Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Dark Prince Dark Prince
Carpathian Series: Book 1
by Christine Feehan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

The Carpathians are a race that live for millennia and have psychic and physical powers. . They shape shift into animals and can become fog, while moving and travelling with phenomenal speed. They survive on human blood but never kill the donor and wipe memories when finished. Sunlight and violent wounding can kill them though they heal themselves from other injuries. They sleep in healing earth during the day and are awake at night. They’re declining in numbers though, as no females have been born for hundreds of years and few males survive infancy.

The male has a darkness which grows until he finds his life mate – who balances and illuminates his darkness. If he doesn’t find her, the male gradually loses his emotions and ability to see in colour. He is condemned to a lonely, dark and despairing world devoid of all happiness. When he does find her, he regains his emotions and his world becomes full of joy and hope. Males who don’t find their life mates become filled with dark despair and "turn," becoming vampires who can then feel exhilaration by murdering humans and Carpathians. They tried to take human women as life mates before. Humans go violently insane when their bodies were converted to Carpathian and have to be destroyed.

Mikhail, the Prince and leader of the Carpathians, decides to take his life to stop the darkness. A woman’s voice tells him not to give up and he follows it. The owner is a human woman he sees in colour, showing she’s his life mate.

Raven is a psychic who helps the FBI track serial killers. She’s come to the Carpathian Mountains for a rest after her last case. They’re quickly drawn to each other and Mikhail starts to turn Raven, before marrying her. There is a group of fanatical vampire hunters targeting non-humans. Having killed Mikhail’s sister and her unborn, they then focus on Mikhail and Raven.

This is the first in the Carpathian series and has lots of background about the race. It’s not a gripping story though and it was later books in the series that got me hooked. For someone saying she’s intelligent all the time, Raven does some pretty dumb things. "Ooh, fanatical assassins around, I’ll just go for a long walk in the dark woods, all alone". Mikhail is unbearably bossy and overbearing. Sure, he’s a prince but his "I know best’ attitude is annoying.

Not the best cover art either. Ok read for when you have nothing better to do. Not suitable for tweens – there’s quite a lot of sex.

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