-17.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



"Isabeau, my brothers: Quinn, Marcus, Connor, and Duncan. Sebastian's still at the caves."

Un plaisir," I said dryly. My Hounds training might not have prepared me to be gracious under any circumstance, but my aristocratic upbringing had.

"Nice to meet you." Connor blinked. "Why are you on the floor?"

"Hypnos," I said.

Quinn snorted. "Dude, Hypnos and dogs? I thought you were the one who was supposed to be good with the girls, Darcy?" I recognized the nickname; I'd read voraciously once I'd grown accustomed to my new body and appetites. I'd needed to grow accustomed to hundreds of years of history as well.

"Shut up," Logan said. "Kieran blew Hypnos on her."

Quinn bared his fangs. "Why the hell did he do that?"

"Well, to be fair, she did try to kick him in the head."

Quinn grinned at me. "I like you already."

The second book in Harvey's paranormal series "Drake Chronicles" begins a week after the first book, Hearts at Stake, ends. Eighteen-year old Logan Drake falls in love with Isabeau St. Croix, a French vampire princess. She has been sent by the Hound tribe (distinguished from other vampire tribes by their two sets of fangs) to begin treaty negotiations with the Drake family at the royal caves. At first, she thinks Logan is a 'pretty boy', and she distrusts his family and their intentions. Her focus is on finding and killing the Earl of Greyhaven; the vampire who left her for dead over two hundred years ago.

      The two vampire tribes are united in their hatred for Montmarte, an evil vampire, and, as they fight his rogue Hel-Blar vampires, the Hounds and the ancient Drake family develop a more trusting relationship. When Logan's family and new girlfriend are threatened at the same time, Logan feels conflicted about whom to help first, but he makes a choice that ensures his family's safety and a future with Isabeau.

      Numerous dogs are integral to the plot in this second book. The story, which is narrated alternately by Logan and Isabeau, includes the occasional French word or phrase, explanations behind the Hounds' magic abilities such as dreamwalking, and flashbacks that take the reader back in time to London and Paris in the 1700's. Before Isabeau was pulled out of a coffin by the Hounds' dogs, she lived through the French Revolution and witnessed her parents being executed by a guillotine. Two hundred years ago, Isabeau survived on the streets by pick-pocketing and robbing from the dead. After her rescue, she realizes she can survive because she is a Hound who is capable of defending herself from vampires.

      Blood Feud could be read as a standalone, but readers are encouraged to read Hearts at Stake, the first book in the series, to understand the war going on between the vampire tribes.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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