Book Review – The Vampire’s Angel by Damian Serbu

The Realm of the Vampire Council #1
Publisher: NineStar Press
Pages: 347
Characters: Xavier/Thomas, Catherine
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Historical, Paranormal

Set during the French Revolution, The Vampire’s Angel traces the lives of three characters: a Parisian priest (Xavier), his noble sister (Catherine), and a vampire from America (Thomas). The priest and vampire fall in love but hardship ensues as they struggle with separate demons. Thomas resists his impatience and temper, while hiding his undead nature from the man he loves. Xavier combats a devotion to the church and societal obligation, both of which speak against following his heart. As France crumbles around them, Catherine fights to maintain the family’s fortune, even as she falls prey to the schemes of a witchdoctor who casts a spell upon her. Will the death, danger, and catastrophes of a revolution doom these three, or will they find solace from one another and ultimate harmony?

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This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

This story isn’t a fast read, and there is a lot going on within its pages. It’s not only the story of the three main characters, but also of the downfall of a way of life, and how that affects its people. I liked that Thomas’s vampiric nature isn’t shoved in the reader’s face when we first meets him, and I also liked that he sees the lives of his victims when he drinks their blood. The world building is an interesting one especially from the vampire side, with their rules about not feeding on innocents.

I enjoyed that although the plot of Thomas and Xavier’s friendship and growing relationship is one of the main focuses on the story, it also has strong female characters in Catherine and Anne. I liked that Anne’s beliefs were portrayed as a religion, and that there were good and evil practitioners. However, I did feel in places that Catherine was a woman ahead of her time, and I thought some of her actions didn’t quite ring true for the time period because of that. Ditto for some of the dialogue, which I felt was a little modern for the setting. There are also several typos which speed-bumped my reading in places.

But in saying that, the dialogue is very enjoyable, and some of the lines made me smile. For example when Catherine learns that Thomas is a vampire she asks about some of the myths surrounding them. He tells her that garlic will just give him bad breath, and crucifixes…. he reminds her that he’s with her brother, who is a priest.

Xavier is an interesting character, and I really felt for him in his struggle to reconcile his interest in men with his faith. He changes the most in this story, and although I felt the book was really three stories—those of the three POV characters—his character arc is the one that stands out, although I did wonder if he went a little too far in the opposite direction when he finally confronts Marcus. Self-realisation is also a reoccurring theme in the story as Thomas has his own issues to overcome and needs to take ownership of his behaviour. I loved Anthony—he’s a good guy, and it’s obvious he loves Thomas, and wants the best for him.

I’d recommend The Vampire’s Angel to readers who enjoy a paranormal story with an historical backdrop, an interesting take on vampires, and characters who need to reconcile their desires with their beliefs. 4 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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