Ah, treachery among vampires. How very quaint. Such is the case in Bloodbound, a Pathfinder Tales novel authored by F. Wesley Schneider. One of the main characters, Larsa, bears the burden of being the child of a vampire that betrayed his clan. Raised by a grandfather who filled her head with unpleasant stories of what a horrible, worthless person her father was, Larsa grew to hate him yet at the same time wonder about the father she never knew. The thing I notice about vampire stories is that, on many occasions, the authors elect to have their own rules about vampires. Oh, sure, there's the antiquated yet indestructible rule about how the sun will turn vampires into ash, but I have noticed authors changing things here or there, like what keeps s vampire away or what can kill a vampire. In this novel's case, the author touched on yet another common part of a vampire story: the question of whether or not a vampire can father children.
Larsa is a tough assassin, half-human and half-vampire. But she’s no Blade; she can pretty much manage her bloodthirst without the need for any kind of serum injection. She’s also smart, strong, independent and witty. She was definitely one of my favorite characters. I laughed when she threatened someone with, "And if I hear you say 'miss' again, I'll throw you over those cliffs." Though despite my liking Larsa, I had to question why she thought she could trust Rivascis the second time she goes to see him. Why does she think she could trust him? Just because he's her father? She shouldn't trust him! She shouldn't trust anyone! And yet she let herself walk right into a trap. I guess she must've thought that after having that little pow-wow with him, in which she DID NOT kill him, they were all of a sudden BFFs.
As to Larsa's brother Considine: I did like this character too. And he did not disappoint. In fact, I loved this character. He was definitely my favorite. It was crazy that people kept trying to kill him. I had a good laugh when, after being stabbed by his father, he bemoans, “I’m starting to think I’m not the favorite child.”
Jadain, another character who plays a major role in the story and who is the second POV-character this story is told through, was another character I liked but I also felt a sort of kinship for her. I know too well the struggle of trying to be “perfect” in a religion while coping with the struggles of being human. But that particular failing is what I liked about her. She took pity on what her religious order considered to be “monsters” and she was not afraid to consort with the undead, no matter how much she ended up being damned by her order because of it. There was also a funny Jadain moment in the story: “Was I trying to comfort a vampire? I’d pray for forgiveness later.”
The character Rivascis is mysterious but I didn't like him much. The dude is arrogant. Full of himself. He actually liked believing that Ailson Kindler was obsessed with him. Ah, the lies and delusions we like to tell ourselves. I'm glad that, at least, Larsa is smart enough to see through his delusion. Although Rivascis is Larsa’s father, there were no sappy moments shared between them and Larsa pretty much closed the book on the years lost with her father a long time ago. Rivascis, at least, acknowledges as much.
The ending had me gripping the book, holding my breath. It was intense. It was awesome. And it was perfect.
I enjoyed reading this novel. It made me fall in love with vampire fiction all over again. I am not familiar with the Pathfinder tales, but I discovered that, in order to enjoy this novel, I didn’t need to be. It’s a story that can stand on its own in its own way and with its own secrets for the reader to discover.
Larsa is a dhampir-half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of gothic Ustalav, she's an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital's secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet when a noblewoman's entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know.
From Pathfinder co-creator and noted game designer F. Wesley Schneider comes Bloodbound, a dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.