Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for the much anticipated release of the third instalment in Jay Raven’s Blood Riders series, The Lazarus Child.
The Lazarus Child – Blood Riders Book 3
To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness
Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.
One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
Fans of Anton Yoska are going to be delighted as the book is as exciting as they have been hoping for!
Whenever I review a book that comes further in the series, I have to consider whether I would recommend reading it as a standalone. In this case, I’d say start from Book 1 The Crimson Siege. First of all, the whole series is so gripping and enjoyable that it would be a shame to miss out on any part of it. Secondly, you’ll get a much better understanding of the protagonist Anton Yoska, his life story, character, and his motivations that would go a long way towards explaining his actions in this book.
If you’re not familiar with the series, here is a very brief re-cap:
The series is set in the 1860s, in Transylvania (a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire), a country which has been ravaged by a war with vampire. The humankind won and our protagonist Lord Marshal Anton Yoska played an important role in this victory. Despite his formidable reputation as a vampire slayer, he is out of favour with the court of Prince Leopold, who has sent Anton to serve as a lawman in a remote, poverty-stricken part of the country. While he is doing the best to protect and serve according to his unfaltering morality principles, a personal tragedy strikes. His beloved eight year old daughter Gretchen goes missing. The Crimson Siege and The Deadlight’s Deadly Kiss deal with a vampire siege of Brejnei, Yoska’s outpost, and the story Basium Lucis, the deadliest weapon against the infernal creatures.
The events of The Lazarus Child happen five years after the Brejnei siege. The book is as entertaining and action packed as its prequels. Terek and Sabina Madjeski, members of once all-powerful Majeski vampire family are languishing inprison. While they may not have completely abandoned their hopes for breaking free and ruling the world again, the reality is that they are being slowly starved to death. Cruel and despicable as Terek is, he is Anton’s only hope to find out what happened to Gretchen.
Deep down, he knows she couldn’t have survived these five years as a human. He must find her and do whatever he can to save her soul. Not that facing this truth comes easy. Sometimes wewill do everything to avoid thinking about our failures, especially when they concern people we love.After years of heavy drinking and slowly resigning himself to his dark fate, Anton has a second chance to bring mercy and be the father his child deserves, and his faithful companions are going to help him.
The second plotline is as exciting as the first one (later in the book they do converge). Someone has been kidnapping scientists all over the country. How? What for? Julius Gant, Prince Leopold’s Security chief, is on the case. When Prince Leopold himself is almost assassinated, the third plotline, involving Anton’s loyal apprentice, sixteen year old Tomas, emerges.
All these plotlines are masterfully interwoven in this fascinating world, full of political intrigues and scientific advances. Jay Raven is an amazing storyteller and a master of building suspense. Trust me, once you start this book, you’ll find it difficult to put it down. The chapters are short and end with nail-biting cliffhangers, begging you to continue reading. There are a few twists that took me by surprise, but the ending is logical and satisfying in its own way.
I’d recommend this gripping, fast-paced, and entertaining paranormal thriller to any reader who loves adventure stories with a historical twist. Can’t wait to read the next book!
Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
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