By: Kate Locke
Publish Date: June 3, 2012
Format: Print, 342pg
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: 1st book in The Immortal Empire series
Recommendation: Aaah, yes. Crafty creation of the Vampires, Werewolves, and Goblins in this Victorian era set novel. And the story over Xandra, well done with timing of details and information.
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
I hate goblins.
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**I entered for a copy of this book at Goodreads and agreed to do an honest review.
Xandra's sister has gone missing. She's hoping the goblins, which stay underground yet know everything topside, can help her find her sister. She learns her sister was committed to Bedlam, the Asylum, and the goblins feel sorry for Xandra. Something more is going on? If the strong and powerful goblins feel pity for you, instead of coerce you to stay for their pleasure, things are worse than they seem. Drusilla, Dede, attacked a peer and threatened him in front of many witnesses. She wasn't herself. In exchange from the powerful full-blood - Dede's ex - and his wife, no charges would be made if she was put in Bedlam. For a moment we start to think Dede will be okay, though Xandra will get her out of this horrid place, when the bad news follows. Then news of birth records being stolen, including Xandra in the year taken. Xandra finds herself learning secrets she never thought to exist. Slowly Xandra gets a different view of everything. Experiments are going on and Xandra never saw it happening, never suspected. Xandra will turn the kingdom upside down with what she learns. With looking for her sister, learning secrets, and running from someone after her, Xandra tries to remember her daily supplements. Xandra finds herself at the center of the Insurrectionists, those fighting against the Aristocrats and the secrets she learns that could upset the whole world and rule she's known and sworn her life to protect.
First I have to say, people are classifying this as steampunk. In my opinion, it's not. It's set in a Victorian Era, yes. Steampunk items present, well, maybe but not even close to enough to classify this steampunk. This book is Urban Fantasy to me. It's more about the plague that infected the aristocrats and created Vampires and Werewolves. Then when they tried to reproduce together, and the plagued blood didn't mix, goblins were created.
I'm taken with the tweaking to the British history. The plague is what has manifested and turned people to what are considered Vampires, Werewolves and goblins. Very well thought out and organized.
Aaah, loved the take of the plague turning aristocrats to Vampire and werewolves, and the blending of the two that doesn't work together well to create goblins. Loved this creation and explanation for the paranormal. Xandra is what they consider half-blood - one parent a plagued aristocrat (vampire) and one parent human. There are other half-bloods that are of a werewolf aristocratic blood line. Depending on where the parent is from as Scotland and England had different results from the plague, Werewolf and Vampire. And the two don't blend well, the different strands when tried to reproduce together create the horrid and frightening Goblins.
I found I was feeling with Xandra through out the story. The sorrow for her sister. The confusion with realizations of things she thought true, and were or were not. The eye opening secrets in a world she thought she knew. The paranoia of those thinking she'll go to the deep end like her sister and mystery unfolding.
And loved reading Xandra coming into her own and learning the truths and secrets kept hidden. This is DEFINITELY a world I want to revisit. There was a touch of a romance starting but the world and the creation here has my attention. I want to know what is to come for Xandra now that she knows what she does.