Review: Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
Published March 1st 2011 by Piatkus Books
Review copy provided by the publisher
First published in 1999, Dark Prince is the first book in the long and acclaimed Carpathians series. Carpathians are an ancient race of vampires – and Mikhail, the hero of Dark Prince, is their leader.
Mikhail does no longer see the world in colour. Literally. When a Carpathian male like himself is alone long enough, he no longer feels. Then his mind touches that of Raven, a human woman with psychic abilities. From the moment he meets her, he knows he has to have her. No matter the cost.
It was interesting to read Dark Prince. It predates paranormal romance series that shaped the genre such as Black Dagger Brotherhood. When I was reading it, it felt like the missing link between Anne Rice and modern paranormal romance. The vampires in Dark Prince are inspired by those written by Rice, in the sense that they are alien to humans. Mikhail, especially when we first meet him, is more predator than human. His instincts are completely vampire, and it is only through interacting with Raven that he learns to be (relatively) civilized.
I found it incredibly difficult to rate this book, because I’m not it’s target audience. Mikhail is one of the alpha-est of alpha males I have ever seen in a romance novel. He rules his underlings with absolute power. He claims Raven as his from the moment he discovers her. When a man touches Raven’s leg, he almost kills him, only stopping when Raven pleads with him. He carries her from the inn she is staying at, not even putting her down when she tells him to. He knows she is afraid, but he does not budge. And this is just within the first 24 hours of their acquaintance. I generally don’t enjoy reading romances featuring alpha males, only tolerating them if they are misunderstood and have a heart of gold deep down. Mikhail as a romantic hero did not work for me – even apart from the fact that he crosses many of my boundaries, I simply couldn’t root for someone with a personality as his.
Raven as a heroine was decent enough. She did not have a sparking personality, but she wasn’t as bland as I would have feared either. She seems to be rather standard fare, a heroine that is “normal” enough to be a stand-in for the reader. The world of the Carpathians was interesting enough to make me intrigued to learn more about them. I do enjoy it when vampires aren’t sparkly, and that Carpathians are most certainly not.
If alpha males make you swoon, and the idea of a dark prince sweeping you off your feet to make love to you in his library gets you going, Christine Feehan’s first Carpathian book is for you.
Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion
A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney’s work has drained her body and spirit, and now, in need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks on a vacation far from home.
The powerful leader of the Carpathians–a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night–Mikhail Dubrinsky is engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness.
From the moment they meet, Raven and Mikhail are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love.
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