Onyx, Oct 2008, $7.99
There is a war going on between the Vampire Senate and the dark mages of the Black Circle; the hostilities have made arms dealers very wealthy as they sell magical armaments to both camps. Five hundred years old dhampir Dorina Basarab is unlike her peers as she can somewhat control her berserker rages so is uninterested in the war. She worries when her best friend Claire the null witch, who could be a valuable weapon of mass destruction, has gone missing for a month. Dory has been directing all her energy into finding her buddy when a family member asks for her help.
Her father, first level vampire Mircea informs hat her Uncle Dracula escaped his confinement. He needs her help to capture and re-incarcerate the craziest deadliest family member. Dory has had one horrific fight with her uncle and does not want a rematch. Her father makes a deal with his daughter; if she catches Dracula, he will get the Vampire Senate to search for Claire. Knowing Dracula will be coming for her and her Uncle Rudu, Dory accepts her dad’s terms. Gathering allies, Dory is stunned to learn her adversary has captured Claire.
Dory is an interesting lead character, a dhampire who has survived for five centuries on her dysfunctional family by controlling her rages and killing only when necessary those deserving to die. She is a unique dhampir as most cannot control their berserker tendencies or show love towards another person like she does towards Claire as a sister would. There is plenty of action, a bit of romance, and a fascinating look at the Dracula brood. Urban fantasy readers will want to take a chance on this tale as well as the author’s backlist (see CLAIMED BY SHADOWS). Karen Chance is by far one of the best authors writing urban fantasies today.