Reviewed by: Candace
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Every paranormal hero has a moment where the reader realizes he is not going to be soon forgotten. A British vampire waving a half-breed away in a bar. Two vampires discussing the latest fashion trends with their human friend who happens to be a cop. A dragon perched atop a New York City skyscraper. A man, who defies logic, being condescending in his Dublin bookstore. Or a creature of legend just getting off of a helicopter and striding toward a house. For Trehan Daciano, that moment came when he chose to observe his bride crafting her weapons instead of claiming her outright.
Prince of Shadows, Sword of the Dacians, Trehan has spent his non-blooded existence in his sanctuary (when not killing, of course), simply existing. Life with no meaning, other than serving the Dacian crown, Trehan was virtually numb until he felt the outright agony of another.
Bettina, Queen of Hearts, has just been taken away from torture at the hands of Vrekeners. Her power was stolen by her captors and she is trying desperately to both get it back and win the approving eye of the demon she loves, Caspion. Until she becomes slightly intoxicated on demon brew and bloods Trehan Daciano, who has stumbled upon her while in search of his next target, Bettina’s demon Caspion.
The problem is that Caspion (to put his mildly) is very amorous, free with his liberties and does not return Bettina’s affections. She is stuck between her girlish fantasies of a demon she can not have, and womanly fantasies of a vampire who wants her more than anything.
This is the crux of Shadow’s Claim. There are balls of lint under your couch with better self esteem than Bettina has. She is forever pining over Caspion. He clearly looks upon Bettina as a friend, someone to protect, perhaps even sibling-type love. He’s very protective of her, but leaves her side to go have sex with anything and everything else. Yet Trahan, loyal to Dacia despite never being able to return, struggles with guilt over his assignment of killing Caspion, knowing how much it will hurt his bride to do so. He waits for her (even though sometimes it is through gritted teeth) and he does not have eyes for anyone else. Bettina has blooded him, leaving Trehan free to have sex with any woman he wants, yet he stays true. I often wondered why Bettina would be so intent on Caspion, who is not interested in her that way, when Trehan has made it clear he will do any and everything to keep his bride happy.
Obviously, we get past that and go on to a veritable mish mash of Lorean happiness. Of course, this means a fight. When you’re talking about the Lore, the bigger and bloodier, the better. The fight is a supernatural smackdown among the many different factions, all for the title of King to Abaddon with Bettina as his queen (and all that entails as well). We have visits from old favorites (perhaps a Soothsayer, maybe a Queen of Illusions and a Hillbilly Bride and her husband).
Most importantly, we get extended mentions of and glimpses into what is happening with our favorite Immortals After Dark vampire: Lothaire Daciano, The Enemy of Old. Lothaire and Elizabeth have some of the best lines of the book. Laughter ensued.
With Shadow’s Claim, Kresley Cole’s done it again. Bring on MacRieve!
Sexual content: Graphic sex