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Blood Feud is the second book in The Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey. It was published on 5th July 2010 by Bloomsbury and it is 272 pages long.
The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. Isabeau St Croix managed to survive the French Revolution, losing both her parents and being turned into a vampire. Now, she has one mission. A mission to defeat the British Lord who turned her and left her to die underground. Logan Drake stands in the way of Isabeau completing her mission and she can't help but feel extremely connected to him.
As Helena's (Logan's mother) royal coronation as the next vampire queen edges closer and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha's reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmartre - a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange (Logan's sister) to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself - the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.
What I loved most about Blood Feud was that the main characters had a lot more depth than in My Love Lies Bleeding. Being able to see who Isabeau was in both the past and present made it possible to feel for her so much because of what she had been through. Because of this, I could completely understand why she is how she is and her actions/ reactions were justified. Unfortunately, I did think that Isabeau was a much better rounded character than Logan because we get to find out so much about her. I was glad to see that he was brought into her own story at different times throughout as it seemed to blend everything together well.
Blood Feud is told from both Logan and Isabeau's point of view, much like how the story was told in the first book although it is not in alternate chapters. Sometimes one character will have a couple of chapters to themselves. Both characters have different personalities so the way that they tell the story is easily distinguishable from one to the other. Logan brings humour to the story and has quite a few witty one liners whereas Isabeau is more reserved and 'prim and proper' at times. I liked how their personalities and decisions bounced off one another and this gave the story a lighter feel.
As a couple, I liked Logan and Isabeau so much more than Lucy and Nicholas. It was nice to see them make a couple of appearances though, along with other Drake family members. The Drake family seems like one I would be afraid to be apart of, considering how much is always going on and the death threats at every turn. Alyxandra Harvey knows how to make a book action packed though, that's for sure. The excitement of what was happening is mixed really well with the budding romance between Logan and Isabeau and I felt as though neither aspect overpowered the other at any point. I read this in one sitting, partly because it is quite short but mostly because I couldn't wait to find out what happened.
It doesn't happen very often but it is nice to see a book in a series that also works extremely well as a stand alone. Ok, there would be a couple of tiny point that may be confusing but nothing that I wouldn't have been able to get over. I truly loved Blood Feud and can't wait until the third instalment, Out for Blood, which is due for release in November. I think I'd be happy with any of these Drake brothers.
I was immensely excited for the second installment in the Drake Chronicles and I know a lot of you are excited for it too! Blood Feud picks up just under two weeks after My Love Lies Bleeding ends, and times are really quite tough for the Drake's. With Lady Natasha gone, the courts are preparing for Helena's coronation, and everything is not as easy as it sounds.
In Blood Feud, we meet Isabeau St. Croix (awesome name!), who you might faintly recognize from the ending of My Love Lies Bleeding. Isabeau is a Hound, left for dead in a coffin for about two hundred years by Greyhaven. Isabeau has waited a very long time waiting to get her revenge on Greyhaven, but her plan isn't left *exactly* intact when she is required to join forces with the Drakes' and fight against Montmartre, who's still after Solange to be his Vampire bride. Logan is also a narrator, the fashionable brother - of Solange - older by just two years, but a lot older in his chosen style of clothing - dressing daily in some form of frills and/or frocks.
Blood Feud is told from the perspective of both Logan and Isabeau. Logan's parts were full of humour, I couldn't stop laughing at the really cute, sweet things he kept saying! Isabeau's bit was more shy, and weary almost. I warmed to Isabeau immediately. Her chapters on the distressing past she had, were exquisite. I loved reading her fascinating story, and the historical characteristics were perfect. I liked how much we got to know Isabeau, and how strongly she was depicted; I really understood why she was such an angry fighter, so enthused, so ambitious.
They made such a gorgeous couple together, I was so relieved when Isabeau finally came to her senses about her feelings! They have a really powerful connection ;D Although, like Dwayne, I am still on Team Lucy-Nicholas!
The narrative doesn't alternate in the point of view every time, but given in 'chunks'. I noted there were numerous chapters from Isabeu's angle, and then several from Logan. In Isabeau's parts, there were flashbacks woven into the narrative, which I thought gave her lots of character. Although some of the things I learnt made my skin *crawl*. I might just add that there is quite a lot of dramatic representation on her part. Quite detailed. And gory.
