Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dark Prince

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
Mikhail Dubrinsky is the prince of his people, the Carpathians. But they are dying out. There are few women, and the men are either falling prey to vampires or are choosing the soulless life.

Losing all hope, Mikhail is no longer sure he can bear the bleak future laid before him. The only thing that can add light to his life, can relieve his terrible haunting loneliness, is to find a life mate. But he has given up believing one exists. As the beast rages inside, threatening to consume him, he vents his centuries-old despair in an anguished cry that fills the waning night. And then, incredibly, a life-saving voice answers him.

Raven Whitney has a rare gift: she not only can read minds, but she can communicate telepathically. But her talent is not always a gift. Her job is to track the twisted mental paths of serial killers, and their evil thoughts drain her both mentally and physically. Now, she is hoping to heal and comes seeking a quiet escape in the Carpathian Mountains. But when she mentally hears the anguished cry at dawn, she can not ignore it, unaware that her life is about to change forever.
--Dark Prince by Christine Feehan, Copyright ©2005

My Review:

I tried to stop myself. Truly, I did try. I told myself “Self, you’ve read this story at least twice if not three times. You do not need to read/listen to it again. Find something else to listen to…you’ve a huge audio library…choose something else!” But as much as I tried, I just couldn’t help myself and loaded up my iPod with Dark Prince.

If you’ve never ready any of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series (sometimes called Dark series), this is the first book and the one you need to start with. It lays out the foundation of the entire series and you need that foundation to understand the remaining books in the series.

Mikhail Dubrinsky, unable to continue his bleak existence, decides to end his life. He has despaired for centuries, seeking his lifemate, the light to his darkness, and has been unable to find her. But in the anguish of his last night, a voice reaches out to him. Young, understanding, female. Who is this strange woman and why is she able to communicate with him in his mind? He decided to find out and discovers a woman staying at a nearby inn. Mikhail is unable to take his eyes off of her because he has at last found what he was looking for. His lifemate.

Raven Whitney is exhausted, mentally and physically, and has come to the Carpathian Mountains to rest. A psychic skilled at hunting serial killers, she is on the verge of collapse due to the demands of her job and only wishes to be left alone to rest. But the mental touch of a man in pain causes her to reach out and offer some measure of comfort. Little did she know that in that brief moment of compassion, she was sealing her fate and linking her life to a man who would draw her into a world of wonder, beauty, passion…and blood.

I was and still am a bit bothered by Raven’s easy capitulation to Mikhail’s will. I’d’ve expected her to put up more of a fight, make Mikhail work for her love rather than just decide it must be so and that’s it. Now, Raven gives Mikhail plenty of sass—she’s no wilting flower—but it’s pretty much a fait accompli that Mikhail will win Raven’s heart, simply because he wishes it. I think the man needs to work for his woman, even if they are destined to be together.

The different obstacles thrown in their path—vampire hunters who believe Mikhail to be the undead, a jealous wanna-be suitor, a rogue master vampire who wants Raven, and the introduction of half a dozen or so minor characters who will have their own stories in the future—are nicely woven together with a few jarring notes. The introduction of Aiden is the most jarring as he appears late in the story, seemingly from nowhere, and does nothing to move forward the plot.

However, Ms. Feehan’s skill as a teller of passionate tales improves greatly over the life of the series (I know because I’ve already read them all) and the stories become richer, more detailed, and draw the reader deeper and deeper into the Carpathian world. I thoroughly enjoy the series, and if you’re interested in reading a different take on the standard vampire stories, I urge you to give this series a try.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

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