Author: Kristen Painter
Published: October 1st, 2011 by Orbit
Summary (from Goodreads):
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
A daring novel in a book world full of vampire fiction, Blood Rights by Kristen Painter is a devilishly amusing read with plenty of action around every bend and a rich suspenseful plot line that will leave readers hanging on to every word and chapter heading.
Chrysabelle lives in a world full of vampires and gold. Raised and trained as a constant meal for her master vampire, the one that will choose her and buy her, Chrysabelle only knows the life of a comarré. A life filled with exquisite blood that runs through her veins and vampires surrounding her every move. When her master vampire comes up dead, beheaded, but not ash, Chrysabelle is the first suspect. Without waiting for a verdict, Chrysabelle runs to her aunts house in New Florida and into a series of events that leave her not only changed, but full of a wanting she never expected.
In today's fiction, vampires run rampant through the streets of book isles everywhere, glittering, biting, sucking and grasping for the attention of every person who glances their way. In YA fiction, there is no shortage, so it is with great pains that each and every author who plows into the genre must face making their vampire and vampire world unique and beautiful. Kristen Painter has done just that. Blood Rights, a Gothic dystopian world where the comarré are inked in beautiful gold filigree, made to make their blood even more heavenly and pure to the vampires that would use them for the red that fills their veins, is distinctive with it's very own voice. Chrysabelle is one of the purest of comarré. Ranked highest among comarré, her filigree outranks all in number and design.
But, at over 100 years old, Chrysabelle does not want to be owned, she wants freedom. Mysterious and strong, Chrysabelle is a strong female protagonist who doesn't let anyone tell her what do do. She is arrogant and sometimes unwilling to part or compromise with what she wants, even at times when it seems that there is a better option. In this matter, we love Chrysabelle, but we also want to smack her upside the head. I blame this solely on the male protagonist of the book, Mal.
I'm not sure if it's because as readers we can see where the book is headed, but most likely it's because of the third person narration, and so we know what each character is thinking and all we want is for both Chrysabelle and Mal to stop dancing around each other and get to it. Of course, Ms. Painter loves to torture us as readers and to be honest, I don't mind because, really what would the fun be in any kind of HEA if there wasn't some pain along the way. Lucky for me, Mal is everything I love to read about and more. Tormented constantly by the voices of everyone he's ever killed, swimming around in his head, Mal is a very brooding vampire. He may have once been a murdering fiend, but the voices have given him the gift of constant guilt and therefore a good reason to stop sucking the life out of everyone he meets. Delightfully anguished in one count, snarky and witty in another, he is well layered and graciously conflicting. I love him. He's enchanting, even while he debates with the monstrous voices within, of whether or not Chrysabelle would be better off dead, by his hands. Then again, I could just be a sucker for the sexy brooding vampire. On the other hand, I think the voices provide an evil sort of comedic relief.
Even more so than the main characters, the world building of Blood Rights is dark and different, creating a world that sets more than just setting, but also mood. Infiltrating ever corner of our imagination, New Florida and Romania's dark atmospheres and pungent smells and sounds darken the scene and enlighten our minds. And with the host of secondary characters running through the streets, it's a benevolent beauty of a thing to be able to see it all in my mind's eye.
Overall, Blood Rights is dark and intense, with characters that are well developed and wickedly layered. Ms Painter has successfully planted herself as a unique contender in the vampire world and I can only hope one day I can find myself some gold filigree. I give Blood Rights, the first in the series, a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of Young Adult, Vampire Fiction.