Blood Feud is a light-hearted, witty novel with an action-packed plot, Harvey presents us with an energetic, fun sequel to My Love Lies Bleeding and I shall definitely be looking forward to next book in the Drake chronicles, Out For Blood (out November 2010.
*This is a review of the second book in The Drake Chronicles and as such MAY contain some spoilers if you haven't read the first...you were warned!*
With Lady Natasha's reign ended and Helena, mother of the famous Drake siblings, due to be crowned queen vampire, tensions are high and an alliance between the clans must be reached if they stand any chance against common enemy, Montemarte and his army of Host. Still determined to have Helena's daughter, Solange, as his wife and thus make him ruler of the clans, he's significantly upped his game.
But negotiations aren't going to be easy. Sent to represent the Hound clan, Isabeau St. Croix is holding a grudge of her own against the evil British Lord, Greyhaven, who turned Isabeau then left her buried in a coffin for over 200 years. Will her determination to seek revenge, along with her increasing affection for Logan Drake put everyone at risk? Then there's the problem of the wild and untamed Hel-Blar clan who are multiplying at an alarming rate. Can the two clans put aside their differences and restore peace amongst the vampires?
I read the first instalment in The Drake Chronicles (My Love Lies Bleeding) a few months ago and while I liked it, I didn't love it. The book focused on Solange (the only daughter in the ancient Drake family), one of her seven brothers Nick and her human best friend Lucy. I instantly loved the family dynasty and vampire history Alyxandra Harvey created amongst the Drakes and the other vampire clans, although found the sheer amount of characters a little confusing. Looking back after reading Blood Feud it's clear that book one is the series setter, and in this second instalment things significantly improve.
This time, the story is told from the perspectives of Isabeau St Croix and Logan Drake with Solange, Nicholas and Lucy taking a backseat in minor roles. I have to say I wasn't all that disappointed about this as contrary to other reviewers, I didn't warm that much to Lucy at all (I found her quite annoying).
I loved Isabeau instantly. This girl has history, myth and magic seeping from her pores. She's strong in a quiet, genteel and dignified kind of way too, having suffered extreme horrors during the French Revolution only to be cruelly turned into a vampire and buried (sort of) alive for 200 years. I really felt for her, and also respected her. Logan really developes as a character too throughout the book, starting out as a flirt who doesn't really take himself seriously to a real heart racing hero, both loyal and protective. The chemistry that builds between the two is intense and while I preferred reading from Isabeau's perspective, I also didn't mind hopping over to Logan's and seeing her through his eyes.
Unlike the first book, which also splits between two narratives, in Blood feud Alyxandra Harvey takes the unusual step of also adding in a third person narrative detailing Isabeau's life as a human during The French revolution. By far my favourite parts of the book, these sections moved this series from 'like' to 'love'. Really, when Alyxandra Harvey finishes with the Drakes and Vamps, she should think about writing historical fiction, I could have read a whole book of Isabeau's experiences in this time. Harvey really brought to life the period and also had me squirming with horror at some gruesome guillotine scenes. They also really add to Isabeau's character in the present and made her a fascinating character full of depth and added dimensions. In this book we also have magic, ancient ritual and witchcraft added in from the Hounds and their shamanka leader, Kala, which I absolutely adored and was right up my street.
As I mentioned earlier, the sheer number of characters, clans and allegiances made the first book a little hard to follow and while they become much clearer in this book, there were occasions when I did have to read back to remind myself about the clans. By the time I reached the end I did feel I have everything finally set up in my mind and look forward to discovering more about the tribes in future books. I'm not so keen on some of the snark between the more modern characters, to me it feels a little forced at times and I prefer the historical detail by far. I get the feeling this may just be me, as I know others who love these books because of the sarccy dialogue between the Drakes.
What I really like about Alyxandra Harvey's Drake chronicles is the depth, dynamics and history of the vampire world she's created and the strong feisty female characters (yay for that!). Keeping her books relatively short at around 250 pages each, she avoids long, mundane and boring descriptive passages and the books are constantly exciting, fast moving and action packed. This is an excellent second book in which is fast becoming an amazing series. I'd certainly recommend vampire fans to give these a go and especially those looking for something a little different. I'm eagerly awaiting the third book, Out For Blood, due for release on the 1st November!
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey was published by Bloomsbury 5th July 2010