Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Billed as the steampunk debut of the year, this title opens in 2012 with an undead Queen Victoria still ruling. Of course, conspiracy is brewing. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
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Xandra Vardan is a member of the Royal Guard in an alternate Britain where the aristocracy includes vampires and werewolves, and Queen Victoria-the first vampire to take the throne-reigns, young and beautiful as ever. An immortal ruling class has implications beyond mere blood-drinking; technological and social changes are inhibited, often in strange and unexpected ways. Same-sex marriage is legal, for example, but horse-drawn carriages run the fashionable streets. Xandra, the daughter of an aristocratic vampire, is drawn into a world of deadly conspiracies when her sister vanishes under suspicious circumstances. What with plots to kill the queen, sinister secret medical experiments, and some oddly sympathetic cannibal goblins, there's treachery at every turn. Locke's writing is smart and fast-paced, full of sharp dialogue and vivid detail. This stylish, original story is perfectly suited to a wonderfully constructed world. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Vampires and werewolves abound in this debut urban fantasy series by the pseudonymous Locke (Kate Cross, who also writes as Kathryn Smith). It's 2012, and Queen Victoria is a vampire celebrating her 175th year of rule over the British Empire, which includes Scotland and its prince, an alpha werewolf, and the Prince of the Plague, the leader of ferocious, terrifying goblins who inhabit the abandoned London underground. Xandra Vardan, a "halfie" (born of a human mother courtesan and a vampire aristocrat) is a member of the Royal Guard who protect the queen. When her neurotic half-sister Dede commits suicide, Xandra secretly investigates her death despite receiving verbal and physical threats. As she gets closer to solving this mystery, Xandra begins to exhibit abilities that surprise both her opponents and herself. Verdict Readers will be intrigued by the author's original take on the origins of vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures and their interactions with "normal" humans. Rapid-paced action and an original interpretation of goblins (they are not J.K. Rowling's cranky, clever, gold-centric goblins) add much to differentiate Locke's fantasy from the rest of the pack. Fans of urban fantasy who appreciate the supernatural with a side of romanticism will enjoy this.-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib, Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.