(Veiled, #2)  Publication date: November  25th  2018  Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy History believes me to be a merciless savage. A ter...

Review || Vlad by Stacey Rourke

(Veiled, #2) Publication date: November 25th 2018 Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
History believes me to be a merciless savage. A terror upon the Earth known as The Impaler. Archaic lore whispers I am the first of the vampire lineage.
These claims … are all painted in bloody truth.
Now, while the world watches in fear, a war is brewing. Humans are targeting vampires in merciless attacks to force us back into the shadows.
They woke me to be their weapon.

They know not my loathing for my own kind.

Even I cannot say for certain whose side I’m on.

I have bowed before the alter of darkness rooted in the Nosferatu bloodline. Been forced to drink of its bitter sacrament. They refer to me as The Son of The Dragon, and I laugh. For I, alone, know that malevolent essence is one no man could ever tame.

Vlad is the second book in the Veiled series. While I had access to the first book, I chose not to read it in order, and instead allowed Vlad to speak for itself. 

Vlad is told from a shifting perspective, from Vlad to Vincenza, or Vinx as she is known to her friends. It also jumps from Vlad's past to the present, which made for a confusing mix at first. This is not my favorite thing. Unless it's properly delineated, I have a difficult time switching gears in mid-story. Once I caught the rhythm of the story, it was much better. 

Vincenza Larow is the first chemically manufactured vampire. Her story, I imagine, is told within Veiled, the first book in the series. However, not having read that did not detract from the story. She is living in the political age of vampires, one in which there is unrest between them and humans. While most vampires follow the teachings of Vlad (animal blood and the blood of the willing only), there is a faction that is doing what it can to depict vampires in a bad light, mainly by an artificial sulfur substitute that causes vampires to lose control of their hunger. 

Enter Vlad. Raised from his slumber to help in the war against vampires, his past has been a restless one, filled with violence and self-loathing. Now he plays by modern rules and fights the battle with mainstream media popularity. Yet he is hiding a dark secret within himself. Portrayed as a man possessed, rather than the brutal and savage persona that history paints him, Vlad is a much more sympathetic character than originally thought. 

Vlad is an intriguing juxtaposition of the modern day and a unique envisioning of vampire lore. With well-developed characters,  snappy dialogue, and numerous plot twists and turns, Vlad is a welcomed interpretation of the original Dracula story. Used as a stepping stone to spin a modern tale of intrigue, Vlad imagines a sophisticated urban fantasy read. If you are a fan of classic Nosferatu retellings, give Vlad a turn. 

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel, Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.