The Black Lily (Tales of the Black Lily #1)
Published: Mar. 27, 2017 (Entangled Select Otherworld)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
What if Prince Charming were a vampire? See, you’re already hooked, aren’t you? The premise of The Black Lily is just that simple on the surface. For years, Arabelle has the scrubbed floors of a hateful old woman with two horrible daughters, though in this case they’re not related. Then everything changes when she attends a ball at the palace and falls in love with the prince. It also gets a lot more complicated because while she still flees at the stroke of midnight, she leaves the prince holding not her shoe, but her dagger. Which she’s just stabbed into his chest.
Arabelle is the leader of a group called the Black Lily that wants to end the feudal system and overthrow the vampire rulers. Assassinating the prince was supposed to be the beginning of their movement. She didn’t count on the prince surviving her attack or being attracted to her in spite of it.
After the ball, the book leaves most of the Cinderella story behind. I kind of missed the shoe fitting montage, and felt like vampire senses made finding her real identity seem too easy. But it still maintains a fairytale feel with a nod to Beauty and the Beast and a big dose of Little Red Riding Hood. And in true Brothers Grimm fashion, the story goes dark and gory at the end. But I guessed who the villain was early on, because it’s a fairytale so of course it was.
The vampire elements and Arabella’s Buffy-like attitude gave a slightly more modern feel to the feudal era, which is earlier than I usually like my historical romance even though it fits Cinderella nicely. I enjoyed Arabelle’s adversarial relationship with the prince much more than a traditional ‘fairytale romance’. I also liked the supporting characters, both the members of the Black Lily and the prince’s vampire guard.
And there’s one unique piece of Cross’s vampire mythos that I hope we get to learn more about: somewhere deep in the enchanted forest lies the hartstone, the magical gem that created the first vampire as well as the hartwolves, very large, very smart wolves that Arabelle meets in the forest. (If they have human forms, it hasn’t been revealed yet, but I’m hopeful.) I’m quite curious about whether the stone or more of its creations might appear later in the series. The second book, The Red Lily, is out in June.
Sexual content: graphic sex