August 09, 2014

Blood Prophecy (The Drake Chronicles, Book 6)

by Alyxandra Harvey
Walker Books/Bloomsbury
475 pp.
Ages 14+

Blood Prophecy, the sixth and final book of Alyxandra Harvey's The Drake Chronicles, came out at the end of last year but I couldn't bear to read it.  Ending trilogies is hard enough. Imagine what it's like having committing yourself to getting involved with characters after six books. But it's time.  Time to wrap up story-lines, relationships and clean up the messes from nasty vampires and rogue hunters.

When the various vampire tribes gathered at the Blood Moon (Book 5) to forge relationships and see the new queen crowned, Solange, the youngest of the Drake offspring, was not dealing well with her new vampire-ness, seeming to have gone to the darkside and listening to a voice that encourages her to feed her blood lust (not something her family does).  Sadly, her brother Nicholas and her best friend, Lucy, Nicholas' girlfriend, get caught up in her machinations, which then threaten all the Drakes and relationships between tribes.

While Solange struggles to command her thinking and actions, she begins having bizarre experiences–like time travel or magic–in which she relives the events that the voice in her head, Viola, endured in the 12th c. There are dragons, dungeons, witches, a love interest, a nasty grandmother, and a whole lot of anger.  Luckily, Lucy is sure that Solange is not herself and more likely possessed by another's spirit.  Lucy gets help from all the Drakes and close friends to attempt to rid Solange of Viola, and make things right at the Blood Moon camp where Solange/Viola caused much mayhem.  And did I mention that somebody, dubbed the Dracula Killer, is murdering humans and making it look like the vampires are to blame?

By alternating chapters from the points of view of Solange, Lucy and Nicholas, Alyxandra Harvey provides the means for the characters, and the readers, to put the clues together about Solange's bizarre behaviour, though tracking Solange's actions was rather confusing.  I actually enjoyed the emphasis on Lucy's voice again, as each of the Drake Chronicles books tend to emphasize the budding relationship of one Drake son with a new character, and Lucy and Nicholas' relationship has not been front and center since Hearts at Stake.  Of course, Kieran and Solange do resolve their bumpy love in Blood Prophecy but Lucy and Nicholas' interactions are so much more satisfying.  That said, I think Alyxandra Harvey had a hard time trying to incorporate all the established romances (Hunter and Quinn, Christabel and Connor, Isabeau and Logan) into Blood Prophecy, though they all make appearances.  Because the couples vary greatly in their sensibilities, their cursory participation in the plot, sadly, just wasn't enough for fans of the Drakes.

While Blood Prophecy and Blood Moon to some extent establish the story-line that brings together all the groups, vampire and not, introduced in the earlier books, Books 1-4 are still my favourites, relying more on establishing the Drake family and its interactions with these groups.  With three Drake sons–Sebastian, Marcus and Duncan–left without their own full novels in which they find partners for themselves, The Drake Chronicles ended far too abruptly for me.  I wanted more.  

Luckily, though Alyxandra Harvey has completed the novels of The Drake Chronicles with Blood Prophecy, look for extras at her website and elsewhere.  There are six novellas, including Sound and Fury which is appended to Blood Prophecy, to help take the sting off the end

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