Vampires and werewolves are at it again...and for the most part, they still don’t like each other.
In this book, Duncan continues the saga of Tallula (the werewolf, also known as Vali) and Remshi (the vampire), one of the stranger love stories of modern times—and of ancient times as well, since their relationship goes back some 17,000 years. Although Tallula knows about “[s]pecies enmity…, Mutually Assured Detestation at the cellular level,” she still has a thing for her vampire lover. The novel opens with Remshi in a relationship with Justine Cavell. He’s bewildered when he shows up one night expecting to be received with open arms, though Justine is even more bewildered to see him because he’s actually been gone for almost two years. Remshi has almost no memory of his time away, though, given his nature, he realizes he’s probably been up to some naughtiness. Meanwhile, a vampire named Olek sends a mysterious diary to Tallula purporting to explain how to get rid of the curse of “turning”—the process of becoming a werewolf. In a flashback to prehistoric times, we learn of the budding relationship and sexual ferocity of Remshi and Vali; meanwhile, back in the contemporary world, Remshi has become convinced that Tallula is a “reborn” version of Vali. Talulla and her band of werewolves are attacked, and she, along with her daughter, Zoë, is kidnapped, but her son, Lorcan, escapes. Tallula is questioned—Inquisition style—by Cardinal Salvatore di Campanetti, but in an extraordinarily violent scene, she is eventually liberated when a gang of vampires comes to her rescue.
Duncan’s style is animated, and he recounts the imperatives of vampire and werewolf brutality and sexual aggressiveness with particular gusto.