In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she’s on. She’s never brought her work home with her—until now.
This time, it’s personal.
When the last page of Red-Headed Stepchild had been turned, I groaned and thought, “Great, how long am I going to have to wait for the next one?”
Jaye Wells has a very impressive debut on her hands, built on the foundation of a wonderful and thought-provoking mythology, and strengthened by characters who get under your skin. The potential for this series is palpable.
Sabina’s world is populated with vampires, mages, demons and faeries. Each has their own ruling system, allies, and agendas. The differences in the groups wind-up the tension, pulling it tight, and half-vampire, half-mage Sabina finds herself in the crosshairs.
I liked Sabina a lot, but more specifically I liked that we get to see why she cultivated a tough as nails exterior. It makes her highly sympathetic, yes, but it makes her actions credible and her rare displays of emotion all the more heartfelt. In some ways Sabina reminded me of Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, and she’s one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines.
And then there’s Adam. He’s a mage. An enigmatic, empathetic mage with a sarcastic wit and a tattoo in a very interesting place. Needless to say, I absolutely cannot wait to encounter him again.
A host of secondary characters add to the world in their own way – including a shape shifting demon that provides comic relief. Every person in this book is a catalyst or pawn and I think that shows a great amount of control on the author’s part; she really needed to know what she was doing to make each individual seem relevant to the story.
Honestly? What I loved most about this book was the credible, thoughtful mythology behind it. For instance, while I won’t give anything away, I will say that Sabina explains the origin of vampires in this world and it’s really, really great. What’s better? If the foreshadowing in this novel is any indication, Ms. Well’s has only scraped the surface of the mythology she created. And that’s exciting because it means there’ll be many twists and turns to come.
If you enjoy urban fantasy that feels fully realized – even if it’s not laid out at your feet in the first outing – you’ll definitely enjoy this book. And if you like swift action, serious sexual tension, and a solid dose of intrigue you’ll like it even more.
Red-Headed Stepchild is an outstanding entry in the urban fantasy genre, one I thoroughly enjoyed, and I think the series will only get better with each new book. As I said before, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next one, and I only hope it won’t be too long of a wait.
Come March 31st, the official release date, I hope you’ll pick up a copy and see for yourself.
I was lucky to receive an arc, but I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to share the love and hold a giveaway for a finished copy of the book. Here’s the deal:
- Click on the link in the sidebar to the right and leave me your name and email address. One entry per person, please.
- From the entries I get, a winner will be chosen through a random drawing and posted here on March 31st.
- At this time I can only ship to addresses in the U.S.
Please feel free to make this giveaway known!