Angel’s Adjectives: epic and evocative
The vampire’s journey has fascinated us for hundreds of years. It, quite often, begins in tragedy and ends in even more tragedy. Everything in between is tragedy, romance, and tragedy. What is it about that combination that draws us in so completely?
I’ve just finished Orpheus: A Vampire’s Rise by VMK Fewings (her second vampire saga), and I found it had all the qualities of a traditional vampire story, with a few twists that set it apart. The story involves Daumía Velde, who is human for the first third of the book. This is his origin story, the early days of his pre-vampirism and post-embrace life.
Ms. Fewings has a lyrical and economical style that fits beautifully with the theme of her novel. While the story itself is epic, covering great distances and many years, Ms. Fewings chooses to focus on particular events, like points of punctuation, and to bring those captured moments fully into the imagination. Her skill at description inserts you, me, the reader into those moments along with the characters. In them, we find beauty, horror, and love that moves the heart. It moved mine.
Perhaps my one complaint about the book is that I wanted more of that depth. Sometimes, the periods that Ms. Fewings skips are parts of Daumía’s life that I would have liked to see. And yet, a book can only be so long. The story was completely told, and at the end, it all came together.
Anyone who is a fan of the vampire subgenre of horror, especially historical horror (since the story is spread across the 15th through 19th centuries), will devour this book. Its fast pace keeps you involved and looking for the next exciting moment, which you know is just around the corner—and you won’t be disappointed.
Orpheus: A Vampire’s Rise is the prequel to Ms. Fewing’s first novel, called StoneMasters: A Vampire’s Reckoning, but you don’t need to read them in any particular order. Either way, it’s a thrilling ride.
Plot Summary (from the back of the book):
For a vampire, the journey from life to death is just the beginning.
For Daumía Velde, this torment will take him from the savage bullfighting arenas of 15th century Spain, into the terrifying chambers of desolate mausoleums. From the darkest, winding, city streets of London into bohemian castles imbued with corridors of eternal secrets and endless lies, yet to be discovered.
As Daumía hunts down his brother’s murderer, he becomes entwined in the fateful love of the alluring Sunaria, the woman that will change his life forever. But as the blood spills and the love grows, Daumía finds that the price of revenge may be the very salvation of his soul.
Struggling to hold on to the last remnants of his humanity, Daumía emerges from the underworld, rising out of the ashes of his past and evolving into the deadliest of killers, one that no mortal or immortal can resist.