Wheeler (Scions of Azazyel, 2017, etc.) launches a fantasy series with a tale of a witch-turned-vampire whose new life includes mythical creatures and her own coven.
Lilith has been capable of wielding magic and conversing with spirits ever since she was a child. After her parents die, she opens a shop, telling fortunes and selling amulets in the town of Endor. There, she meets a man named Lamech, and the two gradually fall in love. Lamech admits that he’s a vampire, and Lilith allows him to turn her so that the two can spend immortality together. She later gets pregnant and subsequently gives birth to a gorgon, whom they name Medusa. But when King David, who has a policy of banishing and killing magic-users, sends troops to Endor, the couple and their child flee. While they’re at sea, sailors attempt to rob them, inciting a fiery confrontation that separates Lamech from his wife and child. Lamech, who believes that Lilith and Medusa are dead, becomes the prisoner of a powerful immortal, while Lilith establishes a coven of vampires in Greece. Years later, she hears of Maldivar, a vampire using werewolves in a quest to destroy others of his own kind, and it isn’t long before he and his beastly lackeys come for Lilith’s coven. Wheeler’s story seamlessly blends Christian elements with Greek mythology. Medusa’s father, Lamech, for example, is Cain’s descendant, whose vampirism stems from accidentally killing his ancestor; thus, he’s afflicted with Cain’s curse. There’s a plethora of other recognizable figures, as well, from fallen angels to Lilith’s lover Adonis and their twin gorgon daughters, Sthenno and Euryale. Wheeler effectively teases the series’ epic potential by prefacing chapters with snippets of verse, which sometimes allude to larger events, such as the biblical Great Flood, which Lamech witnessed firsthand. A 15-year narrative gap omits essential parts of Lilith’s backstory, including her process of amassing her coven, but this and other events may yet be explored in planned sequels.
Familiar mythological characters populate a creative, enjoyable story.