By Freda Warrington
Titan Books, $14.95, 505 pages
A Taste of Blood Wine is a vampire novel that takes place shortly after the First World War. Karl von Wultendorf comes to live and work with the Neville’s in order to find a way to kill vampires in order to free himself from his domineering creator. He does not plan on the attraction felt between him and Charlotte, the quiet, introverted middle sister. Nor did he gamble on the danger his attention would bring Charlotte and her family when Kristian finally grows tired of waiting for Karl to return to him.
“The impenetrable walls of Charlotte’s prison loomed through the trees. This feels like the bloody War again. And it was too true to be a joke. The sense of futility, of waiting blindly for disaster, was the same.”
Freda Warrington’s novel is well written fantasy disguised as historical fiction. The pacing was extremely slow in places, but was done in order to adequately focus on the interpersonal relationships that were so important to the narrative. Freda managed to approach the vampire narrative in a different and engaging way, although the attraction between Karl and Charlotte wasn’t entirely too successfully portrayed. Worth a look for readers interested in vampire books, but tired of the simplicity of the paranormal romance genre.
Reviewed by Whitney Smyth