My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you’re an Austen purist this novel is not for you. But if you like your literature with a pinch of tongue in cheek humour, are not averse to the odd smouldering and tortured vampire-with-a-soul, and know your BBC Pride and Prejudice back-to-front-while-standing-on-your-head, Mr Darcy, Vampyre was written for your delectation!
It is fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story follows the Darcy newly-weds on an unexpected wedding tour through Europe, delighting in turn through the salons of gay Paris and the conversazione of Italy, lingering just long enough on a Venetian masked ball… all the time in the shadow of a dark, supernatural secret!
For the vintage enthusiast there’s joy to be found in the historical fashion details. One paragraph in particular struck a chord with my secondhand sensibilities:
As Elizabeth looked at the clothes, she saw that they were very old, the glorious fabrics faded with age but exquisite in their beauty.
“Do you never dispose of gowns in your family?”asked Elizabeth, amazed at how many there were.
“In my family,” said Sophia pensively. “No. They remind us of other times, other balls, other lives, other loves.”
If you’re looking for high literature this is not for you. But for a fun – if supernatural – romp through Regency Europe you won’t do much better! Just don’t expect too much from the ending…