4 astounded Stars
“Black Swan Field Training Manual Section I: Chapter 1, #1 The plural of vampire is vampire.”
The minute I jumped into this book, I knew I had found one of those once in a lifetime books. One of those books that stays with you forever because you are so immediately and intimately drawn into a new world, populated with intriguing characters that to leave would simply leave you heartbroken, so why do such a silly thing?
The Order of the Black Swan was founded to exterminate the vampire plague. Vampires in this world are nasty buggers with no conscience out to bleed humans dry and take everything they can. The Knights of Black Swan are the frontline to achieve this mission, and the best of the best is B Team – Engel Storm, Chaos “Kay” Caelian and Rammel Hawking. Storm is human, Kay is a berserker and Ram is an elf. They’re mourning a lost team member when a lump of flesh, that may or may not be human, or even alive, is deposited, seemingly out of thin air, onto the floor of their C.O.’s office.
That lump turns into the gorgeous, beguiling and utterly alien Elora Laiken who immediately wins the hearts of Ram and Storm and has them fighting for her hand for the majority of the rest of the book. Elora turns out to be fiercely independent, whip smart, thoroughly capable and more than enough of a match for the entirety of B Team.
There’s a part of me that would very much like to just riddle this review with quotes because it’s written so brilliantly, that I’d rather you read the story as Victoria Danann wrote it, than read me prattle on about the book. To try to outline the entire cast of characters and the adventures they experience in this book doesn’t do the reader or the book anything even close to resembling justice. This is a book that demands to be experienced, not summarized. These characters demand to be listened to in full, not quoted.
The author has masterfully crafted a doorway into a brand new world with My Familiar Stranger that defies description. A world that bares resemblance to our everyday lives, but adds a tremendous amount of glamour, darkness, joy and knowledge that fairytales (excuse me, elftales) all hold more than a kernel of truth. I’m a fan for life not only of this series, but also of Victoria Danann’s writing style – gorgeous, lyrical, honest, it speaks straight to that place where my intellect meets my soul and that is a once in a lifetime experience indeed.
*This review was originally published for Wicked Women Book Blog.*