Hall’s first book in a new series follows Lash, a “weresnake” assassin employed by a vampire.
The prologue opens in New Orleans, during the time of President Hoover, with Lash in the process of killing Ken, a man who surprises Lash by shape-shifting into a panther. Lash has to bite Ken and inject him with venom in order to kill him—a possibly incriminating mistake. Readers will be anxious to find out more about the past that haunts Lash, and the narrative delivers. The first chapter delves into his humble childhood as a weresnake named Trystan in the swamps of Florida. When Trystan is 16, his criminal father returns, complicating Trystan’s upbringing. His hope for a loving family reunion dashed, Trystan also loses his first love, Mara, a fully human woman. From there, readers follow Trystan as he ventures out, plagued by the strengths and weaknesses of his dual form and driven by an insatiable sexual desire. He meets a virgin, fully human woman named Gretchen, but their passion ends tragically, leaving Trystan longing for her. In the end, after becoming an assassin and perfecting his murderous skills, Trystan tries to recapture what he once felt for Gretchen. She tries to reciprocate, but the liaison once again ends in tragedy. Throughout the book, Trystan is steeped in regret; his empty, hopeful words are at once alluring and mournful. Fantasy fans will be enthralled by a world populated by werefoxes, werebears, werewolves and more, while evergreen themes—deception, regret, and the seeming inevitability of loneliness and despair—will pull readers in even closer. Given its gruesome killings and explicit, violent sex, this tale’s certainly only suitable for adults.
A salacious coming-of-age novel that will enrapture fantasy readers.