Priest of Blood (The Vampyricon Book 1)
Vampire fiction, fantasy, horror
"Horror writer Clegg sets his sights on historical fantasy in the first book of the Vampyricon series. Set in medieval Brittany, it is the tale of Aleric, a young peasant born to a mother who tried to abort him. Aleric seeks to better himself when a local baron's men come seeking a boy to train birds for the hunt. When Aleric's skills with birds lead to him being chosen, he begins a new life at the baron's castle that is fraught with difficulties and dangers. Aleric jeopardizes his standing in the household when he falls in love with the baron's daughter, Alienora. When the affair is discovered, Aleric is sent away as an enslaved infantryman on a Crusade to the Holy Land. He discovers a fate far more terrifying, however, when he frees Pythia, a female prisoner, only to have her turn him into a vampire. Clegg's evocative, vivid medieval setting is every bit as appealing as the vampire lore in this promising series starter."
This book feels as if you are reading someone's journal. Except that, whoever wrote the journal really knows how to write. At first I was a bit skeptical about this approach but soon enough I found myself engrossed in the story. There is a somber and somewhat dark mood and I felt as if I was back in the Middle Ages. I could feel the way that the poor struggle to survive and the things they had to do and it made the characters real. The way that main character describes everything makes you feel as if you are taking the journey with him before and after he was turned. Thankfully he doesn't fall into the "woe-is-me" territory so many vampires fall in once they are turned. These vamps are rather complex, especially the main character, as they come from a society long ago based around gods and rituals and something that will remind you somewhat of early Egyptian religion. Their world is very interesting.
Highly recommend this for any fan of vampire fiction. If you aren't a fan of vamp stories I will warn not to expect Underworld or Interview With the Vampire. I like this book better than those other two but it's not about the action but about the journey of a boy who is barely a man when he is all but thrown into the dark world of the vampires. Can't wait for the sequel.
I'm giving it a 4.5 out of 5.